It’s Tuesday, March 9th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Florida is lowering COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include anyone age 60 and older starting March 15, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday.
Speaking at a news conference in Tallahassee, DeSantis said all state drive-thru vaccination sites as well as all pods and pharmacies will expand to include people 60 through 64, which makes about 1.4 million more Floridians eligible. Jackson Health System also announced Monday it is expanding its criteria for COVID-19 vaccinations at its three sites to include certain Florida residents ages 16 and older. Beginning Tuesday. Jackson will vaccinate Florida residents in four categories. Click here for a list of those categories and how to sign up.
No. 2 - The Biden Administration announced Monday that it would grant temporary protected status to several hundred thousand Venezuelans who fled their country’s economic collapse.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas designated Venezuela for TPS for 18 months, until September 2022. An estimated 320,000 Venezuelans in the U.S. would be able to apply to legally live and work in the country for 18 months. Former President Donald Trump resisted repeated calls from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, primarily from South Florida, to grant temporary protected status to Venezuelans though he issued an order deferring deportation for a smaller number on his final day in office. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio welcomed the designation, saying in a statement, "Venezuela remains a nation in crisis.”
No. 3 - Residents of the Silver Bluff neighborhood in the City of Miami have split into two camps.
The point of contention regards residential street closures placed last week by city workers to prevent heavy traffic from cutting through the area. The issue made it all the way to court over the weekend because Miami-Dade County wanted to remove them. There are four closures, which after Sunday's ruling, will be allowed to remain with the condition the concrete barriers be swapped out for plastic ones. To see them and find out why the issues has residents divided, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Nathalia Ortiz.
No. 4 - As vaccinated people are starting to get comfortable resuming normal, pre-pandemic activities, not everyone is excited to go back out into society again.
Dr. Arthur Bregman, a psychiatrist in Miami: cave syndrome. The reluctance to leave home has become exacerbated during the pandemic, affecting many of his patients, especially those with pre-existing conditions like anxiety. To hear more from Bregman and one of his patients who has been dealing with it, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Amanda Plasencia.
No. 5 - The NBC 6 Investigators got rare access to South Wing Seven at Jackson Memorial Hospital, the dedicated COVID-19 unit in Downtown Miami.
Full protective suits are required inside, including two layers of face protection: an N-95 mask and a face shield. Dr. Claudia Alvarez told NBC 6 the daily battle inside the unit can wear down medical professionals. She said scrutiny and conspiracy theories outside the hospital make it worse. To take an in-depth look, click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Phil Prazan you’ll see Only on 6.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, temperatures pick up slightly on Tuesday across South Florida with the wind dying down for the rest of the work week. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.