It’s Wednesday, April 1st – and NBC 6 has the top stories you need to know for the day.
No. 1 - South Florida residents could get a chance to get tested for the coronavirus no matter their age amid loosened requirements at two testing sites in Miami-Dade County.
Officials say that anyone 18 years of age and older who has an appointment can be seen at the drive-thru facility at Marlins Park starting Wednesday. Anyone 45 year old and up will be able to make an appointment at the facility located at Charles Hadley Park in Northwest Miami-Dade. To make an appointment, officials must meet medical requirements that include having specific symptoms associated with COVID-19. To make an appointment, you must call 305-960-5050
No. 2 - More than 3,300 coronavirus cases have been confirmed between Miami-Dade and Broward, as Florida's total surpassed 6,700 Tuesday with another 1,000 cases confirmed in the past 24 hours, officials said.
Miami-Dade COVID-19 cases climbed to 2,123, while Broward was at 1,219, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health. Broward had at least 12 coronavirus-related deaths while Miami-Dade had 7 reported deaths. Florida's total confirmed cases increased by more than 1,000 since Monday evening, reaching 6,741, including 6,490 Florida residents and 251 non-Florida residents.
No. 3 - As more companies layoff and furlough employees, thousands across Florida are turning to the state for help. But, dozens of people who say they are having major issues applying for unemployment.
State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez wrote a letter to the Department of Economic Opportunity mentioning everything from “error messages” to glitches he said can not be fixed without a phone call. The Department of Economic Opportunity has acknowledged issues and stated they plan on expanding their hours, increasing staff, and adding server capacity. When it comes to the challenges some are facing, they told NBC 6 they are “evaluating other opportunities to make the Reemployment Assistance program more streamlined while we mitigate the spread of COVID-19”
No. 4 - A South Florida couple has been waiting for weeks to find out whether they have COVID-19.
It's been 11 days since Karen and Brad Nickel got tested for the novel coronavirus. The couple, who has been married for 13 years, share the same symptoms. More than 1,000 people are awaiting coronavirus test results, which doesn't include private tests. The Nickels got tested at Baptist Health, but the samples went to a private lab. In a statement, Baptist said due to the volume of tests, results could take longer than 10 days.
No. 5 - For those who battle drug and alcohol addiction, experts say social distancing doesn’t mix well with rehabilitation efforts.
Centers across South Florida have made changes in part due to rules put in place because of the crisis. Even though they are doing everything they can to keep clients on track, the isolation they are facing during the pandemic can be hard to manage, according to a report from NBC 6’s Stephanie Bertini.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, scattered morning showers will bring down temperatures slightly Wednesday across South Florida ahead of the latest front coming through. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.