It’s Friday, November 20th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - If you’re planning to travel for the holidays, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hoping you stay home instead.
On Thursday, the CDC recommended Americans not travel for Thanksgiving. The CDC says it’s concerned about transportation hubs, worried that people won’t be able to maintain social distancing while waiting in line, and that people who don’t live in the same home getting together for Thanksgiving will be bringing infections to the table. The CDC says we are at a crucial point in the pandemic and infections and deaths will increase before the situation gets better.
No. 2 - Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state of Florida has been planning and preparing its plan for distributing coronavirus vaccines, which he hopes will be approved by the FDA and received by the end of December.
In a statement Thursday, DeSantis said the state has been preparing for vaccines since July and has been purchasing supplies, including purchasing five million syringes, five million needles and five million alcohol swabs to-date. Both Pfizer and Moderna have reported vaccines with around 95% effectiveness in recent weeks, but both are awaiting FDA approval.
No. 3 - The City of Miami will be distributing some $8.5 million in business grants and gift cards to residents as part of a new coronavirus relief program.
Mayor Francis Suarez announced the program, saying the money will come from CARES Act funding that went to Miami-Dade County. Suarez said about $3.5 million will go to residents impacted by COVID-19 in the form of gift cards for up to $250. Only businesses that can prove a loss of income and show they have not received any other federal funds can be eligible. The money must be reimbursed for businesses. For more info and to apply, click on this link.
No. 4 - A South Florida man trusted to help provide water services to residents in North Miami Beach is in hot water himself, charged with stealing the meters that had been used to take readings at homes and businesses.
Van Harrington, a manager at North Miami Beach's public works, has resigned and is facing a felony charge. Police records show that the 51-year-old Harrington was an operations manager at the public works department. With that title he knew how the system worked when it came to the equipment, and police say he was stealing and selling it. To hear what else officials say took place, click here for the story you will see Only on 6 from investigator Willard Shepard.
No. 5 - QR codes are popping up everywhere – from product packaging and restaurants’ menus to gas stations.
QR stands for "quick response." Scanning the code with your phone's camera will typically open the phone's browser and send you to a website, or even download an instant app for tasks like renting an electric scooter or paying for parking. But as QR codes become more popular, cyber-security experts have a warning. To hear how some could expose your phone to hackers and how to protect yourself, click here for a NBC 6 Responds report from consumer investigator Sasha Jones.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, South Florida stays breezy to end the work week before showers begin to creep in even more during the weekend. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.