It’s Friday, March 20th – and NBC 6 has the top stories you need to know for the day.
No. 1 - Florida Keys officials have ordered lodging businesses, including hotels, to close to visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials announced Thursday that hotels will be directed to stop taking new reservations effective immediately. They said they have plans to close the island to visitors starting at 6 p.m. Sunday.
The only exception is for long-term renters in vacation homes and RV parks with contracts of 28 days or more who are currently staying in the Keys. They are allowed to stay until the end of their contracts.
No. 2 - More than 100 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Florida Thursday, bringing the total to more than 400. The state's death toll reached 9.
The state's new total rose to 432, including 393 Florida residents and 39 non-Florida residents, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health. Miami-Dade reached 101 cases, pulling ahead of Broward, which had 96. Some 1,126 results in the state were still pending and 1,005 people were being monitored.
No. 3 - Miami-Dade County inched closer to economic shutdown Thursday as Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered all beaches, parks and “non-essential” commercial and retail businesses closed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
"We must all act as if we are infected and take every precautionary step to prevent transmitting this virus," Gimenez said in his announcement of the closures, which appear to go beyond other state and local orders in Florida.
Gov. Ron DeSantis already ordered bars closed and restaurants to limit seating, while some municipal governments have limited eateries to take-out and delivery.
No. 4 - Schools have been closed across the state of Florida due to the coronavirus outbreak, but daycares in many cities have made the decision to stay open.
For some parents, daycares remaining open is not a convenience but a necessity.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week expressed concern about the idea of closing daycares statewide. "It'll cause huge issues across the state," DeSantis said at a news conference. "With schools being out it is very stressful for people."
No. 5 - Gun and ammunition sales are spiking nationwide and in South Florida during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some might call it paranoia, others see it as practical and necessary. There are long lines at some gun stores as customers afraid of the possible impacts of the pandemic look for personal protection.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, Friday brings another day of warm temperatures and scarce isolated showers. This pattern will remain through the weekend and next week, with highs in the upper 80s by Wednesday. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.