It’s Thursday, July 9th - and NBC 6 has the top stories you need to know for the day.
No. 1 - Broward is cracking down on restaurants that violate coronavirus safety guidelines to help stem the spike in COVID-19 cases in the county.
An emergency order signed Wednesday by Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry would close any restaurant that violates rules on masks and social distancing for 24 hours, with each subsequent violation leading to a 72-hour closure. Broward Mayor Dale Holness, who announced the order at a Wednesday evening news conference, said restaurants will also be required to keep tables to six people or less, and would close restaurants for on-site dining at 10 p.m.
No. 2 - The recent surge in coronavirus cases is putting a huge strain on South Florida hospitals.
NBC 6 pulled data on the number of available ICU beds from the Agency for Health Care Administration with many hospitals in the area already completely out of ICU beds as of Wednesday night. For more on what we found and why doctors say this could just be the beginning, click here for a report from NBC 6’s Kim Wynne.
No. 3 - The pandemic hit some South Florida small businesses hard and forced many to turn to the Small Business Administration or SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program.
According to the SBA, 96% of the $32 billion in loans received by Florida businesses were used to cover payroll expenses. The SBA said it still has $131 billion available in PPP loans and has good news for those needing help. For that news, click here for a report from NBC 6 Responds reporter Alina Macahdo.
No. 4 - Rape, murder, armed robbery. Miami Police say they’ve made arrests in those violent crimes and in property crimes using a controversial facial recognition program, Clearview AI.
The company’s software allows users, including law enforcement agencies, to match people’s facial features to the pictures in the database. But recently, major companies like IBM, Microsoft and Amazon announced they will stop selling facial recognition technology to police departments citing privacy concerns and racial disparities. Click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Phil Prazan.
No. 5 - After four months of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, those wanting to travel to Walt Disney World can start buying tickets again on Thursday.
The theme park near Orlando will resume both park ticket sales as well as hotel reservations at some point during the day for the rest of 2020. Guests will be required to use the new Park Pass system created to help manage attendance in accordance with social distancing guidelines and capacity requirements. Both the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are slated to reopen on Saturday while Hollywood Studios and EPCOT are scheduled to reopen on July 15th.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, near record temperatures could make a return Thursday in South Florida with afternoon rain chances decreasing slightly. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.