It’s Thursday, April 2nd – and NBC 6 has the top stories you need to know for the day.
No. 1 - Carnival's Holland America cruise ships, the Zaandam and Rotterdam, are approaching South Florida in international waters Thursday morning while federal and state officials wait on word whether they would be allowed to dock at Port Everglades.
The cruise line is reporting there are 406 passengers on board the Zaadam and 73 have flu-like symptoms. It was also reported that 116 crew members have flu-like symptoms. The U.S. Coast Guard indicated officials at Port Everglades had not given it permission to dock and the Coast Guard Admiral sent a message to all the cruise lines that they need to be prepared to take care of the people on board who are sick on their own for the foreseeable future.
No. 2 - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that he'll be issuing a statewide stay-at-home order as the state's confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 7,700 Wednesday and the state's death toll continued to rise, reaching 101.
DeSantis said the executive order would go into effect at midnight Thursday and excludes essential activities. The order will make exceptions for buying food, medicine and gas, visiting the doctor, outdoor exercise and commuting to jobs deemed essential. All businesses not considered essential must close their offices and stores, but can let employees work from home where feasible
No. 3 - Colleen Chabot has spent more than two weeks trying to reset her PIN so she can file for unemployment benefits. She is not alone.
Dozens of others expressed their frustration on the social media pages for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, also known as the DEO, after having trouble with the agency's phone lines or website. Click here to see a report from NBC 6’s Alina Machado and to learn what you need to do if you’re in the same position.
No. 4 - With more people staying at home and off the road during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the state of Florida is speeding up some infrastructure projects - including a major one in Miami-Dade County.
Gov. Ron DeSatnis says the coronavirus outbreak is a “golden time” to make progress on construction projects like a multi-million dollar redesign of Interstate 395 in downtown Miami. The project is set to better connect communities within Miami and redefine the skyline with a six-arched signature bridge. State officials say that while the project is getting more money, the timetable still has the project not being completed until 2023 - however, they believe it could finish several months ahead of schedule.
No. 5 - First responders are on the front line keeping South Florida safe every day, but their jobs have become even more difficult in recent weeks during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
NBC 6’s Phil Prazen went inside one local department’s efforts to keep their employees safe while keeping the public safe as well. Click here to see his exclusive report.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, South Florida will have a much more comfortable feel on Thursday with highs being more seasonable to end the work week. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.