It’s Monday, May 17th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new COVID-19 guidelines for vaccinated individuals, several major retailers have announced they are lifting mask mandates for people who are vaccinated.
Publix, Walmart, Sam's Club, Costco and Trader Joe's announced Friday that facial coverings are now optional for shoppers who are fully vaccinated. On Saturday, Winn-Dixie and Fresco y Mas joined the growing list of retailers that are lifting mask requirements for fully vaccinated customers and associates. The stores cite the CDC's new guidance relaxing mask restrictions for inoculated individuals as the reason for modified mask policies.
No. 2 - Businesses in Miami Beach are stocking their inventories in anticipation of big crowds for Memorial Day weekend, but it’s not just businesses that are preparing.
On Saturday, 200 Goodwill ambassadors received specialized police training to help out during the holiday. The training covered topics like human-trafficking awareness, de-escalation techniques, and cultural awareness. The extra preparation comes on the heels of recent chaos and violence in the entertainment district. On Friday, a man climbed on top of a traffic signal, bringing traffic to a standstill and drawing a large crowd, a possible sign that some visitors may not be on their best behavior.
No. 3 - The head of the CDC is defending the decision to ease mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people.
Meanwhile, Miami-Dade’s mayor Daniella Levine Cava is asking residents to be respectful of businesses and others who still may want others to wear masks. Click here for NBC 6’s Jamie Guirola's latest on the changes to the mask mandate in South Florida.
No. 4 - The Florida Panthers faced off with the Tampa Bay Lighting Sunday night in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Brayden Point scored two late goals, including the game-winner with 1:14 left in the third period, to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-4 win over the Florida Panthers. Nikita Kucherov scored two power-play goals in his first appearance of the season, and Blake Coleman scored a short-handed goal. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves and Victor Hedman had three assists. Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists, Owen Tippitt amd Aleksander Barkov each had a goal and an assist and Carter Verhaeghe scored a goal against his former team to lead the Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots, and Keith Yandle and Sam Bennett each had two assists.
No. 5 - Dozens of protesters gathered for a demonstration in Wynwood after the single deadliest day of attacks since fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas militants a week ago.
But early Monday, the Israeli military unleashed a wave of heavy airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, saying it destroyed 15 kilometers (nine miles) of militant tunnels and the homes of nine Hamas commanders. Residents of Gaza awakened by the overnight barrage described it as the heaviest since the war began a week ago, and even more powerful than a wave of airstrikes in Gaza City the day before that left 42 dead and flattened three buildings. That earlier attack was the deadliest in the current round of hostilities between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers.
No. 6 - Two Florida police officers came to the rescue of a dog in serious trouble.
Good Samaritans found a dog locked inside a hot car in Sarasota and called police. When officers arrived, they could see the dog was in real trouble. After running the car's tags, they discovered it was a rental, and had no idea who to look for. An animal control officer was called and agreed that the dog was in dangerous conditions and needed to be removed from the car immediately. Officers smashed a window and were able to safely get the dog out of the hot vehicle.