It’s Wednesday, July 15th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - With the clock winding down on the issue of how to start the upcoming school year in the coronavirus pandemic, the superintendent of schools in Broward County says it could start the way last year ended: not in a classroom.
During a workshop meeting Tuesday to address reopening, Superintendent Robert Runcie says he will recommend distance learning as the sole option to start the 2020-21 school year if numbers do not improve in terms of positive cases of the virus in the county. Runcie did not close the door on the idea that students could return to classrooms at some point during the upcoming year. The news comes as Wednesday marks the deadline day for parents in Miami-Dade County to decide how they want their children to start the upcoming year.
No. 2 - A group of Miami-Dade mayors and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came together Tuesday to discuss how the county can better fight the recent surge in coronavirus cases, saying the area is at a “critical moment” in their battle.
DeSantis met with Miami-Dade's Carlos Gimenez, Miami's Francis Suarez, Miami Beach's Dan Gelber, Miami Gardens' Oliver Gilbert and Doral's Juan Carlos Bermudez. The meeting came as Miami-Dade added more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, with more than one-fourth of people who were tested testing positive over the past two weeks. The county's coronavirus dashboard showed ICU bed capacity at 108%. Someone who wasn’t at the meeting was the mayor of Hialeah, Carlos Hernandez, who showed up to county hall but wasn’t allowed inside.
No. 3 - In most scenarios prior to COVID-19, family members with loved ones in the hospital often helped with simple tasks for the patient, but now those duties are solely falling on nurses and hospital staff.
At Jackson Health System, 200 employees - about 1.5% of the workforce - were not working after testing positive for COVID-19, a Jackson spokesperson confirmed Tuesday. Gov. Ron DeDantis previously said he is asking the federal government for 1,500 nurses to respond to the surge in cases while Vicki Gonzalez with the local nurse’s union SEIU Local 1991 says nurses everywhere are trying their best. For more on what those tasked with helping those in need are saying, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Laura Rodriguez.
No. 4 – It’s Tax Day across America as the date to file your returns was moved from the original April 15th deadline amid the coronavirus pandemic that swept across the country.
Another batch of one-time stimulus checks could be coming. But this time, far fewer Americans could get paid. President Donald Trump has made it clear that he wants to include another batch of checks in the next coronavirus legislation. But Senate Republicans have been slow to warm to the idea thanks to the high cost of cutting millions of checks to Americans. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is considering a compromise in disbursing funds to people making $40,000 or less a year.
No. 5 - With families across South Florida struggling to put food on the table during the coronavirus pandemic, one group is hoping to help ease the strain on those in need during this trying time.
Bridge to Hope has been helping low income families with various needs for a long time. During this pandemic, the organization is seeing a huge demand on its food pantry. Volunteers help things flow at Bridge to Hope, and so do community partnerships and donations. The people who need the help are grateful, but also a bit worried it might end. For more, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Stephanie Bertini in our weekly Helping Hands series.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, afternoon storms in South Florida stick around into the early evening Wednesday while feels like temperatures remain in the triple digits. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.