It’s Friday, December 25th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Coronavirus vaccinations for the oldest residents of Miami-Dade County will begin at Mount Sinai Medical Center after Christmas, the hospital's CEO said.
The vaccine is currently only available to frontline healthcare workers and first responders, but beginning Saturday, people aged 75 years or older can start making appointments to receive initial doses of Pfizer and Moderna. The rollout comes after an executive order from Governor Ron Desantis prioritizing the elderly over essential workers, defying recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No. 2 - With the Christmas holiday here, stores and supermarkets across South Florida will be closing their doors on Friday for the day.
Publix, Winn Dixie and many malls are among those locations that will not be open on Friday, while some businesses like Walgreens and CVS will remain open for customers. Click here for a complete location of what’s open and what’s closed during the Christmas holiday.
No. 3 - The United States will begin requiring people flying in from the U.K. to test negative for COVID-19 no more than 72 hours before departure, the CDC said in a late Thursday statement.
The announcement comes after the U.K. earlier this week said it identified a new strain of COVID-19 that appears to spread more quickly. The CDC said President Donald Trump will sign the order on Friday, Christmas Day, and the measure will go into effect starting Monday. The CDC said passengers would have to provide airlines with documentation of their lab results from either polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antigen tests. Airlines would also have to confirm that passengers have tested negative before boarding, the agency said. They would also have to block passengers from boarding if they refuse to take a test.
No. 4 - The COVID crisis has turned our lives upside down and some see it as an opportunity.
Colleen Tressler with the Federal Trade Commission explains consumers are easy targets in this pandemic. The initial demand for tests, masks, and other personal protective gear gave scammers a hook to steal money and personal information. The new hook is the COVID vaccine. To see how scammers are trying to steal from consumers and how you can protect yourself, click here for the story from NBC 6 consumer investigator Sasha Jones.
No. 5 - The Miami Heat will be working on the Christmas holiday as they play their first regular season game inside the AmericanAirlines Arena since March on Friday.
The Heat will tip off at noon against the New Orleans Pelicans, the same team they played their only home preseason game against last week. Miami opened their regular season on Wednesday with a loss on the road against the Orlando Magic. It’s the first time the Heat have played on Christmas since the 2015-16 season, when Miami defeated the same Pelicans team in overtime at home.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, parts of South Florida are waking up to some of the coldest Christmas weather in decades - and it could be getting even colder tonight. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.