It’s Monday, December 27th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - One day after Florida reached its daily COVID-19 case record, the state set yet another record in recording more than 32,000 new infections as of the latest numbers released.
The 32,850 new cases reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pushed Florida's total to more than 3,897,138 since the pandemic began. This number also reflects the most cases reported by the state in a single day since Friday, when 31,758 cases were reported. Florida's cases have skyrocketed in recent days, averaging over 14,600 in the past seven days, after the 7-day average had been less than 2,000 cases as recently as Dec. 9. Testing sites located at Tropical Park, the South Dade Government Center and Miami-Dade College's North Campus were open Saturday. To help alleviate demand, county workers distributed 12,500 at-home COVID test kits Friday at Miami-Dade libraries before the supplies ran out.
No. 2 - South Florida airports saw some flight cancellations on Christmas Day, a trend that nationwide has seen more than 2,000 flights canceled due to staffing shortages amid the surge in omicron variant cases of Covid-19 forcing flight crews to call out sick.
As of 10:30 p.m. Christmas Saturday, Miami International Airport had 54 flights canceled in and out of the airport. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport had 48, according to FlightAware. Passengers felt relieved knowing they got to Miami safe. Other travelers were grateful the cancellations didn’t cause their Christmas travel plans any turbulence. Miami International Airport has been seeing the biggest cancellations with JetBlue, Delta, American and Air Canada. Nationally, United Airlines has cancelled over 250 flights this weekend and Delta has canceled 400.
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No. 3 - Testing sites in South Florida are back to normal operating hours after limited sites were open on Christmas.
Tropical Park opened at 7 a.m. Sunday and returned to its 24-hour operations. The other county sites that are normally open on Sundays were back to their normal hours. South Floridians looking for a COVID-19 test were be able to get one on Christmas Day, but the sites that were open had limited hours and hours-long waits. Between omicron spreading Christmas fear and those needing tests for travel, it's no surprise that the lines stretched for hours. The demand for tests came after Florida broke its record for daily number of reported cases two days in a row — 31,758 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, 32,850 on Saturday. The increase is being driven by the spreading new omicron variant. The previous record was in August during the height of the delta wave in Florida with 27,584 cases.
No. 4 - The Fort Lauderdale Police Department is investigating a shooting in Fort Lauderdale Sunday morning that left one man dead and another victim injured.
Officers responded to the incident just before 6 a.m. at 801 Northeast 62nd Street in Fort Lauderdale.When they arrived, officers found a man in the parking lot who had been shot and a second victim suffering from non-life threatening injuries, police said. The first victim, 37-year-old Bernie Jean, was in an altercation with an unknown suspect when he was shot. He was later pronounced dead at the scene. The second victim was transported to Broward Health North, police said.
No. 5 - The man police say was caught on camera punching a three-year-old at a pharmacy in Allapattah refused to go before a judge for bond Sunday.
Police have identified the man as Marvin Green. He remains behind bars while the family of the three-year-old await justice for what appears to be a random beating. “Marvin Green refused to go,” could be heard on Bond Court video. Green, who police say is a 27-year-old homeless man, is known to law enforcement, but not to the mother of the three-year-old boy who police say was punched in the back of the head by Green, it caused internal bleeding. The incident was all captured on camera at 2 p.m. on December 13 at the Walgreens located at 1695 Northwest 20th Street in Allapattah.
No. 6 - Broward County Sheriff's Office deputies near Fort Lauderdale exchanged gunfire with a suspect who they witnessed firing a gun.
The shooter in Fort Lauderdale escaped in a car Saturday night, but a passenger in the car was dropped off at a hospital with a gunshot wound, the Broward County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. It wasn't known immediately when the passenger was shot and by whom, the sheriff's office said. No deputies were injured during the shooting.
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