It’s Thursday, August 19th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Miami-Dade County Public Schools has officially implemented a mask mandate for the upcoming school year.
The board approved of the mandate Wednesday as Broward County Public Schools has its first day of school with students and teachers required to wear masks. As dozens rallied outside of the Miami-Dade school board's administration building Wednesday calling for a parent's right to choose whether students can wear masks at school, superintendent Alberto Carvalho stood his ground on mask mandates, making it clear that the governor's threats to his job won't phase him. The Miami-Dade County School Board's public health task force has recommended a mask mandate for students and employees for the upcoming school year as COVID-19 cases rise in the area.
No. 2 - U.S. health officials Wednesday announced plans to dispense COVID-19 booster shots to all Americans to shore up their protection amid the surging delta variant and signs that the vaccines' effectiveness is slipping.
The plan, as outlined by the chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other top health authorities, calls for an extra dose eight months after people get their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The doses could begin the week of Sept. 20. People who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also probably need extra shots, health officials said. But they said they are waiting for more data.
No. 3 - A couple from Miami Beach was arrested in Hawaii last week after police say they attempted to use fake vaccination cards for themselves and their two children during a trip.
Enzo and Daniela Dalmazzo were each charged in the case, with Daniela facing three charges that include two for their children, according to complaints filed by the office of Hawaii's Attorney General. The couple, who live in Miami Beach, were arrested August 11 on the north shore of Honolulu after trying to use the cards for their kids - who were born in 2016 and 2017 and are too young to be vaccinated, the complaints said. The arrests were part of the state’s Safe Travels program amid the COVID pandemic and were the second known case of visitors using fake vaccination cards within the last week.
No. 4 - Hospitals in South Florida hire temporary travel nurses when times get tough, but inside hospitals it has never tougher than it is right now according to the latest state COVID-19 numbers.
Thousands of travel nurses have worked in Florida throughout the pandemic but still more are needed. About 18-months into the pandemic, every major hospital system in South Florida is using travel nurses. At times, the majority of nurses on a shift could be from out-of-town but overseen by staff nurses. Everyone works a 12-hour shifts to try and stop death from the Delta variant. To hear the stories from some of those working on the front line, click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Phil Prazan.
No. 5 - The former school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on the day of the deadly 2018 mass shooting got emotional after asking a Broward County judge to dismiss all charges against him.
The defense team for Scot Peterson argued for the dismissal Wednesday, saying he was not a caregiver to the students under a Florida statue. A judge is expected to make a decision on the motion to dismiss within the next week. On the day of the shooting, Peterson took cover while the gunman - Nikolas Cruz - fired 140 rounds from an AR-15 rifle inside the building shooting students, an investigation found. 17 people died as a result of the shooting. If convicted, he faces a potential maximum prison sentence of nearly 100 years.
No. 6 - Haiti was hit with an aftershock Wednesday that caused more damage in just days after a deadly earthquake claimed the lives of thousands.
NBC 6 went to a village that received help for the first time. The village is up in mountains and until now the weather prevented rescue crews getting there. For one woman who lives in rural Haiti, you could see the relief on her face that someone came to heal the pain. These flights are the only way to get to many areas struck by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake Saturday, and Wednesday afternoon’s aftershock measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale that tumbled more homes. Click here for a report from investigator Willard Shepard you’ll see Only on 6.