It’s Friday, August 27th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Broward Mayor Steve Geller addressed the surge of COVID-19 in the community Thursday, saying the county continues to set new records in cases and hospitalizations.
"These numbers indicate that we are out of control," Geller said from the Broward Government Center. Geller also reported the highest cohort of people getting ill with the virus are teenagers and acknowledged Broward County Public Schools' board for mandating masks for students and teachers. At Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, there were 36 pediatric emergency room visits at the end of June. By the end of July, there were 240. By Aug. 13, there were more than 180 ER visits, and Geller said he expects that number to soar by the end of the month. Click here for more on the story in a report from NBC 6 investigator Phil Prazan.
No. 2 - As new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations start to level off in Florida, the question now is how deadly this Delta wave of the virus will be.
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In social media and some news coverage, some are saying it’s already the deadliest wave of all. But that’s not the case - at least not yet. Some headlines claim Florida is suffering record COVID-19 deaths, the worst of the pandemic, overtaking winter COVID death figures. Asked if those headlines are entirely accurate, Dr. Jason Salemi of the University of South Florida, said, "They’re not.” Click here to hear what else Salemi said and what he is warning the public about in a report from NBC 6 investigator Tony Pipitone.
No. 3 - Loved ones honored Christopher Roy McConnell with a mass at St. Raymond Catholic Church. McConnell’s wife believes more could have been done early on to save her husband’s life.
The 41-year-old father died after his battle with COVID-19, his wife, pregnant with their third son, vows to pull through. HIs widow knows the road ahead won’t be easy, but she is pulling through. The family had recently moved from Miami to Sarasota so that McConnell could launch his interior design business. Stephanie Jimenez says her husband was sent home from the emergency room three times and by the time symptoms became severe and returned, it took doctors about three days to check on him. Click here for the message she feels could have saved her husband’s life in a story from NBC 6 reporter Laura Rodriguez.
No. 4 - Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul's airport Thursday, transforming a scene of desperation into one of horror in the waning days of an airlift for those fleeing the Taliban takeover. The attacks killed at least 60 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops, Afghan and U.S. officials said.
The U.S. general overseeing the evacuation said the attacks would not stop the United States from evacuating Americans and others, and flights out were continuing. Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, said there was a large amount of security at the airport, and alternate routes were being used to get evacuees in. About 5,000 people were awaiting flights on the airfield, McKenzie said. The blasts came hours after Western officials warned of a major attack, urging people to leave the airport. But that advice went largely unheeded by Afghans desperate to escape the country in the last few days of an American-led evacuation before the U.S. officially ends its 20-year presence on Aug. 31.
No. 5 - Miami Beach city officials are sounding the alarm over safety concerns in the area.
This coming two days following the shooting that took the life of 21-year-old Dustin Wakefield, there was a more visible police presence on Ocean Drive. Mayor Dan Gelber is calling for the entertainment district to be turned into a mixed-use zone. Some city commissioners like Steven Meiner are calling for an emergency meeting to be held. Both tourists and residents say it’s needed. Click here for their concerns in a report from NBC 6’s Cristian Benavides.
No. 6 - There's a dangerous new trend going viral on social media.
The "Milk Crate Challenge" first popped up on TikTok and is now making the rounds to social platforms like Twitter and Instagram. The Milk Crate Challenge calls for stacking milk crates in the shape of a pyramid and successfully walking up one side and down the other. But experts warn the unsafe trend, coupled with the overcrowding of U.S. emergency rooms due to COVID-19, could be a disaster waiting to happen. NBC 6 anchor Roxanne Vargas spoke with Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Clive Woods about the dangers of doing the viral challenge. Click here for that story and the message from Woods.