6 to Know: COVID-19 Hospitalizations in Florida Show Signs of Slowing

It’s Tuesday, January 18th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day

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It’s Tuesday, January 18th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.

No. 1 - Bicyclists hit the streets and a stretch of Interstate 95 in South Florida Monday for the annual "MLK Rideout."

Aerial footage showed a large group of bicyclists riding onto I-95 northbound in Miami-Dade as cars passed by, before exiting the highway. The event, also called "Wheels Up, Guns Down," is meant to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy and his message of nonviolence but over the years has turned into a celebration of lawlessness as hundreds of riders on dirt bikes and ATVs from across the country descend upon South Florida and swarm the roadways. Miami-Dade police said they made two felony arrests Monday, issued one traffic ticket, and seized one vehicle.

No. 2 - The state of Florida will be opening two new monoclonal antibody therapy sites in Miami-Dade and Broward starting Tuesday in an effort to combat the the fast-spreading omicron variant of COVID-19.

Sites will open in Broward at Markham Park (16001 W. State Rd. 84 in Sunrise) and in Miami-Dade at Miami-Dade College's North Campus (11380 NW 27th Ave.). Both sites will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional sites will also be opening in Duval, Palm Beach and Seminole counties. Earlier in January, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called on the federal government to distribute more monoclonal antibody treatments while speaking at Broward Health.

No. 3 - New figures released Monday showed COVID-19 hospitalizations were down in Florida, giving hope that the latest omicron wave of the pandemic may be waning.

There were 11,265 inpatient beds in use for COVID-19 in Florida hospitals, a decrease of 303 from two days ago, according to figures released Monday by the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services. Intensive care unit beds being used for COVID-19 in Florida also slightly dropped to 1,505, after they reached 1,510 on Saturday. HHS figures showed just under 24% of all of Florida's ICU beds were being used to treat COVID patients.

No. 4 - A Liberty City tradition made its return Monday, as the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. parade rolled west on 54th Street. 

The celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy goes beyond floats and marching bands. It makes people think about the man who’s being celebrated. Dr. King spent his short life fighting against poverty, against bigotry, and for equality, especially for the right to vote. Many would say voting rights are under assault in this country. Click here to find out why in a report from NBC 6’s Ari Odzer.

No. 5 - A group of good Samaritans helped free a driver from a wrecked car after a violent crash on Florida's Turnpike in Miami-Dade.

The crash happened Sunday afternoon in the northbound lanes of the Turnpike near Southwest 120th Street. Officials said a gray Honda SUV, white Ford pickup and silver Ford pickup were involved in the crash. The man who was driving the Honda became trapped inside as a result. Cell phone footage showed several people trying to pull open the car door to get the driver out before Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews arrived and were able to get him out. The man was hospitalized with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

No. 6 - Tax season is around the corner and it could be a chaotic one.

The pandemic has made for a challenging couple of years for the Internal Revenue Service. The agency is still working to process millions of returns from last year, according to a newly released report. The report released by the National Taxpayer Advocate says in December 2021, the IRS had six million unprocessed individual tax returns. Returns with math errors and discrepancies slowed processing, according to the report. Tax experts said if you want to avoid delays this year, you will need to be prepared. Click here for the tips you need to know in a report from NBC 6 consumer investigator Sasha Jones.

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