coronavirus pandemic

Florida Vaccine Updates: Broward Ramps Up Vaccination Efforts; Biden Lays Out COVID Plan

Here's what we know today about the coronavirus outbreak in Florida, and the effort to stop it

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As a limited supply of the coronavirus vaccine has become available across Florida, residents are understandably anxious to know when they will be able to stand in line for a dose.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava acknowledged that the number of doses they have to administer does not meet the current demand for the vaccine.

Here's what we know today about the coronavirus outbreak in Florida, and the effort to stop it.

Florida Adds 16,875 New COVID-19 Cases, Reports 188 More Virus-Related Deaths Friday

Florida added more than 16,800 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, as the state's virus-related death toll increased by over 180.

The 16,875 new confirmed COVID-19 cases brought Florida's total to 1,548,067 since the outbreak began, according to figures released by the state's department of health.

Another 186 virus-related deaths among Florida residents were reported Friday, bringing the total to 23,799. Another 370 non-resident deaths have been confirmed in the state to-date, two more than were reported on Thursday. Most of the newly confirmed deaths occurred days or weeks earlier.

Broward mayor says county ramping up efforts to get residents vaccinated

Broward County Mayor Steve Geller says the county is going to be ramping efforts to get more people vaccinated within the next few weeks.

The mayor said the county saw an uptick in COVID-19 cases after the holidays and now they need to step things up.

The effort includes a new vaccination site in Hollywood along with several pop-up sites. These will be in addition to about 10 sites that are already up and running in Broward.

Geller said mayors within the cities in Broward are negotiating whether leftover federal money through the CARES act can be used to ramp up vaccinations. If so, Geller said the money will be used to expand county parks into sites or increase the number of tents and vaccinations at sites that already exist. 

He hopes to have everyone vaccinated by the summer.

Biden unveils $1.9T plan to COVID-19 relief and steady economy

President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan Thursday to end “a crisis of deep human suffering” by speeding up vaccines and pumping out financial help to those struggling with the pandemic’s prolonged economic fallout.

Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden's goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, and advance his objective of reopening most schools by the spring.

On a parallel track, it delivers another round of aid to stabilize the economy while the public health effort seeks the upper hand on the pandemic.

Read more here.

Some Miami-Dade Vaccination Sites May Have to Close With No New Doses Expected Next Week

Some COVID-19 vaccination sites in Miami-Dade may have to close next week, as county officials said they've been told they won't be receiving new doses next week.

The state-run sites at Hard Rock Stadium and Marlins Park will be receiving 7,000 vaccine doses each next week, but county officials said no doses are coming for county-run sites at Tropical Park or Zoo Miami.

County officials said the state placed the blame for the lack of doses on the federal government.

Florida Adds 13,720 New COVID Cases, Miami-Dade Reaches 4,500 Deaths Thursday

Florida added more than 13,700 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, as the state's virus-related death toll increased by more than 200.

The 13,720 new confirmed COVID-19 cases brought Florida's total to 1,531,192 since the outbreak began, according to figures released by the state's department of health.

In South Florida, Miami-Dade County had 336,749 cases Thursday, an increase of 2,532 since Wednesday, along with 4,500 COVID-related deaths, a single-day increase of 28.

In Broward County, there were 155,066 total COVID-19 cases reported, a daily increase of 1,351, along with 1,945 virus-related deaths, two more than Wednesday's total.

Read more here:

Florida to Begin Statewide Appointment System for Vaccine

Florida’s director of emergency management said Thursday that a statewide appointment system for COVID vaccinations should be ready within weeks, bringing order to the chaos marking Florida's rollout of vaccines to its most vulnerable residents.

Director Jared Moskowitz described plans for the online portal in an appearance before a legislative house committee holding hearings on the pandemic in Tallahassee.

The design of a statewide online portal is still under discussion and will be made available to counties — who are not required to use the system — to help them coordinate vaccinations.

Miami Mayor Wants Covid Vaccine Priority Going to City Residents

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is pushing for priority for the COVID-19 vaccine to go to residents of the city first.

Suarez introduced a pocket item at Thursday's commission meeting asking for the city manager's office and the city lawyer to take all legal steps to prevent non-residents from receiving the vaccine before the elderly population and the general population of the city.

In a statement, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told NBC 6 that she is considering ways to prioritize local residents.

Read more here.

High Vaccine Demand in South Florida

As Miami-Dade County prepares to open a new vaccination site at Zoo Miami, health officials are concerned that residents are mistaking site openings as a sign of increased shipments of the vaccine.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava acknowledged that the number of doses they have to administer does not meet the current demand for the vaccine.

"For this week, we received less than the week before. So that was discouraging because we want more. So of course we're competing with all parts of the state for this vaccine," she said Wednesday.

Miami-Dade County is asking seniors and family members of seniors to keep a close eye on the county's social media accounts - particularly Twitter - for updates on when appointments become available.

Carlos Suarez has the latest on vaccine distribution in South Florida, where residents are anxious to find out how they can sign up to receive a dose.

Memorial Healthcare Offering Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines, But Appointments Currently Full

South Florida's Memorial Healthcare System announced Wednesday that they have received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and are awaiting the next shipment of vaccines to reopen appointments.

Memorial Regional Hospital was one of five in the state to receive the initial doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in December.

The hospital system had a message on its website Wednesday that said all vaccine appointments have been filled but they will be reopened when they receive the next vaccine shipment.

Broward Health Opens Vaccine Site at Inter Miami Stadium in Fort Lauderdale

A new COVID-19 vaccination site has opened at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

Broward Health was partnering with the team and the City of Fort Lauderdale to begin vaccinations at Inter Miami CF Stadium at Lockhart Park on Tuesday.

The site will be open Monday through Friday and expects to vaccinate up to 500 pre-registered patients a day. Officials said they hope to increase that to 1,000 per day in the future.

Florida Expanding Publix COVID Vaccinations to More Pharmacies

Florida is expanding its COVID-19 vaccination partnership with Publix into more pharmacies in the Panhandle and other counties.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that 18 more Publix pharmacies in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Escambia counties will begin taking vaccination reservations on Wednesday and will be putting shots in arms on Thursday.

On Wednesday, DeSantis announced 56 more stories in five counties - Duval, Flagler, St. Johns and Volusia in Northeast Florida along with Collier County in Southwest Florida - would begin taking appointments in the coming days.

DeSantis announced the partnership with Publix last week, with vaccinations beginning last Thursday at 22 pharmacies in Marion, Hernando and Citrus counties.

‘We're Not Doing Any Tourists' at Vaccine Sites: Florida Gov. DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state is continuing to prioritize seniors for the COVID-19 vaccine but said the state isn't making them available to tourists.

DeSantis held a news conference at The Villages Tuesday morning to give an update on the state's vaccination progress.

"We have people all over the country, because we put seniors first and because people actually see shots going in arms, you have literally people all over the world and all over the country calling here to see," DeSantis said. "We're not doing that, we're not doing it for tourists, we're not doing it for interlopers."

An NBC 6 Investigation last week found the website for the Florida Department of Health does not list a residency requirement for the vaccine.

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