Here are some of the top stories from the past week you may have missed from NBC 6 News:
Local Epidemiology Expert Warns Florida Could Suffer More Coronavirus Fatalities
Florida’s hospitals are seeing their largest daily growth in patients with the coronavirus since the outbreak initially began, and medical experts are warning that drastic shutdown measures may be needed soon if the spread does not slow.
Dr. Mary Jo Trepka, chair of epidemiology at Florida International University, said that, in terms of the virus, Florida has nothing to celebrate on this year's Fourth of July holiday.
"It’s clear that we are really where we were at right before we had to shelter in place and close all nonessential businesses," she said. "We're kind of at a really crucial point right now. I expect we’re going to continue to see more cases for the next couple of weeks."
Miami-Dade School Board Unanimously Passes Reopening Plan
Will school look and feel the same as the “before times,” before the pandemic? No, but there will be an option for Miami-Dade County Public Schools students to physically go back to the classroom five days a week.
The school board unanimously passed the district's reopening plan Wednesday night at a virtual meeting.
“Our plan includes the ability to quickly pivot to an online or distance learning model should conditions worsen significantly,” said Miami-Dade Public Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Florida Lags Behind Other States in Administering Unemployment Help
Michele Evermore with the National Employment Law Project says Florida has struggled to pay out benefits long before the pandemic.
“I would say that Florida, particularly in the beginning was one of the slowest states to respond to COVID-19 and one of the slowest states to start to process benefits,” Evermore said.
Prior to COVID-19, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, just 11% of unemployed people were receiving state reemployment assistance in the last quarter of the year.
During the first quarter of 2020, the data showed those receiving benefits was even lower at 8%.
Local Organizations Offering Support for Abuse Victims Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
There is a less visible side to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that includes the intersection between domestic violence and child abuse.
"There is a very strong leap between domestic violence and child abuse,” said Judge Caroll Kelly, with the Miami-Dade Domestic Violence Division.
“Abusers are very controlling, manipulative, they monitor their victims so victims are stuck in a home, quarantined, isolated with the abuser and that makes many victims unable to reach out for help,” said Kelly.
Amigos for Kids has been offering virtual and concrete support working with families to prevent child abuse. They are even doing COVID relief efforts like grocery deliveries, as financial stressors like putting food on a table or a job loss due to the pandemic can lead to a bad combination of overwhelmed parents.
Helping Hands: Single Mother Gets Needed Help to Feed Family in Pandemic
When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, any little thing can throw your budget out of whack. That’s what happened to single mother, Ashlen Hicks.
“I had to stay home for a week without pay,” she says. "It was a lot of stress because I'm like 'how am I going to pay my bills?'"
Her youngest child, 2-year-old Aubrey, got sick between late March and early April. Of course, the mother of four was worried because of the threat of COVID-19.
She turned to Jack and Jill Children’s Center for help. The organization has been operating in Broward County for more than 70 years. It has a long history of helping low-income families with resources and education.