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November 30, 2020
COVID Infections in Nursing Homes Surged Last Week

The number of residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities contracting COVID-19 increased significantly last week from the week before. The Florida Department of Health reported Friday that 1,402 residents tested positive for the virus – a 17% increase from the 1,192 residents who state health officials reported were COVID-19 positive 14 days prior on Nov. 13. Over a 30-day period, infections in Florida residents surged 87%. Of the long-term care residents who've tested positive, 3,864 have been transferred to either a hospital or another facility for treatment. News4Jax / Miami Herald

Moderna to File for Emergency Coronavirus Vaccine Authorization Today

Moderna Inc. said it will ask federal officials for emergency authorization for its coronavirus vaccine candidate today after final data from a late-stage trial showed it was 94.1 percent effective and had no serious side effects. Moderna Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel told the New York Times that if it's authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, the first doses of the two-shot vaccine could be given as early as Dec. 21, and that the company was "on track" to produce 20 million doses by the end of December. New York TimesWashington Post

State Reports More Than 7,000 New COVID Cases, but Average Daily Positive Test Rate Down Slightly

The Florida Department of Health on Sunday reported 7,363 new cases of novel coronavirus and added 59 deaths to the state's fatality count since the start of the pandemic. More than 27% of the new reported cases came from Miami-Dade County. Sunday’s 7.85% was the highest single day positive percentage the state has reported since Nov. 17. The average daily positive test rate in the state over the last seven days, however, has been 7.07% after being 7.69% for the seven days before that.  Miami Herald

November 25, 2020
DeSantis Gives Update on COVID Vaccine Preparation, New Therapies

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday used a video taped message to elaborate on the state's priorities for distributing a coronavirus vaccine. "We are going to set priorities focusing on specifically those
most vulnerable, elderly residents in long-term care facilities, as well as our frontline health care workers who are interacting with vulnerable patients day in and day out," the governor said. "As more vaccine becomes available, we of course are going to want to get that into the broader senior community first, and then into the broader community at large." The governor also noted as good news the arrival of additional therapeutic drugs at hospitals that could help keep patients from having to be hospitalized. DeSantis also said the state has set aside 500,000 rapid tests. "Over these next few weeks, all long-term care facilities will be able to test all staff, all visitors, and all contractors," he said. "We have all longed for the day when our longterm care residents can return to normal and that day is finally within our grasp." DeSantis Video

November 24, 2020
Miami Beach Police Can Now Issue Face-Mask Citations to People Who Violate COVID Order

Miami Beach police officers have again been authorized to start issuing citations to people who refuse to wear a facial covering in the city's commercial districts during the holiday season. The move by the city comes despite a September executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis that suspended the collection of COVID-related fines, leading the city to stop enforcing its local mask mandate. Under the new order from city officials, police will first offer a mask to anyone not wearing one. If the person refuses to wear it, they may be cited. The new enforcement plan goes into effect Wednesday and will last at least through the Thanksgiving weekend. It's not clear if the citations will come with any penalties. Miami Herald

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