Coronavirus update: Beach Convention Center flips to hospital, no late-night buses and BSO employees positive

As of Wednesday, April 8, the Illinois Department of Corrections has released over 1,100 low-risk prisoners, Louisiana has recorded its highest number of daily COVID-19 deaths and California has reported more than 15,000 confirmed cases.

Florida is about to reach 15,000 confirmed cases. Miami-Dade keeps surging with 5,126 and Palm Beach has recorded 15 deaths in the past 24 hours.

City of Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina shared on Tuesday that six police officers have tested positive for COVID-19 and nearly 125 are being quarantined while awaiting results. He also urged the community to do its part in keeping first responders safe in memory of the deputies lost in Broward and Palm Beach. “Please stay inside,” Colina said. “Adhere to social distancing, wear a mask or a cloth-face covering and be responsible.”

FIU announced on Tuesday that they will be partnering with Miami-Dade County, the Florida DOH and the County Fair and Exposition to open a testing site. The site, located at SW 107th Avenue and 20th Street will be screening individuals who are 18 years or older and experiencing symptoms associated with the virus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments are required as there are only 300 slots daily.

Miami-Dade County residents who do not have access to computers at home will now be able to pick up unemployment applications at 26 public libraries. The locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, and the applications will be available in English, Spanish and Creole. Completed applications can be brought back to the library’s book drop-off bin.

Miami-Dade Transit released a statement on Tuesday announcing that The Department of Transportation and Public Works will be suspending late-night bus service and implementing an alternative option for those who need transportation between midnight and 5 a.m. In partnership with Lyft and Uber, Go Nightly will begin service at 11:59 p.m. and will be limited to two trips per night per user.

Community Health of South Florida opened a new testing site at Loren Roberts Park in Florida City on Tuesday. The site will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. Additionally, starting April 13, Clinica Campesina Health Center will be testing every Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointments will not be necessary. Those seeking testing must be experiencing symptoms and have traveled or been in contact with others who have contracted the virus.

WSVN 7 reported on Tuesday that two ICE employees from the Miami office have tested positive for COVID-19. The employees were stationed at the Krome Service Processing Center and are now in quarantine. Those who have come in contact with them have been notified. A 29-year-old male detainee has also tested positive.

The Department of Defense confirmed on Tuesday that the Miami Beach Convention Center will be used as an alternate care site and is scheduled to be completed by April 27. The site will hold approximately 450 beds.

In a news conference Tuesday morning, Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony explained that all deputies have personal protective equipment. More is available upon request. He added that BSO has 25,263 N95 masks and 44,773 surgical masks as well as more than 4,100 bottles of hand sanitizer.

In a news release provided by Broward County PIO Gerdy St. Louis on Tuesday, Tony announced that as of 8:30 a.m. on April 7, 36 BSO employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and 300 are currently being monitored. In addition, 210 employees have returned to work after the recommended isolation period. Tony also announced five inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 and all in-person visits have transitioned to video visitation. All new inmates will also be screened before entering facilities.

On The South Florida Media Network: Alejandra Marquez Janse writes about the struggle many millennials and Gen Zers face with the academic and social changes the coronavirus pandemic has brought.

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Text by Mickaella Mori, video by Andrea Igliozzi

Mickaella is a senior at FIU, currently majoring in Journalism and looking forward to a Spring 2020 graduation. She was born in New Jersey but moved to Miami at the age of 7. Missing the fall foliage, winter snow and 24/7 deli’s, she plans to move back up north to New York after graduation and further enhance her career.

Andrea Igliozzi is a journalist originally from Caracas, Venezuela. From politics to arts, she has a passion for telling well-founded stories through video and multimedia platforms. She is qualified in front and behind the cameras.