6 Things to Know: Pleas for Public to Stay Safe Amid Florida’s COVID Case Spike

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It’s Monday, August 2nd – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.

No. 1 – Nearly 22,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported last week in Florida as the surge in cases, concerning many elected officials in the state as more and more people become infected and hospitalized.

The devastating headlines coming from Florida are tough to read. But Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava, said vaccination rates in Miami-Dade County have gone up. She said about 1,800 people have been vaccinated per day in County-run sites. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried spoke in Tallahassee about Florida now becoming the epicenter for the virus, specifically naming Broward and Miami-Dade counties as the areas with the highest hospitalization rate. For more on this story, click here for a report from NBC 6 News.

No. 2 – Florida on Sunday broke a previous record for current hospitalizations, as the number of patients in hospitals because of COVID-19 once again broke through the 10,000-person threshold.

The Sunshine State had 10,207 people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to data reported to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The previous record was from more than a year ago, July 23, 2020, more than a half-year before vaccinations started becoming widespread, when Florida had 10,170 hospitalizations, according to the Florida Hospital Association. Florida is now leading the nation in per capita hospitalizations for COVID-19, as hospitals around the state report having to put emergency room visitors in beds in hallways and others document a noticeable drop in the age of patients.

No. 3 – First responders and police officers in South Florida are getting sick again with COVID-19 as the region sees a record spike. 

NBC 6 reached out for information from the county emergency services and police departments along with the departments of the five largest cities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Friday, firefighters decontaminated an ambulance after returning from a COVID-positive call at Station 2 for Fort Lauderdale’s Fire and Rescue service. They’re seeing an increase in COVID patients, according to Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan. Click here to find out what else they are seeing in a story from NBC 6 investigator Phil Prazan.

No. 4 – Hundreds of college students in Florida graduated this weekend with their school debt wiped clean.

Florida A&M University President Dr. Larry Robinson announced Saturday morning that the HBCU had spent more than $16 million dollars to erase students’ unpaid fees, tuition, and balances during the 2020-2021 school year. The announcement was made during the first of four in-person commencement ceremonies held in the university’s auditorium. FAMU received more than $13 million in emergency funding from the Biden administration’s CARES Act to help students and colleges alleviate debt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida State University received more than $29 million in emergency funding and the University of North Florida received nearly $12 million.

No. 5 – After withdrawing from the first three individual apparatus finals, USA Gymnastics has announced Simone Biles will compete in the final event in women’s Olympic gymnastics: balance beam.

The six-time Olympic medalist has not competed since removing herself from the team final on July 27 to focus on her mental and physical health. Since then, Biles has been training with the hope of returning to competition. In a series of Instagram Stories Friday, Biles explained she has previously experienced “the twisties,” which usually take about two weeks for her to get over.

No. 6 – The United States women’s soccer team were the better squad in its semifinals match against Canada, but it was Canada that came out on top on the scoreboard 1-0.

Canada’s Jessica Fleming capitalized on a penalty kick opportunity to give Canada the 1-0 win over the U.S. After a video review, it was determined Fleming was fouled in the box and was given the chance to score the first goal of the game. Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch read it the right way, but the shot was too far away from her outstretched arms to save. Carli Lloyd was inches away from tying the game, as she rang the crossbar in the 85th minute with a header. But the U.S. could not find the equalizer as Canada defeated the Americans for the first time in over 20 years.

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