6 Things to Know – South Florida Could Enter Next Reopening Phase, Helping Hands Providing Food for Pets

It’s Thursday, August 20th – and NBC 6 has the top
stories for the day.

No. 1 – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hinted that South Florida may be close to entering the second phase of reopening.

Citing improving numbers
in the fight against coronavirus in South Florida, DeSantis said he would soon
be moving Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties into a less restrictive
phase of his statewide reopening plan. Miami-Dade’s positivity rate for new
tests dropped to 9.7 percent and Broward’s was down to 6.1 percent — both the
lowest since June 21. In addition to lower positivity rates, hospitalizations of
patients with COVID-19 as a primary diagnosis are down 40 percent statewide
over the last three weeks.

No. 2 – At the same time, Florida surpassed 10,000 deaths between residents and non-residents in the state since the pandemic began.

With the deaths of 9,932
Florida residents and 135 non-residents COVID-related, the state’s death toll
reached 10,067, according to figures released by the state’s department of
health Wednesday. Another 4,115 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed, bringing the
total to 584,047.

No. 3 – Kamala Harris accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday, cementing her place in history as the first Black woman on a major party ticket and promising to rejuvenate a country ravaged by a pandemic and riven by racial and partisan divides.

The
final night of the Democratic National Convention takes place Thursday with a
mixture of politicians and entertainers taking the virtual stage, ending with
the acceptance speech by the party’s nominee for President, former Vice
President Joe Biden.

No. 4 – A powerful waterspout that became a tornado was seen in the area of Golden Beach near Aventura Wednesday afternoon, forecasters said.

The
National Weather Service reported the waterspout at around 1:09 p.m. Officials
said the waterspout was produced by a thunderstorm before it moved briefly
onshore as a tornado, which was later classified as an EF0, the weakest tornado
on the Enhanced Fujita scale.

No.
5 – Alyssa Gold is just a teenager, but she’s helping during this pandemic in a
big way. The longtime animal lover is assisting families who have been hit
financially by COVID-19 by helping them feed their pets.

Through Ally’s Animal Project, people can request the pet food they need. Her reach spans across the United States. She started her initiative of helping animals a few years ago after fostering a dog named Bruno who was hit by a car and injured. For more on how this South Florida teen is doing her part, click here for a report from NBC 6’s Stephanie Bertini in her weekly Helping Hands series.

No. 6 – Weatherwise, South Florida is in for a hot and stormy Thursday ahead of what looks to be a drier and warmer end to the work week while the area remains in the cone of concern for what could be our next named tropical storm. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.