Here’s what to know in South Florida on July 18

We’re keeping track of the latest news regarding the coronavirus in South Florida and around the state. Check back for updates throughout the day.

Give a Snickers to a healthcare worker

Snickers package on Thursday October 24, 2013 in Lexington, Ky. Photos by Mark Cornelison | Staff
Snickers package on Thursday October 24, 2013 in Lexington, Ky. Photos by Mark Cornelison | Staff

1:50 p.m.: Snickers and Walmart have teamed to make essential workers lives a little sweeter — if only for the amount of time it takes to eat one of the peanut and caramel chocolate bars, Miami on the Cheap reported.

Snickers launched an initiative that lets you fill out an online Send a Snickers from home form so that you can put down the name and cellphone of an essential worker. They will then be sent a voucher to redeem for a free Snickers bar at any Walmart, no expiration date.

“Whether they’re nurses, delivery drivers or cashiers, the brave essential workers still on the job are keeping us going. So, give a little something to keep them going: a free Snickers bar,” the site says.

Miami-Dade’s new help line for residents who need temporary hotel rooms to isolate

12:40 p.m.: Miami-Dade County residents who need temporary hotel rooms to isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic can call a new help line for assistance.

The number is 305-468-5800 and is available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

On Friday, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced a partnership with the state to add 400 rooms to its hotel isolation program.

“As we continue to take tough measures to tamp down the spread of the virus, we must do all we can to protect our seniors and at-risk families, as well as our hospital personnel, who have been working nonstop throughout this pandemic,” Gimenez said in a statement.

Miami-Dade reports 3,159 new COVID-19 cases as Florida total passes 337,000

A COVID-19 drive-thru center operates near Marlins Park in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood on Monday, June 29, 2020.
A COVID-19 drive-thru center operates near Marlins Park in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood on Monday, June 29, 2020.

Noon: Florida’s Department of Health on Saturday confirmed 10,327 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 337,568.

There were also 90 new Florida resident deaths announced — the first day in five in which that number was below 100 deaths a day. The statewide resident death toll is now 4,895.

Miami-Dade rose by 3,159 new cases, not a record.

Read the full story here.

Storms wash out COVID-19 testing at Hard Rock Stadium

9:55 a.m.: Hard Rock Stadium has canceled COVID-19 testing Saturday because of overnight and ongoing downpours.

According to WSVN7, the nasty weather caused some flooding around the Miami Gardens testing site.

Read more here.

Broward County put under two-week curfew after seeing 10,000 coronavirus cases over a week

8:45 a.m.: After seeing more than 10,000 new novel coronavirus cases in the last week, Broward County has implemented new restrictions and a curfew that will last until August.

On Friday, Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry issued a new emergency order that brings a host of new restrictions and closings to the county.

Read the full story here.

Miami-Dade and Florida can’t agree on metrics for COVID-19

8:25 a.m.: A long-running difference in the way Miami-Dade County and Florida’s health department calculate the local rate of positive test results for COVID-19 — a key measure that shows whether infections are rising or falling in the area — came to a head this week, confusing residents and policy makers on the county commission.

On Friday, the rate of positive test results in Miami-Dade on the county’s New Normal dashboard reflected a 14-day average of 27.05%. The state health department’s two-week average was much lower, at 20.5%.

While both numbers are far above the 3% that public health officials say would indicate the virus is being suppressed, the continuing discrepancy between the two figures — which are calculated by looking at the percentage of positive results out of all the tests processed in a day — is causing consternation in the county as leaders try to base decisions about closures on the number.

Read the full story here.

CATCH UP TO START THE DAY

8:20 a.m.: Here are the coronavirus headlines to catch you up on what’s happening around South Florida and the state as Saturday begins.

Coronavirus debate in Miami-Dade mayor’s race: Candidates spar on schools, closures.

More restrictions announced in Florida Keys as COVID-19 cases rise.

A new 8 p.m. curfew will lock down South Beach.

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