Florida reports 2nd day of record-setting deaths

The novel coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 662,000 people worldwide.

Over 16.8 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.

The United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.3 million diagnosed cases and at least 149,961 deaths.

Latest headlines:

NJ counties reemerging as ‘hot spots’ Rep. Louis Gohmert diagnosed with COVID-19

Here is how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Check back for updates.

2:20 p.m.: NJ counties reemerging as ‘hot spots’

A “daily hot spot triage” report distributed by the Department of Homeland Security and

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Florida, poster child for COVID-19 mismanagement, needs a statewide mask mandate

Leaders in Florida and the coronavirus epicenter of Miami-Dade have failed so badly at managing the response to the highly infectious disease that we’ve become the poster child for COVID-19 abroad.

“Miami has more COVID-19 cases than all of Australia, and thousands more are still being diagnosed every day,” reports the Australia Broadcasting Corporation in a special segment on Florida.

It’s true.

Although Australia — with a population of 25 million somewhat comparable to Florida’s 23 million — is also seeing a resurgence of new cases, the total number of people infected with the coronavirus just now surpassed 15,300.

The number of deaths: 167, as of this writing.

Yes, one record day in Florida equals the number of infected in the entire country — and Australians are alarmed and taking action.

Melbourne, the equivalent of Miami-Dade as the hot spot, is in a lockdown, one more severe than we’ve ever

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Florida sets record for deaths in a day; COVID killing a Texan every 6 minutes, 16 seconds; Marlins’ season paused

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 was nearing 150,000 on Tuesday as several states set weekly fatality records and Florida reported a one-day record for deaths. Further confirming the Sunshine State’s troubles with the coronavirus, the Miami Marlins’ season was temporarily suspended after 15 players and two staff members tested positive.

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the president’s coronavirus task force said the Marlins’ outbreak could endanger the Major League Baseball season, although he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” he doesn’t believe games need to stop now. 

Florida’s 186 deaths raised the toll there to more than 6,000. Gov. Ron DeSantis, who three weeks ago ordered in-classroom learning when schools reopen next month, has eased his rhetoric in recent days. He now wants schools to ensure parents have “the choice between in-person and distance learning” for their kids.

In Tennessee, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, urged Gov.

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Florida college courses should remain online-only in fall, faculty union says

Courses at Florida’s college and universities should remain online-only this fall, said the union that represents faculty members across the state, citing fears of the spread of coronavirus.

Leaders from the United Faculty of Florida, which represents instructors at all 12 public universities and 14 state colleges, and the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, said Monday during a press conference that sending students back to campus next month would be dangerous.

As of Monday, the state has reported 432,747 coronavirus cases and 5,931 deaths since the pandemic began. The first day of fall classes varies between campuses. The University of Central Florida plans to return Aug. 24.

“Opening the colleges and universities at this time can only make things worse, and it is a step in the wrong direction,” said Jaffar Ali Shahul-Hameed, a vice president for the union and an associate professor at Florida Gulf Coast

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Trump cancels in-person Republican convention in Jacksonville, Florida

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will no longer hold a large, in-person Republican convention in Jacksonville, Florida, because of the coronavirus but that he will hold virtual events and still give an acceptance speech.

“I told my team it’s time to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida, component of the GOP convention. We will be starting in North Carolina for the Monday, as has always been planned. We were never taking that off,” Trump said at a news conference at the White House.

Trump said it was “not the right time” for a big convention, adding that he had “to protect the American people.”

“People making travel arrangements all the over the country, they wanted to be there,” Trump said, adding: “I just felt it was wrong to have people going to what turned out to be a hot spot.”

Trump’s plans for Jacksonville appeared to be in

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Central Florida schools push learning option that lets them can keep student funding

Central Florida public school districts are giving parents choices on how their children learn this fall, and many schools are pushing programs that would keep students in their home district.

The reason? Money. Public schools receive full funding for students who take classes on campus or through their own online learning model, but lose out on funds for kids enrolled in the Florida Virtual School — which could mean teacher layoffs.

Principals in Orange County have sent messages to parents through phone calls and social media posts expressing funding concerns and “highly recommending” the district’s new virtual program, OCPS [email protected], over the other virtual school option.

West Orange High School principal Matt Turner wrote in a newsletter to parents that he was “lobbying heavily” for families to pick on-campus learning if they’re comfortable or [email protected], which will have live, online lessons that follow a traditional school schedule.

“I just wanted

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As COVID-19 caseload mounts, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sued by teachers over school reopening plan

TALLAHASSEE — Florida reached its sixth straight day of 10,000-plus new coronavirus cases Monday as the state’s largest teachers union sued the Gov. Ron DeSantis administration over plans to reopen schools for in-person instruction next month.

The state added 10,347 new COVID-19 cases overnight, bringing Florida’s total cases to 360,394. Another 90 deaths occurred, with 5,072 Florida people now lost to the disease in the state.

While the number of coronavirus tests fell to 78,993, the lowest level in almost a week, the rate of positivity rose to 14.7%, its highest mark since July 13. DeSantis had been pointing to the lower levels as a sign that community spread was easing in some parts of Florida.

In its lawsuit filed in Miami state circuit court, the Florida Education Association said the school reopening order violates the Florida Constitution, which requires that a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system”

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Teachers sue Florida governor over school reopening plan

The Florida Education Association, a union representing 145,000 educators, filed a lawsuit on Monday against Governor Ron DeSantis and the state’s Department of Education in an attempt to stop schools from reopening at the end of August. The lawsuit argues Florida’s plan to reopen schools is unsafe due to the coronavirus pandemic, and therefore violates the state constitution, CBS Miami reports.

“The Florida Constitution mandates ‘[a]dequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools,'” the lawsuit says. “The Defendants’ unconstitutional handling of their duties has infringed upon this mandate and requires the courts to issue necessary and appropriate relief.”

The lawsuit also names Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez as defendants. 

“The governor needs to accept the reality of the situation here in Florida, where the virus is surging out of control,” FEA

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What Florida Parents Should Know About COVID-19 and This Upcoming School Year

Desks in empty classroom
Desks in empty classroom

An executive order was recently signed by Florida’s Commissioner of Education, Richard Corcoran, mandating that schools must open next month.

The order states, “All school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students,” subject to input from the Florida Department of Health and local departments of health.

And while the day-to-day decisions on opening or closing a school rest within that district, schools must submit their plan to the state. That plan must ensure all Florida students have access to the full array of services, including identification of achievement gaps that may have been exacerbated by COVID-19, including students with disabilities.

Written in the order is, “although it is anticipated most students will return to full-time brick and mortar schools, some parents will continue their child’s education through innovative learning environments.”

Private schools

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Mayors Give Florida Governor Feedback On School Reopenings

MIAMI, FL — When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis traveled to the state’s epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak Tuesday he was hoping to have an honest exchange with local mayors in Miami-Dade County about the ongoing surge in cases of the deadly virus.

The mayors were more than willing to share their thoughts on the virus and even how the virus affected their own families.

“I have young children like you do. My wife is probably not going to put our 2-year -old in preschool,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez shared with the state’s top executive. “She was showing me desks that she was thinking of buying for my son’s room, so he could learn virtually.”

See related:

Miami-Dade Schools Gave Out 119,000 Electronic Devices

Suarez, who was one of the first elected officials in the United States to contract the coronavirus and recover, suggested the state should have a long-term plan

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