With a look at some of the top stories making the news today, August 10 across your Caribbean-American community in South Florida, I’m…for CNW 90.

Today’s newscast is brought to you by the Florida Department of Health;

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, The Florida Department of Health in Broward County reminds everyone to practice social distancing, wash your hands often with soap and water and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

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Coming up in the newscast, Florida begins early voting over the weekend, Jamaica surpasses 1000 COVID-19 cases and Trinidad and Tobago go to the polls today.

Now for the news in the detail

Early voting began in Florida over the weekend, ahead of the August 18 primary elections. Hundreds of early voting sites were open across Florida’s 67 counties, even while many voters opted to cast their ballots by mail. According to the Florida Department of State’s website, more than 4.2 million Florida voters requested a vote-by-mail ballot, and nearly 1.5 million had been returned by Saturday morning, when the voting began. That compares to nearly the 1.3 million mail ballots cast in the state’s 2016 primary election. With 2.7 million ballots still not returned, this primary will far surpass the totals from four years ago. As for voting at the poll sites, South Florida voters are still required to wear masks as all three counties still have face covering orders in place. Other COVID-19 protocols include no-touch check in for voters, Plexiglas between voters and poll workers, the wiping down of booths and no reusing of pens. In South Florida, 22 voting sites were opened in Broward County, 23 in Miami-Dade and 18 in Palm Beach County. Early voting ends on Sunday, August 16.

Now for Caribbean News, Jamaica has become the second CARICOM country, behind Haiti, to surpass the 1,000- COVID-19 case mark. From Friday night to Sunday morning, the island recorded 75 new cases of the virus while Prime Minister Andrew Holness warned that the country is beginning to show signs of a second wave of COVID-19. He also stressed the need for locals and visiting travellers to follow the protocols that are in place, as the Government cannot resort to closing the country’s borders. The increase in cases comes as the island begins its preparation for the next general elections. While no date has been announced yet, speculations were heightened over the weekend when the two main political parties, the JLP and the PNP, held meetings over the weekend, to present their candidates and announce readiness for the elections. Jamaica’s next general election is constitutionally due by February 2021.

Voters in Trinidad and Tobago, on the other hand, will go to the polls today to vote for the next government. The COVID-19 pandemic has already impacted this year’s election, as no international election observers will be present for the polls due to 14-day quarantine order. The twin-island, which has 275 COVID-19 cases, has also established safety protocols to govern election day activities, including the wearing of masks inside the polling stations. Prime Minister and leader of the People’s National Movement, Keith Rowley will go against the main opposition, United National Congress’ Kamala Persad Bissessar for leadership of the country, following allegations of corruption and racism during their political campaigns. Among the other candidates facing the electorate today is embattled former vice president of FIFA, Austin “Jack” Warner, who is his Independent Liberal Party’s lone candidate contesting the Lopinot/Bon Air West seat in Trinidad.

For more information on these and other stories, visit Remember to pick up this week’s copy of our Caribbean National Weekly at your nearest Caribbean – American outlet.

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