With a look at some of the top stories making the news today, January 4, 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, the new strain of COVID-19 detected in Florida and Jamaica, Beenie Man charged for breaching covid protocols and Barbados reports massive COVID-19 spike.

Now for the news in the detail

On New Year’s Eve, Florida health authorities announced that the more contagious coronavirus strain first detected in England has been reported in the state. The case comes after the COVID-19 variant was discovered in Colorado and California. Florida’s health department said the new variant was detected in a man in his 20s in Martin County, which is located just north of Palm Beach County. The health department said the man had no recent travel history. Scientists say that the new strain will have little to no impact on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccinations.

Now for Caribbean News,

In Jamaica, the new strain of the coronavirus was also detected in the country. On January 2, Health and Wellness Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton confirmed that four passengers who were on the last flight from the UK to Jamaica tested positive for the new strain. The UK flight with 301 passengers had arrived in Jamaica on December 21, the same day Government announced a travel ban on the UK. Passengers from the flight were quarantined and tested, and 20 passengers from the flight tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Tufton said there is no evidence that the new strain is in the general population. The government also extended the ban on the UK to January 31.

Also in Jamaica,

Dancehall entertainer Beenie Man has been charged for breaching COVID-19 protocols. The entertainer turned himself in to the Black River police in St Elizabeth on New Year’s Eve after a summons was issued by the cops. The charges stem from an alleged illegal party held in the parish on November 29. On the day he turned himself in, Beenie Man was also promoting a New Year’s Eve party, for which a permit had not been given. Beenie Man is scheduled to appear in the St Elizabeth Parish Court on February 10 to answer to the charges.

And in Barbados,

The island is now battling a massive COVID-19 spike caused by a bus crawl party on Boxing Day, December 26. Over the weekend, Barbados reported almost 200 new cases of the virus stemming from a bus crawl that was attended by members of the island’s prison service and defense force. A bus crawl is a party that takes place on a bus, which usually stops at bars or other points of interest. The government has ramped up testing and imposed a 9 PM to 5 AM nightly curfew.

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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