With a look at some of the top stories making the news today, May 13 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, Broward County officials plan for reopening next week Monday, Jamaica begins reopening as COVID cases surpass 500 and Antigua announces the reopening on its borders.

Now for the news in the detail

Following the inclusion of Palm Beach County in the state’s phase one reopening plan, Broward County officials are preparing a plan to possibly reopen the county on May 18. According to Broward County Mayor Dale Holness, city Mayors were surveyed to try and get a consensus on who can open and when. Holness said that on May 18, salons and barbershops could begin reopening while retail businesses and restaurants will be allowed to open at 25 percent capacity. Officials also green-lighted the opening of drive-in movie theaters. Broward’s reopening plan coincides with that of Miami-Dade’s, which is also looking to reopen on May 18.

In the meantime, The Florida health department has revealed that the state’s long-term care facilities are now responsible for almost 40% of COVID-19 deaths. Of the 1800 deaths in the state, over 700 of those victims were residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Many of these facilities have had to be evacuated, with affected residents being transferred to local hospitals while others have had to be moved to other facilities. On Monday, state officials issued an order to increase the testing of staff members at these facilities.

In Caribbean News, Jamaica has begun lifting the COVID-19 restrictions on the island as the number of cases surpass 500. At a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that bars and churches would be allowed to reopen during a two-week trial period. The island has in excess of 10,000 community bars and approximately 10,000 churches, thus many residents are fearing a spike in COVID-19 cases will be the consequence. As of Tuesday, the island reported 505 cases including six cases reported among the group of Jamaicans that recently returned to the island from the U.K. The government also announced that 200 Jamaicans would be returning to the island from Fort Lauderdale and New York today.

In the meantime, Antigua and Barbuda will welcome its first international flight in June, since the island closed its borders in March. Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez said that an American Airlines flight from Miami is due to land on June 4, bringing the first set of international passengers in 10 weeks. While a date for the reopening on the island’s International Airport has not yet been announced, Fernandez said that visitors may have to undergo a COVID-19 test at least 48 hours before boarding the flight. All local hospitality workers will also have to be tested before going back to work.

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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