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, Miami-Dade plans for county reopening next week, over 200,000 new unemployment claims filed in Florida and St. Lucia reports a recovery of all COVID-19 patients for the second time.

Now for the news in the detail

Miami-Dade County officials are planning for the reopening of the county after being excluded from the state’s phase one reopening for over a week. Although there has been no official word yet from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the county leaders are pushing for a reopening on May 18. While the entire county is planning to reopen on Monday, the city of Miami may open later. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced that parks, salons and non-essential businesses throughout Miami, Miami Beach and Hialeah won’t reopen until May 20. Restaurants in Miami are expected to reopen at 50% capacity the following Wednesday, on May 27.

In the meantime, Another 221,000 Floridians filed for unemployment benefits last week, even as restaurants and retail shops started re-opening in the state. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that 221,905 new jobless claims were filed in Florida last week, up a quarter from the 174,860 claims filed the previous week. Florida’s unemployment system has been widely criticized for its difficulty in filing claims and also for delays in getting payments. So far, over 1.9 million applications have been submitted by Florida workers who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19.

In Caribbean News, The Jamaica government has spent in excess of J$2.6 billion in compassionate grant payments as part of the efforts to ease the impact of the coronavirus on citizens. The grant is a one-time payment of $10,000 Jamaican dollars (approximately $70 USD) but so far over half a million of the island’s 2.9 million people have already applied for the grant. Across the island, hundreds of people have been turning up to banks and local money transfer locations like Western Union to collect their stimulus funds. Local economists have predicted that Jamaica’s unemployment rate, which is currently 7%, could triple after the pandemic.

In the meantime, Health authorities in St Lucia reported that all 18 COVID-19 patients on island have recovered as of Wednesday, May 13. This is the second time the country is declaring itself clear of cases of the virus that has killed more than 300,000 people worldwide. The island now joins Belize, Anguilla, Suriname and Saint-Barts as the only Caribbean territories without active cases of the coronavirus. St Lucia, alongside Saint-Barts and Anguilla, also remain among the few places in the world where all persons infected with COVID-19 have recovered, without a single death.

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.