With a look at some of the top stories making the news today, October 19 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.

Coming up in the newscast, early voting begins today in Florida, Jamaica hosts its 2020 National Honors and Awards and reggae singer Toots Hibbert to be buried in the national heroes park.

Now for the news in the detail

While the US presidential election is a little over three weeks away, early voting officially begins in Florida today, October 19th. South Florida voters can cast votes for president, county offices, congressional and representative races, and municipal seats and initiatives at the various early voting sites across the counties. Early voting begins a two-week window that runs 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19, through Sunday, Nov. 1 in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Monroe County’s early voting time frame is 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, to Saturday, Oct. 31. Filled-out and signed mail-in ballots can also be dropped off at early voting locations, during the openeing hours, via the drop boxes. For a list of all the early voting sites across South Florida, visit cnwnetwork.com

Also in Local News,

Over the weekend, the state reported its largest one day total of COVID-19 since August. Florida reported an increase of 4,044 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, along with 87 additional resident deaths. It is the largest increase in daily cases that did not include a backlog since August 22, and marked a rise in cases for the sixth consecutive day. The state is now up over 750,00 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and almost 16,000 deaths. The rise in cases have also caused an increase of the virus in Miami-Dade and Broward County schools. As of Friday, Miami-Dade reported 48 cases while Broward has 61 cases.

Now for Caribbean News,

In Jamaica, reggae icon Toots Hibbert will be laid to rest in National Heroes Park. Jamaica’s Minister of Entertainment and Culture, Olivia Grange said this had become possible thanks to the generosity of the family of the late Charles Hyatt – the actor, broadcaster and director– whose remains were due to be reinterred in the last burial spot for cultural icons at the park, 13 years after his death. The Hyatt family had decided to pass the burial spot to the family of Toots Hibbert. Earlier this week, Toots’ burial had to be abandoned as his family had not obtain a burial permit in time for his funeral. Toots died at the University Hospital of the West Indies on September 11, nearly two weeks after he tested positive for COVID-19.

And in Belize,

The government has decided that COVID-19 positive persons will not be allowed to vote in the upcoming general elections. Over the weekend, Outgoing Prime Minister Dean Barrow said voters who have been required to be in self-isolation or have tested positive for the coronavirus will not be permitted to leave quarantine to cast their ballots on November 11. Belize, which has over 2,700 COVID-19 cases, is the latest CARICOM country to be holding a general election during the pandemic, following St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which will hold its election on November 5. However, provisions were made in the aforementioned countries for COVID-19 positive persons to vote.

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

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