With a look at some of the top stories making the news today, September 2 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, Florida sees an increase in cases due to 75,000 results backlog, Jamaica reports low voter turnout on Monday and Reggae legend Toots Hibbert hospitalized.

Now for the news in the detail

After reporting some 1,800 COVID-19 cases on Monday, Florida on Tuesday reported 7,643 additional COVID-19 cases, but the majority of cases are due to a backlog at a testing lab. The Florida Department of Health and Florida Division of Emergency Management say that, under the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis, they are cutting all ties with Quest Diagnostics the lab’s failure to follow Florida law and report all COVID-19 results in a timely manner. Of the new cases reported on Tuesday, 3,870 were part of the backlog, the state says. Quest says that people tested were notified of their results, despite those results not being reported for data purposes. The Governor’s office was alerted that the company attempted to dump 75,000 tests dating back to April into the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system on Tuesday. Governor DeSantis said that the company acted irresponsible is attempting to misrepresenting the data. It is not yet clear when the backlog will be completely cleared or if the additions will impact South Florida’s relaxing of the COVID-19 measures. In Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward Counties, local leaders have opted to keep the beaches open ahead of the labor day weekend.

Meanwhile , The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) says there was a 56% voter turnout among special services personnel, who cast ballots on Monday. Special services workers, including police officers, military personnel and Election Day workers, voted and the EOJ said that the turnout was lower than in 2016 when 63% voted. Of the over 46,000 special services personnel on the island, only 26,000 voted. In the meantime, the government has advised that it will allow residents who are COVID-19 positive to cast their ballots at the polls tomorrow. The announcement has scared many Jamaicans away from voting and all signs are pointing to a record-low voter turnout in the general elections.

In the meantime, the St. Lucian government has announced a further easing of restrictions for visitors based on the successful management of COVID-19. St. Lucia has confirmed the lowest COVID-19 rates across the Caribbean region, with just 1.4% or 26 positive cases. The government said that as as result of its successful management, it will now allow tourists to move between hotels on the island while on vacation. Various water-based activities like scuba diving and sailing, will also be available for guests but the entry requirements to the island will continue to include a negative COVID-19 test, taken seven days before arrival. The government says that St. Lucia has welcomed over 4,000 people to the island since reopening on July 9th.

In Entertainment News, Reggae legend Toots Hibbert has been admitted to hospital after possibly contracting the coronavirus. His team confirmed reports that the singer was rushed to hospital last weekend after experiencing breathing problems. Hibbert is currently in an intensive care unit at a private facility in Kingston where he is awaiting the results on his COVID-19 test. Hibbert is the latest high-profile person in Jamaica to get a coronavirus scare. The commissioner of police, Olympic sprint legend Usain Bolt, politicians Julian Robinson and D.K. Duncan and the political ombudsman, who is in charge of conduct for the general election, have all tested positive.

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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