It’s Friday, March 12th – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 – Individuals ages 60 years and older will now be eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccine at Publix pharmacies, a spokesperson announced Thursday.
Starting on Friday, March 12th, Publix’s online reservation system will allow people ages 60 and older to register, though K-12 teachers and other childcare personnel will be prioritized. At least 300 residents in the city will be able to get vaccines that will be administered starting Friday. The site will open at the Milander Center for Arts and Entertainment, located at 4800 Palm Avenue, starting at 8 a.m. The shots will be given on a first come, first serve basis and only first-time shots will be given.
No. 2 – Florida could make COVID-19 vaccines available to most people in the state in April, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday.
At a news conference Thursday morning in Lake City, DeSantis said that after the state makes people 60 and older eligible for the COVID vaccine on Monday, it will soon lower the age to 55 and then probably open it up to the rest of the population. The governor said that the process of vaccinating those between 60 and 64 may go quicker than expected because of the increase in the weekly supply the state is receiving. He said that each 5-year age group adds nearly 2 million people in population eligible for the vaccine.
No. 3 – A Doral woman was arrested for posing as a doctor after a man who underwent surgery said he was left with a botched nose job, police said.
Alcalira Jimenez De Rodriguez, 56, was arrested Thursday on a charge of practicing medicine without a license, Doral Police officials said. Police said they were contacted in mid-February by a man who had undergone Rhinoplasty surgery at a surgical center in Doral. The man told police the $2,000 surgery had left his nose disfigured, and after the procedure he learned the woman who performed it, Jimenez De Rodriguez, wasn’t licensed to practice medicine in Florida, an arrest report said.
No. 4 – Twelve months into the pandemic, and local mayors are finally seeing brighter horizons. They’ve been through the lockdowns and seen their businesses shuttered, their citizens desperately trying to make ends meet as the economy tanked and thousands of people died from COVID-19.
At the same time, it didn’t take long for Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist at Florida International University, to sound the alarm about the coronavirus. There were just 57 coronavirus cases confirmed in the United States in late February 2020 when she told NBC 6 from a Washington hotel room: “Let people know that this is definitely coming.” Her decades of experience told her an all-of-government effort to identify and isolate the infected and their close contacts could still work. To hear why Marty said the state of Florida got some things right but other things they got wrong, click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Tony Pipitone.
No. 5 – Since the start of the pandemic, NBC 6 Responds has reported on the challenges many people have faced in trying to receive their unemployment benefits.
Our team received complaints about a variety of issues, from “error messages” to “glitches” preventing many from applying for benefits on the state’s online unemployment portal, CONNECT. Over the course of the pandemic, the state spent roughly $39 million dollars to update the system. But some say more needs to be done. For more on how they say the issues with the state’s unemployment system remain, click here for the story from NBC 6 consumer investigators Alina Machado and Sasha Jones.
No. 6 – Weatherwise, Friday will start off with isolated showers across South Florida before giving way to a dry and warmer weekend across the area. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.