Florida passed another milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic. The state reported 5,400 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday, driving the today past half a million — 502,739, to be exact. The state’s Department of Health also reports 225 new fatalities from COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 7,751.
Also, on today’s Sunrise:
— A circuit judge in Dade County will hear legal arguments in a lawsuit challenging Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran’s order to reopen schools before the end of the month. The teachers’ union claims it’s unconstitutional and forces people into early retirement.
— Floridians who lost their jobs during the pandemic also lost the $600 per week unemployment payments provided by the federal government. The House has passed a bill to extend those jobless benefits until the end of the year, but Miami Congresswoman Donna Shalala says the Senate is playing games.
— The COVID-19 crisis has devastated the tourism industry — and it will be years before it recovers. Chris Thompson with Brand USA, a group whose sole purpose is to attract more visitors from other countries, said they stopped advertising for now.
— A group called Integrity Florida issues a new report on mail-in voting. They say it’s been working well for almost 20 years in the Sunshine State and should not be a problem this year — but remember where we are.
— And a drunken Florida Man is accused of grabbing a child wearing a mask at a restaurant, getting right up in his face and saying: “You now have coronavirus.”