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5 Things To Know On Friday, September 17, 2021

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Posted at 7:08 AM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 07:12:01-04

While you were sleeping, we compiled the biggest stories of the day in one place. Each story has a quick and easy summary, so you're prepared for whatever the day brings. Just click on the links if you want to know more!

1. Florida becomes fourth state to surpass 50,000 coronavirus deaths
The newest CDC metrics show Florida with 50,811 deaths connected to COVID since the start of the pandemic, an increase of 1,554 from the total reported a day earlier. While all reported in one day, the deaths actually span back weeks.

Florida has the 11th worst per-capita death rate among the 50 states, the CDC says. New Jersey, Mississippi and New York have had the worst, but Florida has risen from the 17th spot in the past two weeks.

A comparison of the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University and 2020 Census data shows approximately 1-in-500 Americans -- about 0.2% of the U.S. population -- have died due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Florida becomes fourth state to surpass 50,000 coronavirus deaths

2. DeSantis vs Biden: Monoclonal antibody treatment distribution changing
The Health and Human Services Department will now control and ration how much of the monoclonal antibody treatment supply goes to each state and has reduced shipments to many states in order to ensure equitable distribution, officials said.

Officials said it would ensure fairness for every state as Florida is among seven states that have accounted for 70 perecent of recent monoclonal orders.

DeSantis said Florida needs about 72,000 doses weekly to meet demand. This week's allotment is less than half that -- about 31,000.

He's vowed to work directly with drug company GlaxoSmithKline to circumvent federal officials by purchasing its monoclonal treatment, Sotrovimab.

Gov. DeSantis butting heads with Biden over mononclonal antibody distribution

3. South Florida has third fastest-growing rental market in U.S.
It's no surprise to South Floridians, rent is getting more expensive. According to a new report from Realtor.com, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area is the third fastest-growing rental market in the country among metro areas.

In the South Florida market, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $2,150 in August, while the average rent for a two-bedroom was $2,802. Both of those were up roughly 25% from last year.

Only the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. rental markets had faster growth.

South Florida has third fastest-growing rental market in U.S.

4. Volunteers gathering for International Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday
Saturday is International Coastal Cleanup Day. It's the world's largest, volunteer effort to clean up the marine environment that has been going for the past 37 years.

According to Ocean Conservancy, each year 11 million tons of plastic waste makes its way into the ocean threatening our wildlife and even our food chain. At this rate, scientists even estimate by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

In Palm Beach County there’s about 20 different sites where volunteers will be picking up trash. For a complete list and to register, click here. Volunteers are welcome to join the cleanup at Sandsprit Park on Saturday. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and volunteers are encouraged to join whenever they can.

Volunteers gathering for International Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday

5. The latest in the search for Gabby Petito
Authorities continue the search for Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old woman who went missing amid a cross-country trip with her fiancé, 23-year-old Brian Laundrie.

Since Petito was reported missing over the weekend, police have named Laundrie a person of interest in her disappearance. He returned to his Florida home on Sept. 1 and has since declined to speak to the police or cooperate with investigators.

Police in Utah have released bodycam video that shows an interaction they had with Petito and Laundrie during a domestic incident between the couple in August -- about a month before she was reported missing.

Bodycam video released of police interaction with Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie in Utah

Today's Forecast
Afternoon-evening showers and storms possible throughout the weekend:

Latest Weather Forecast: Friday 5 a.m.

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On This Day In History
On Sept. 17, 1787, The Constitution of the United States of America is signed by 38 of 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

Remember, you can join Mike Trim and Ashleigh Walters every weekday on WPTV NewsChannel 5 beginning at 4:30 a.m. And you can always watch the latest news from WPTV anytime on your favorite streaming device. Just search for "WPTV."