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5 Things To Know On Thursday, August 19, 2021

Posted at 7:02 AM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 07:02:14-04

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. Palm Beach County School Board mandates facial coverings:
In a critical reversal, Palm Beach County School Board members voted 6-1 late Wednesday night to not allow students to opt-out of wearing facial coverings inside schools and on school district transportation.

The only exceptions will be for medical reasons, specifically students who are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

According to the latest numbers from the School District of Palm Beach County, there have been 846 confirmed cases since the new academic year started on Aug. 10, including 734 students and 112 employees.

Palm Beach County School Board mandates facial coverings for students with no ability to opt-out

2. Didn't DeSantis ban this? Yes, and the Florida Board of Education voted to punish the school districts
Florida's Board of Education voted Tuesday to impose punishments against the Broward and Alachua school districts that have defied Gov. Ron DeSantis and instituted mask mandates.

The board did not announce how the districts will be punished. They'll be handed down at a later date by the state education commissioner, who is appointed by DeSantis.

The Biden administration sent a letter to DeSantis last week saying that any school whose funds are cut for upholding a mask mandate will be reimbursed with federal funds.

Florida Board of Education vote to punish Broward, Alachua school districts over school masks

3. Remember free FastPasses at Disney World? They're not coming back:
Starting this fall, Disney World and Disneyland are launching a new planning tool called Disney Genie in which guests will be able to tell the app what they want to do and where they would like to eat during their stay and the program will create an itinerary.

For $15 per ticket per day at Walt Disney World and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland, guests can use the new Lightning Lane at select attractions.

However for super popular rides like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, guests will need to purchase Lightning Lanes. Pricing has not been released, but they won't be available to purchase until the day of your visit and you can only buy two.

Disney World introducing new paid 'FastPass' and Genie service

4. President Biden to require nursing homes get staff vaccinated or lose federal funds
The Biden administration will require that nursing home staff are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The Biden administration is also putting pressure on the private sector to require vaccines. "In the last week, AT&T, Amtrak, McDonald's-- they all announced vaccine requirements," Biden stated.

In addition to the announcement about nursing home employees, Biden said he was directing the secretary of education to take additional steps to protect children.

President Biden to require nursing homes get staff vaccinated or lose federal funds

5. Here's how you can provide help for Haiti after devastating earthquake:
The devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti has crippled an already struggling country, killing 2,189 people, injuring more than 12,000 and leaving thousands more displaced from their destroyed or damaged homes.

With strong Haitian ties throughout South Florida, many area organizations are doing what they can to provide help for the Caribbean country.

Click the link above for a list of organizations.

Here's how you can provide help for Haiti after devastating earthquake

Today's Forecast
Drier weather pattern setting up:

Latest Weather Forecast: Thursday 5 a.m.

Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.

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On This Day In History
On August 19, 2011, three men, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, who were convicted as teenagers in 1994 of the murders of three boys in Arkansas, are released from prison in a special legal deal allowing them to maintain their innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors had sufficient evidence to convict them.

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."