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5 Things To Know On Thursday, September 23, 2021

Posted at 7:03 AM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 07:03:37-04

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 students exposed to COVID-19 won't have to quarantine if asymptomatic
Florida students who are exposed to COVID-19 won't have to quarantine from school if they're not showing symptoms of the virus, according to a new emergency rule issued by the state's surgeon general on Wednesday.

In a 5 to 2 vote, the Palm Beach County School Board voted late Wednesday night to follow new state rules.

Before Wednesday's major policy changes, Palm Beach County students who were exposed to COVID-19 had to stay home until they were asymptomatic and received a negative test "on day five after the date of last exposure to the COVID-19 positive individual," or until the student was asymptomatic and seven days had passed since the date of last exposure to the COVID-19 positive individual.

School District of Palm Beach County to follow new COVID-19 student quarantine rules

2. Florida Republican introduces Texas-like fetal heartbeat abortion bill
A new Florida bill would ban abortions after a fetus' "heartbeat" is usually detected around six weeks, which is a time when many women aren't even aware they are pregnant and is usually only four weeks after intercourse. Florida currently bans abortions after 24 weeks.

Dr. Nisha Verma, an OB-GYN who specializes in abortion care and works at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, says that a heartbeat doesn't exist in 6-week old fetuses because they don't have heart valves.

"The flickering that we're seeing on the ultrasound that early in the development of the pregnancy is actually electrical activity, and the sound that you 'hear' is actually manufactured by the ultrasound machine." Dr. Verma added.

The new bill would impose civil penalties with "damages in the amount of at least $10,000 for each abortion that the defendant performed or induced and for each abortion the defendant aided or abetted."

Fetal heartbeat bill filed in Florida

3. FDA authorizes COVID-19 booster shots for millions of Americans
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended its emergency use authorization for a Pfizer booster shot Wednesday. It allows for people 65 years and older to get the vaccine at least 6 months after a person completed their first vaccine series.

The agency also says adults who are at high risk of severe COVID-19 can get the booster shot. In addition, adults who work in settings that put them at serious risk of COVID-19 are eligible for the vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is in the midst of a two-day meeting to provide guidance on the booster shot. Its official policy is expected as early as Thursday.

FDA authorizes COVID-19 booster shots for millions of Americans

4. Ready to rock out to Maroon 5? You'll need a health check first
Some of the artists coming to the iTHINK Financial Amphitheater (formally Coral Sky) are starting to require 'Health Checks' before fans can enter the venue starting with Thursday night's show by Maroon 5.

Fans will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test within 48-hours of Thursday night's show or be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Live Nation posted that masks are not required but encouraged at the iThink Financial Amphitheater.


5. Tropical Depression 18 could become major hurricane by early next week
Tropical Depression 18 is expected to strengthen as it moves across the tropical central Atlantic Ocean, forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said Thursday morning.

Current projections show it could become a category 3 hurricane by Monday as it moves towards the Lesser Antilles.

The remnants of Odette have a medium chance of development over the next 5 days. Regardless, this system should stay away from us.

Tropical Depression 18 could become major hurricane by early next week

Today's Forecast
Heat index values in the upper 90s under scattered afternoon-evening showers

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 September 23, 1875, Billy the Kid is arrested for the first time after stealing a basket of laundry. He later broke out of jail and roamed the American West, eventually earning a reputation as an outlaw and murderer and a rap sheet that allegedly included 21 murders.

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."