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5 Things To Know On Tuesday, July 7, 2020

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Posted at 5:26 AM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 05:29:50-04

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! You can watch the latest LIVE on WPTV here from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.

1. Back to school? Florida schools must reopen in August, state says
Public schools in Florida will be required to reopen in August, according to an executive order issued by Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.

School districts must also provide "the full array of services that are required by law so that families who wish to educate their children in a brick and mortar school have the opportunity to do so."

Under the order, school districts must submit their reopening plans to the Florida Department of Education.

READ THE EXECUTIVE ORDER:

2. 'No need to really be fearful' of Florida's spike in coronavirus cases, Gov. DeSantis says
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health on Monday, there are 206,447 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 6,336 cases from the day before.

Over the weekend, cases increased by 11,458 and 10,059 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Despite that, the governor remained firm on Monday that the spike in COVID-19 cases is due to an increase in testing.

However, the numbers from health officials seem to tell a different story.

DeSantis and the Florida Department of Health both reported that the state's COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to under 5% between the beginning of May and the second week of June.

Since then, it's increased dramatically to 17% at one point.

The governor added that the goal is to get the positivity rate back down to 3% to 4%, admitting there are more COVID-19 cases than have been reported.

"I do think [the virus] is circulating at a higher rate now," DeSantis said. "For every case that's documented, there are many more infections that have actually occurred. We only diagnose a small fraction of the total number of infections."

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

3. Miami taking a step back and closing restaurants, but will others follow?
Gyms and restaurants are closing their doors again, after an emergency mandate Monday from Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

“Our percent positive has gone from 5% in mid-May to 20% today,” City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez explained. “Our hospitalizations are at their highest level, with 1,219. Our ICU’s and our ventilators are all up.”

Restaurants will still be allowed to do outdoor dining, serve takeout and delivery.

Like much of the state, Miami-Dade’s restaurants had reopened with capacity and social-distancing restrictions in mid-May, while gyms reopened about a month ago.

During that time, the county’s daily rate for confirmed cases skyrocketed from about 300 a day to more than 2,000.

Beaches are still scheduled to reopen after the holiday weekend closures on Tuesday, July 7.

4. The Dixie Chicks are now just the Chicks and Dixie Highway may see changes too
Dixie Highway is a result of entrepreneur Carl Fisher's idea to encourage travel from the Midwest to Miami Beach. Dixie Highway was completed in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties in 1915.

“Dixie” is a nostalgic nickname for the Civil War-era South.

"The name Dixie has long history and it's a sorted history and it's a name and a word that's associated with racism, the confederacy, the Klu Klux Klan, southern slave owners," Palm Beach County commissioner Hardy said.

What will it be called instead?

"I have two names in mind," Hardy said. "The first thing that came to me is Fannie and Sam James. Fannie and Sam James were the founders of this city. They were two former slaves and they were very well regarded in their time."

Riviera Beach renamed their section of Old Dixie Highway in honor of former President Barack Obama in 2015.

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5. Woman in viral video who called police on NYC bird watcher facing charges
Amy Cooper who was caught on camera calling 911 dispatchers on a Black bird watcher in New York City’s Central Park will face charges for falsely reporting an incident.

Cooper was walking her dog in the park in May and was seen on camera having a confrontation with a Black man, who was birdwatching at the time. The man, Christian Cooper (no relation to Amy Cooper) told Amy Cooper that by not putting her dog on a leash in that section of the park, she was in violation of park rules.

In the cell phone video taken by Christian Cooper, Amy Cooper is heard talking to 911 dispatchers and telling them a Black man was threatening her life.

Today's Forecast
Hot and humid with afternoon storms moving west to east.

Latest Weather Forecast 11 p.m. Monday

Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.

On This Day In History
President Ronald Reagan nominates Sandra Day O’Connor on July 7, 1981. The Arizona court of appeals judge would be the first woman Supreme Court justice in U.S. history.

Remember, you can join Mike Trim and Ashleigh Walters every weekday on WPTV NewsChannel 5 beginning at 4:30 a.m.