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As omicron continues to spike statewide, a growing number of Florida residents are being hospitalized with COVID-19.
COVID-19 patients make up 24%, or one out of four of the patients hospitalized in Orange County’s intensive care units, which provide the highest level of care for the sickest patients, according to the report. With seven Orange County hospitals reporting data, 93% of 464 intensive care unit beds are full and 91% of 4,785 inpatient beds are full.
Across the state, 14,020 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 from Jan. 5 to 11, according to the latest White House report. In comparison, 10,285 were hospitalized the previous week. The week before that, it was 4,626. At the height of the summer surge of cases in August, nearly 17,000 were hospitalized with COVID-19. Hospital officials have said they can add more ICU beds if needed.
The Florida Department of Health reported 430,297 new coronavirus cases this week among Florida residents to bring the cumulative total to 4,992,265. With 470 more fatalities on record, 63,158 Florida residents have died.
This week’s 470 deaths reflect an increase from the 184 reported last week, but deaths can take several days or weeks to be reported. The majority of the newly reported deaths are people who died before this week. The death count has not reached anywhere near September levels, where nearly 2,500 new deaths were reported multiple weeks in a row.
The number of weekly cases increased compared to the previous week’s 397,114. Positivity decreased to 29.3%. That’s for new cases only and excludes anyone who previously tested positive.
Of note, the state reports deal only with Florida resident cases and exclude non-residents cases, which are no longer available.
Statewide, 15,067,643 residents, or 72% of people age 5 and up, have received at least one vaccination shot, including 8,332,005 who have completed their shot regimens through Jan. 13, plus 4,632,038 who completed their series then got a booster. Statewide, 194,631 received an additional dose last week.
Central Florida added 89,344 resident infections this week, based on the actual date the state opened the case, for a total of 964,810: 30,752 more in Orange for 319,793; 8,905 more in Osceola for 98,133; 14,834 more in Polk for 167,753; 6,412 more in Lake for 70,093; 1,248 more in Sumter for 17,476; 7,462 more in Volusia for 96,863; 11,548 more in Brevard for 108,383; and 8,183 more in Seminole for 86,316.
Fired Former Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo Files Lawsuit Against City, Commissioners, City Manager
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Three months after he was fired, former Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo is taking legal action against the City of Miami.
On Wednesday, Acevedo filed a 50-page lawsuit claiming the city manager and three commissioners violated his First Amendment rights.
Acevedo claims they illegally retaliated against him for blowing the whistle on, what he describes as, a toxic stew of corruption and wrongdoing at city hall.
That includes City Manager Art Noriega and Commissioners Joe Carollo, Alex Díaz de la Portilla, and Manolo Reyes.
The complaint details several examples of alleged illegal and unethical activity by commissioners, saying they attempted to “weaponize” Miami police officers against their enemies.
WATCH: Deborah Souverains Report On Art Acevedo’s Lawsuit
Acevedo said his firing after only being on the job six months was retribution for trying to maintain his independence as police chief.
It claims those commissioners “targeted Chief Acevedo because of his resistance to their efforts to use the MPD to carry out their personal agendas and vendettas, his reform efforts, and his speaking out against corruption and abuse of power by the City of Miami Commission.”
The new lawsuit alleges Commissioner Carollo demanded Acevedo investigate multiple businesses of his political opponent on allegations Acevedo says were unfounded
It also claims the commissioners interfered in an investigation into a Miami Sergeant-at-Arms, accused of a security breach.
READ MORE: COVID-19 Testing Site Finder
The lawsuit further says commissioners pushed back against Acevedo’s efforts to combat excessive use of force and their alleged cover-ups.
The suit cites a specific instance where “a woman in police custody spit on an officer, the officer punched her in the face and drove her to the ground, causing her to lose consciousness.”
Back in September and October, Acevedo was the subject of criticism in a series of fiery commission meetings. The concerns raised included a comment Acevedo made about the department being run by the “Cuban mafia,” his demoting of several police officers, and a Fraternal Order of Police survey which found 79% of those polled did not have confidence in Acevedo’s ability to run the department.
Commissioner Carollo even went so far as to criticize the size of Acevedo’s pants when he performed as Elvis for a charity fundraiser and made comments about if he was “wearing a jockstrap.”
Noriega released the following statement in response to the lawsuit:
“This was expected and I look forward to the opportunity to discredit these false claims made by the former Police Chief. It’s clearly an attempt to retaliate against the individuals that held him accountable for his own shortcomings as Miami Police Chief and to attempt to salvage his professional reputation by casting blame on others. I will leave it to our Law Department to address the complaint directly through the proper legal channels.”
Commissioner Manolo Reyes also issued a statement:
“It is extremely unfortunate that Mr. Acevedo has chosen to sue the city of Miami and its elected officials for his own shortcomings as a police chief. We look forward to handling this matter in court. More so, at no time did I give Mr. Acevedo a list of restaurants and bars to investigate. Nor did I give him any directive regarding an internal affairs investigation.
We will all have our day in court.”
MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Vaccine Site Finder
Commissioner Carollo could not be reached for comment.
London-Bound American Airlines Flight Returned To MIA After Passenger Refused To Wear A Mask
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An American Airlines London bound flight from Miami was forced to turn around Wednesday night after a passenger refused to wear a mask.
Flight 38 was about an hour and a half into its flight to Heathrow Airport when it circled back and returned to Miami International Airport.
Police dispatch called for officers to meet the plane at Gate D14 because at least one passenger was not respecting the mask mandate. Once it landed, more than 100 passengers were informed they had to get off the plane.
Many on the plane had no idea why it returned to Miami.
“Disappointed. They wouldn’t really say anything and I don’t think they told the flight attendants anything because all they would say is there was an extreme incident and they had to turn around,” said one passenger.
READ MORE: COVID-19 Testing Site Finder
“They just told us to get off and the police were there,” said another passenger.
American Airlines issued a statement apologizing for the inconvenience.
“American Airlines flight 38 with service from Miami (MIA) to London (LHR) returned to MIA due to disruptive customer refusing to comply with the federal mask requirement. The flight landed at MIA where local law enforcement met the aircraft. We thank our crew for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”
MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Vaccine Site Finder
The flight was canceled as a result of the incident, leaving these flyers to seek alternate arrangements.
COVID-19 Testing Site Finder
Miami-Dade County offers free testing for COVID-19 at drive-thru, walk-in and mobile sites.
CLICK HERE TO FIND A TESTING SITE NEAR YOU IN MIAMI-DADE.
Test site operations have expanded in Broward to meet increased demand.
CLICK HERE TO FIND A TESTING SITE NEAR YOU IN BROWARD.
In Monroe County, positive COVID-19 cases are significantly increasing as well.
CLICK HERE TO FIND A TESTING SITE NEAR YOU IN MONROE.
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