Here are some of the top stories from the past week from NBC 6 News:
WATCH: Two Taken Into Custody After Brawl Breaks Out At Miami International Airport Two men were taken into custody and are facing charges after a brawl broke out at Miami International Airport Monday night.
Miami-Dade police officers were called to gate H8 shortly after 6:30 p.m. after an airport employee reported a disturbance, officials said.
The employee said he was driving a transport cart when an unruly passenger refused to let him through, entered the cart, then broke the key and refused to exit the cart, police said.
When they arrived at the gate, officers found the “unruly passenger,” identified as 30-year-old Mayfrer Gregorio Serranopaca.
Officers tried to calm the Serranopaca, who continued to refuse to exit the cart until a confrontation ensued, officials said.
Video footage by Only in Dade showed a large crowd surrounding one of the officers, who had someone in a hold. The officer appeared to be grabbed and pushed by the crowd when he then let go of his hold.
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NBC 6’s Nicole Lauren is at Tropical Park, one of the sites where people are rushing to get tested ahead of the Christmas holiday.
Miami-Dade Expanding COVID-19 Sites, Bringing Back Masks in Buildings Amid Surge Miami-Dade is expanding COVID-19 sites and hours and bringing back mandatory masks in county buildings as the county deals with a surge in cases and high demand for testing ahead of the holidays, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Wednesday.
Levine Cava said the county is hoping to open between three and five new sites and expanding hours at existing sites in response to the accelerated demand for testing. The new sites and hours will be announced on the county’s website.
The county has seen an over 200% increase in the demand for testing in recent days, with between 40,000 and 50,000 people being tested per day.
“The demand has just accelerated in the last week,” Levine Cava said at a news conference Wednesday morning.
The mayor said the county had just received several thousand at-home test kits and were trying to determine the best way to distribute them.
Levine Cava said the county has seen an “alarming rise” in COVID-19 cases, and said the omicron variant has been “rapidly spreading like wildfire.”
La Tiendecita is working through the supply chain issues that are negatively impacting local small businesses in South Florida. NBC 6’s Victor Jorges reports
54% of South Florida Small Business Owners Say Covid Negatively Affected Them: Study “Out of nowhere there’ll be no supply for a specific product and I have to wait to see when it’s going to come around again.”
This is something small business owner Martha Valdes has had to deal with as national supply chain issues and back ups at the Port of Miami impact small businesses in South Florida.
A study by Florida’s Small Business Development Center found 54 percent of Florida small business owners feel the pandemic has had a largely negative effect on their business.
When the pandemic first began, Valdes’ store, La Tiendecita in Westchester, had only been open for six months. Now, valdes says she’s taking things day by day when it comes to getting items on the shelf.
“I’ve experienced shortages for supplies for my shirts, my hats, my mugs, to be able to produce to be able to sell,” Valdes said.
To get around the issue, she says she preorders items and even lets customers place orders in hopes the shipments come in, and they can get their products.
55 passengers and crew members aboard the Odyssey of the Seas tested positive for Covid-19, the second ship with dozens of cases in as many weeks. NBC 6’s Cristian Benavides has the story
55 Test Positive for Covid on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas Ship At least 55 crew members and guests have tested positive for COVID-19 on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship just days after it departed from Fort Lauderdale.
The 55 who tested positive are fully vaccinated and mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic and represent about 1.1% of the people who are on the ship, a Royal Caribbean spokesperson said Thursday.
“We’re stuck here for eight days just watching each other not going nowhere,” said Bassem Girgis, who spent $6,000 on the cruise vacation for him and his kids.
“It’s a big mess man,” he said. “If they know they have some COVID cases they shouldn’t have 4,000 passengers on board.”
NBC 6 has learned that the cases are mostly among crew members, with 52 staff members and three passengers testing positive for the virus.
“I am sure this number will increase by the end of this trip,” said Gorgis. “I understand I took the risk, but I didn’t agree to stay on the cruise for eight days and not go nowhere.”
The health of those who tested positive is being monitored and any close contacts were identified and placed in quarantine.
As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across South Florida, we are beginning to the impacts once again at our local hospitals. NBC 6’s Steve Litz reports.
South Florida Hospitals Coping With Fast-Spreading Omicron South Florida hospitals are coping with a rise in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant, which officials said is quickly spreading.
Dr. Marc Napp with Memorial Healthcare System used a color-coded chart to characterize this past weekend’s rise in cases.
“We got to green for a day, and that was about three weeks ago, we had been in yellow for the next two weeks, we went from yellow to red without going to orange over this past weekend, so the numbers have increased significantly in the community,” Napp said Monday.
Dr. Hany Atallah with Jackson Health System said he’s seeming a similar spike.
“What we look at is how quickly numbers tend to double and so we’re seeing that rather than the peak going more gradual we are seeing that peak rise much more quickly,” Atallah said.
But, Atallah said hospitalizations are way down compared to the peak of the Delta variant this past summer.
“We are still seeing a rise in our hospitalizations, not quite to the same degree that we did with Delta, especially as it relates to the ICU patients,” Atallah said.
As a result, hospitals in South Florida are not being overwhelmed.
The officer lost consciousness as the prisoner continued to hit him, before a civilian employee stepped in to help the officer, officials said.. NBC 6’s Kim Wynne has the story
Video Shows Prisoner Brutally Attack Miami-Dade Police Officer A prisoner was caught on camera brutally attacking a Miami-Dade Police officer, officials said.
Miami-Dade Police released surveillance footage of the Tuesday night attack that happened at the police department in Doral.
Officials said the officer had just finished fingerprinting the prisoner, identified as 32-year-old Nestor Rodriguez, and was attempting to secure Rodriguez when Rodriguez tensed his arm, refused to follow commands and started to physically resist.
A physical altercation ensued and Rodriguez started punching the officer in the face repeatedly.
The officer lost consciousness as Rodriguez continued to hit him, before a civilian employee stepped in to help the officer, officials said.
The prisoner continued to fight on the ground and more officers responded before they were able to take the prisoner into custody.