ICYMI: Where To Get Tested For COVID-19 In South Florida, Travel Expert Warns Of Challenges At Airports – NBC 6 South Florida

Here are some of the top stories from the past week from NBC 6 News:

Where to Get Tested for COVID-19 in Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe Counties The demand for COVID-19 testing is increasing in South Florida as the omicron variant spreads across the state and nation.

Long lines of residents trying to get tested for COVID-19 were seen in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties as families gathered for the holidays, with some reporting waiting in lines for hours at a time.

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Officials have begun to expand testing as Florida has seen consecutive days of record-breaking cases for new infections.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced plans to open several new testing sites and the distribution of at-home testing kits at dozens of public libraries across the county.

Click here to see where you can get tested for COVID-19 in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties after the holidays.

NBC 6’s Paxton Boyd has more on plans in place for the new bridge to be reconstructed over three years after the bridge collapsed, killing six people.

Family of FIU Bridge Collapse Victim Settles Suit Against Engineering Firm The surviving family of one of six people killed when the bridge at Florida International University collapsed back in 2018 has settled its lawsuit against an engineering firm just weeks before the case was set to go to trial.

The settlement is between The Louis Berger Group and the family of a man killed when the bridge collapsed on his vehicle as he waited at a red light on Southwest 8th Street.

All other claims were previously settled for a total of $103 million. But the family of Brandon Brownfield sought punitive damages against The Louis Gerger Group because it failed to catch design errors by the original engineers.

A judge ruled in October there was enough evidence to seek punitive damages, which could have cost the company millions of dollars.

The confidential settlement soon followed.

NBC 6’s Alina Machado reports on the chaos of holiday travel amid the surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide.

Planning to Fly? Expect Challenges, Travel Expert Warns Frustration is growing for some travelers across the country during this year’s busy holiday rush, as they deal with delays and cancelations. Dangerous weather in some regions and the omicron variant are forcing airlines to scramble.

Delta Airlines said employees were working “…around the clock to reroute and substitute aircraft and crews,” citing winter weather and omicron for the problems.

“Omicron is an equal opportunity offender,” said Willis Orlando of Scott’s Cheap Flights. “It’s kind of hitting folks across the board.”

In South Florida, American Airlines, which has a major hub at Miami International Airport, told NBC 6 their operation was running smoothly Wednesday.  That was a much-needed break after a chaotic holiday weekend involving a number of COVID-related sick calls that resulted in the airline pre-canceling some flights system-wide.

United Airlines told NBC 6 it had to cancel some flights this week because the nationwide spike in omicron cases “has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation.” 

The airline said it was “…notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport,” adding: “We’re sorry for the disruption and are working hard to rebook as many people as possible and get them on their way for the holidays.”

Omicron is so contagious and it can really wipe out a business, but these restaurant owners say they are working hard to plan ahead and hope this is the worst of it. NBC 6’s Julie Leonardi has the story

How South Florida Restaurants are Fighting to Stay Open During Latest Covid Spike As Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on South Florida, restaurant owners are taking a step back to figure out how to adjust.

“We’re thinking these next 30 days are going to be the highest peak of infection,” restaurant owner Carlos Gazitua said. “So we’re thinking, how do you stay open the next 30 days? What’s your strategy going forward?”

Gazitua is an executive member of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. He says the hospitality industry must pivot once again, even reverting back to the changes restaurants had to make at the start of the pandemic.

He says part of the plan is to refocus on take out, try to rely on minimal staff and get creative with technology.

“Right now I have restaurants that have robotics. They have robots that bring out the food and I’m adding to more for one to be the busser and one to be the food expediter,” Gazitua said.

A local artist is paying tribute to the path-blazing fashion designer Virgil Abloh with a mural in Wynwood. NBC 6’s Claudia DoCampo reports.

Local Artist Memorializes Designer Virgil Abloh with Mural in Wynwood Artist Kyle Holbrook is paying tribute to the path-blazing fashion designer Virgil Abloh in Wynwood.

“Virgil was an inspiration to me and I think an inspiration to a whole generation,” Holbrook said.

Abloh died a month ago from a rare form of heart cancer at the age of 41.

With his passing, he left behind a legacy of creativity and inspiration.

Abloh was the first Black artistic director at Louis Vuitton Menswear and later created his own street clothing line called “Off White,” Holbrook told NBC 6.

“His life really provides hope. I mean, he grew up in Chicago as an immigrant and really came from the inner city. He came from nothing and then went to the top of the art world,” Holbrook said.

In the mural, Holbrook used acrylic paints from the company PPG and used a yellow shade called “visionary.”

The mural features other visionary African American icons such as Maya Angelou, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and August Wilson. 

NBC 6’s Tony Pipitone and Kim Wynne have the latest on the deadly Wilton Manors hit-and-run that killed two children and injured four more.

Suspect in Deadly Wilton Manors Hit-and-Run Crash Has Outburst in Court A judge decided Wednesday that the suspect in a hit-and-run crash in Wilton Manors that killed two children and hospitalized four more will be held in jail without bond.

Sean Charles Greer was arrested late Tuesday after physical evidence led detectives to him following the Monday afternoon crash, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

During a court appearance Wednesday, deputies led Greer away after he apparently objected to attending the proceeding, scuffled with a deputy and knocked over a podium. The court session was delayed for a minute as he was taken from the room.

The 27-year-old is accused of running over six children, killing 6-year-old Andrea Fleming and 5-year-old Paris Kyli-Ann Jones.

Greer faces 14 charges, including two counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving death, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury, tampering with evidence, four counts of driving without a license causing death and/or serious bodily injuries and driving with a suspended license.

The judge also ordered Greer “not to drive or operate any vehicle that is motorized anywhere, anytime,” and deemed him “an extreme flight risk.”