Miami-Dade Is a COVID-19 Hot Zone. It May Reopen Monday Anyway

Little Havana, Miami

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By Giselle Balido

May 12, 2020

Mayor Carlos Giménez said the targeted date for the reopening of some businesses is Monday, May 18.

As Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez announced on Friday a possible reopening date for some of the county’s businesses, a count by ABC News revealed that there have been more than 2,500 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Florida since May 4, when other parts of the state began to reopen. The state also saw 316 new deaths in that same time period.

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis allowed most counties in the state to reopen starting Monday, May 4, but so far three –which are considered the hot zone, or epicenter, for the pandemic– have had to wait. These populous counties, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, have been accountable for more than 50% of all confirmed cases and deaths in the state.

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But speaking during a video conference, Mayor Giménez said the targeted date for the reopening of some businesses is Monday, May 18.

“I have spoken to the governor, and he is in agreement that Miami-Dade County should move forward opening certain sectors of the economy with the target date — and I stress again, the target date —  of May 18,” he said. “As we start moving toward a new normal and opening up businesses in the future, I’m gonna make sure there are seniors and anyone at risk are protected.”

Which businesses can reopen and what restrictions will be applied have yet to be announced. Businesses that reopen will have to follow social distancing rules.

“We need to get the economy going again and do it as safely as possible,” he noted.

This may prove difficult, as a survey by the Florida Department of Health (FDH) shows that one in four Floridians say they won’t stay home if they’re sick, and 22.5% say they don’t clean or disinfect frequently, among other safety measures recommended by health authorities.

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At this time Florida has seen 40,001 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with fatalities reaching 1,715, according to the FDH. But these numbers are likely being undercounted, because the state takes up to two weeks to report the tests performed by private labs, which are in the thousands, and the medical examiners’ office has reported the number of fatalities as 10% higher than the number reported by the FDH.

Additionally, the Institute for Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation research center, which has helped to determine the government’s reaction to coronavirus, now projects more than 5,400 deaths in Florida by August 1st.



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