City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez tests positive for COVID-19
Health officials tell Miami police chief to self-isolate due to contact with mayor
MIAMI – City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has tested positive for COVID-19, his office confirmed Friday.
Florida health officials have told Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina to self-isolate due to his frequent interactions with the mayor.
Suarez announced Thursday that he was self-quarantining after attending an event in Miami this week where a Brazilian delegation member who has tested positive for coronavirus was present.
Suarez said in a video message played at a news conference Thursday that he did not believe he had contact with the Brazilian president’s communications director, Fábio Wajngarten, during the event.
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Suarez had said he was showing no symptoms of the virus, but had been self-quarantining as a precaution.
Miami police spokesman Orlando Rodriguez said some members of the department provided security services to the Brazilian president during his visit to Miami and have been directed to self-isolate as a precaution.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who attended the same event as Suarez, has tested negative for COVID-19.
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, is also self-quarantining.
“The Embassy said the person had no symptoms leading up to or the day of the conference,” Scott said in a statement. “After consulting with the Senate’s attending physician and my personal doctor, I have been told that my risk is low, and I don’t need to take a test or quarantine. However, the health and safety of the American people is my focus and I have made the decision to self-quarantine in an abundance of caution.”
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A statement from the president’s communications office on Thursday said Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s communications director joined him on a three-day trip to the U.S. and on Saturday was at the Mar-a-Lago resort, where he posted a photo of himself posing beside U.S. President Donald Trump.
A video from the event also showed him standing directly behind both presidents as they addressed a crowd.
Trump has not self-quarantined since the event.
Below is Suarez’s full statement on his diagnosis:
“Residents and employees. I was informed that I have tested positive for COVID-19. I feel completely healthy and strong. However, I am doing the responsible thing by working with the County’s Health Department to take every precaution to ensure that not only my family is healthy, but everyone I have come in contact with is healthy as well. If we did not shake hands or you did not come into contact with me if I coughed or sneezed, there is no action you need to take whatsoever. If we did, however, touch or shake hands, or if I sneezed or coughed near you since Monday, it is recommended that you self-isolate for 14 days, but you do not need to get tested. After speaking with medical personnel, I will continue to follow Department of Health protocol and remain isolated while I lead our government remotely. The City will continue to function as usual under our comprehensive preparedness plan to ensure operational continuity. If you suspect you have been in contact with anyone who is sick or are exhibiting any symptoms, like fever, cough, or shortness breath, please call the County Department of Health. Our residents’ health and wellness continues to be my absolute priority. For additional guidelines, visit Floridahealth.gov or call the Health Department at 866-779-6121 or the City of Miami’s COVID-19 call center 305-960-5027. Thank you.”
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