Town of Bay Harbor Islands’ COVID-19 employee lives in Broward County

Bay Harbor Islands’ report continues to conflict with Florida Department of Health’s data

Bay Harbor Islands town employee being tested for coronavirus

BAY HARBOR ISLANDS, Fla. – Miami-Dade County’s Town of Bay Harbor Islands announced on Thursday night an employee who worked at the community center was diagnosed with COVID-19. State public officials listed the patient as a Broward County case because she lives there.

The data the Florida Department of Health released a Friday morning report showing an increase in cases in Broward County.

“Anyone who feels they may have been in contact with our employee who worked at the Community Center should self monitor for symptoms,” Brian Andrews, a spokesman for the town, wrote in a statement.

In Miami-Dade County, a 56-year-old man, who was diagnosed after a trip, was in isolation at home, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said on Wednesday. The new case of a 42-year-old man is Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who tested positive for COVID-19. Both Gimenez and Suarez are in isolation.

Andrews also said the town is in contact with state and federal public health officials from the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, but neither agency was able to publicly confirm the town’s report.

Town officials initially reported the employee’s case was a “presumptive” case when public health officials -- who use “presumptive” to describe a positive test result in a state lab -- said it wasn’t.

Once a case gets CDC confirmation, state officials consider it a positive case of COVID-19. State officials reported such cases have surged to 50.

Here is the town’s statement:

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed the Town of Bay Harbor Islands employee who self isolated earlier this week has tested positive for coronavirus. Our employee remains in isolation and under medical care. Our prayers are with her for a speedy recovery.

The CDC and Florida Department of Health will be guiding the Town on the next steps to be taken in terms of community contact and sharing of information.

Anyone who feels they may have been in contact with our employee who worked at the Community Center should self monitor for symptoms. If you are symptomatic, you should immediately self isolate and contact your Doctor or the Florida DOH Miami-Dade Office at (305) 324-2400.

Again, the Town has been instructed to refer all questions to the Florida Department of Health so you may receive directions from a State Health professional.

In the interest of public safety, the Morris N. Broad Community Center and all Town Parks will remain closed until further notice.

The Town of Bay Harbor Islands has been requested by the Florida Department of Emergency Management to refer all media seeking additional information on this to call (850) 815-4940.

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.