Doctors in Miami-Dade diagnosed with COVID-19

Virus pandemic affects couple in Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Two doctors in Miami-Dade County are among the new wave of healthcare providers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Dr. John Whitehead and Dr. Alain Ramirez have been in isolation for 10 days.

Whitehead, a surgeon and critical care physician, and Ramirez, an anesthesiologist, are married and live in Miami Beach. Whitehead is taking care of Ramirez, who was feeling really ill on Monday.

“We are pretty healthy. We are pretty fit. We go to the gym every day. We eat well,” Whitehead said. “It was a surprise for us.”

Both of them experienced chills, severe muscle aches, and chest pressure. Whitehead said he also had a high fever. They decided to quarantine immediately. He said testing was a debacle in the early stages of the response to the pandemic, but he is glad it is ramping up.

“Personal protective equipment continues to be something that we’re all struggling with," Whitehead said. "We don’t know ... we’re told that equipment’s on the way from our government when we listen to these press briefings. However, when we talk to the hospitals, we really don’t think that stuff is coming to us. We don’t see those supplies are coming to us, and we’re worried."

Whitehead believes social distancing is a powerful measure. He also believes the new coronavirus will infect most first responders.

“What we have to do is control the rate at which people get it, so that if they get it, or become sicker patients, there will be providers to take care of you, and equipment, ventilators, ICU beds, to help administer that care to you,” Whitehead said.

Whitehead also advised the public to postpone elective procedures and to donate blood to alleviate the shortages. He said he and his husband are looking forward to joining the fight against the pandemic.

Monday marked the first official day of coronavirus testing at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

About the Authors:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.

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.