MIAMI – At midnight, Miami Beach will join the list of cities in Miami-Dade County that have ordered residents to stay at home.
The barrier-island city has gradually shut down its tourism-centered economy. The other areas with stay-at-home orders are Surfside, North Bay Village, Indian Creek, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbour Islands, Sunny Isles, Golden Beach, Aventura and Key Biscayne.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and had flu-like symptoms at home, said he is considering issuing a stay-at-home order.
The public health measures appear to be working. Epidemiological investigators determined only about 22% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Miami-Dade County are related to travel since the pandemic prompted travel restrictions and fear among travellers.
In the continued effort to contain the community spread, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said a drive-through testing site is open at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens and another one will be open soon at Marlins Park in Miami’s Little Havana.
Nurses have been collecting samples from first responders to send them to local labs for testing before the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gets to screen the presumptive positive cases. Gimenez said the Little Havana location will be open to the public.
“There will be a hotline to call to make appointments for this drive-through site,” Gimenez said in a video Sunday. “We are finalizing details on the opening date.”
As the testing effort in Miami-Dade expands to people with concerning symptoms, the Florida Department of Health will also be reporting daily increases of COVID-19 cases.
Testing helps patients to be aware of the risk of infection and isolate, but since there is a limited capability for testing, federal officials are asking everyone to make an effort to stay home.
State officials reported 2,090 people had been tested as of Monday afternoon in Miami-Dade. The CDC confirmed the cases of 267 patients and 60 of them were travel related.
Despite all of the efforts to save lives, officials reported 14 people have died of COVID-19 in Florida. Five of them died in neighboring counties. Three of them died in cases linked to an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale and two others died in Palm Beach County.