City of Miami mayor discusses efforts to combat coronavirus, shares personal experience

Mayor Francis Suarez released from quarantine Monday after 2 tests come back negative

MIAMI – City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez held a virtual press conference Tuesday morning to update the community on the city’s efforts to confront the coronavirus pandemic, as well as share his personal experience after testing positive for COVID-19 over two weeks ago.

Suarez, who was the second patient diagnosed with COVID-19 in Miami-Dade County, has since tested negative for the virus two consecutive times and his quarantine ended on Monday.

Suarez began self-quarantining after attending an event in Miami where a Brazilian delegation member who tested positive for COVID-19 was present. After one day in self-quarantine, his office confirmed that Suarez had tested positive for the virus.

Suarez’s physician, Dr. Paul Adams, praised him during the virtual press conference, saying that his quick actions to self-quarantine likely prevented other staff members and Suarez’s wife and children from contracting the virus.

Adams, however, said South Florida is likely to see an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

“We will see a spike, and if the disease follows its normal process, at around day 7 people will get more short of breath,” he said.

Suarez said his symptoms were mild, the worst of which included body aches and congestion that lasted for a couple of days. He said his temperature never reached 100 degrees.

According to Adams, health officials are keeping an eye on hospital availability and ventilator capability, among other things.

“We’re looking at building out should we need tent hospitals and facilities to care for other people should we have a huge influx of people," he said.

During the news conference, Suarez announced the opening of a new drive-through COVID-19 testing site at Charles Hadley Park in Liberty City.

The location is currently open to those 55 and older, but the mayor said residents of all ages will eventually be able to be tested at the site.

The mayor said tests are $50, but he hopes that will be reimbursable for patients.

The testing site is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Patients must receive an appointment to be tested and can schedule an appointment by calling 305-960-5050.

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