HIALEAH, Fla. – Hialeah was called out during Gov. Ron DeSantis’ news briefing Tuesday as a Florida city that has seen high positivity for coronavirus.
Hialeah’s mayor wishes the governor instead reached out to help.
“I’ve been saying from the beginning, there’s many many people out there that do have the coronavirus that we don’t know about, and I wish the governor, from the first moment, would have come to Hialeah and help us more. Because he hasn’t done much for the city of Hialeah, to be honest with you,” Mayor Carlos Hernandez told Local 10 News by phone Wednesday.
Hialeah is one of the state’s most populous cities, with more than 230,000 residents densely packed.
Of the 80,676 Florida residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, 3,080 are from Hialeah. That’s the second-most for any city in the state, behind only Miami (13,740).
On Tuesday, DeSantis said, “We still have high positivity in Hialeah — Hialeah has been high positive for, probably, two months now.”
The governor touted Florida’s COVID-19 testing efforts and results on the same day the state confirmed a one-day high of nearly 2,800 new positive cases.
“There are some pockets in different parts of the state, and some of these are test sites that we have that are identifying, particularly in some of the low-income areas, where you see a higher rate of positivity,” DeSantis said.
The governor also pointed to “multi-generational families” living together.
“But I really wish the governor would have helped us a lot earlier when we were showing numbers early on, and not forgotten Hialeah like he did,” Hernandez said.
The city is gradually reopening. The mayor says police and inspectors are working to make sure guidelines are being followed, including stressing masks, physical distancing and hand-washing.
“Let me be very clear ... I’m concerned,” Hernandez said. “We have to take steps as a community, and again, this virus doesn’t know where Hialeah ends and Miami starts, so we have to work together.”
Hernandez said the coronavirus testing site at Hialeah’s Amelia Earhart Park is only there because local leaders urged the state for it. And the mayor says that to this day he has not heard from the governor.