MIAMI – The streets are bustling with business in the Miami zip codes that are seeing the most COVID-19 cases.
“I’m very careful,” says 20-year-old Brenda Diaz.
She fits the young demographic seeing the steepest increase in coronavirus cases in South Florida.
Miami’s COVID hotspots — Allapattah, Brownsville and Little Havana — share a younger median age than other neighborhoods.
“[At Jackson], in the past week, we have seen about one-third of the patients admitted were 18-34-year-olds,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.
Also in hotspot neighborhoods, a lower income level, meaning more people engaged in the kind of person-to-person jobs that can’t be done remotely.
Even if residents follow the safety precautions, one of the county’s medical advisors still expects to see more coronavirus climb.
“We are still going to see more cases for the next few days,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University. “That is not a failure. That’s the nature of how the virus communicates between people.”
The increase in cases among people in that 18-34 demographic starts in the week after the May 20 reopening, and there’s a surge in the week and a half after the large protests began.
“If we don’t adhere to what the mayor is saying, then again we’ll see cases rising — but steeper and longterm, and things will get worse,” Marty said.
In Miami’s hotspots Thursday we saw plenty of unmasked people.
And one of several lawsuits against those local mandates has been filed by state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Lake County.
“The best thing that can happen is governments do what they should always do — step out of the equation and let the private marketplace dictate when and where people wear masks,” Sabatini said.
The Miami-Dade County guideline remains: Face coverings indoors in public all the time, and outdoors when you’re not able to practice social distancing.
In the City of Miami, they’re prepared to require masks in public at all times, with limited exceptions.
If you are not wearing a mask, you’ll first get a warning. The second offense carries a fine of $50. The fine raised to $150 the third time and people could be fined up to $500.