Miami-Dade mayor: ‘We want to bring that positive rate down’

Concern over numbers jump expressed by both Miami-Dade and Miami mayors

MIAMI – The daily coronavirus numbers released by Florida Department of Health showed another record amount of positive cases on Saturday.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez spoke to Local 10 about the staggering rise in new COVID-19 cases.

“We want to start to bring that positive rate down,” said Gimenez. “That’s the key to the whole thing.”

The latest numbers showing Florida with 9,585 new cases, with Miami-Dade alone reporting 1,366.

“Everybody freaks out about numbers. I’m not freaked out about it, because I know we already have upwards of 200,000 people in this town that were testing positive for the antibodies,” said Gimenez.

What does have Gimenez concerned, he said, is the increasing positivity rate, especially among the city's younger population.

“We were running at about seven or eight percent. Now we’re running around 14 percent,” he said. “Frankly, over the last few days, that figure has jumped to over 20 percent.”

Despite seeing an increase in hospitalizations as well, Gimenez said the county still has plenty of beds available.

Earlier this week, state officials identified three known hotspots for the disease, including Little Havana, where so-called "surge teams" will soon be going door to door, educating residents.

“We intend to just make sure that everyone living in a hot spot (like) in Little Havana knows that they need to be more careful,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins. “We cannot let our guard down.”

Those same concerns also caused Bayfront Park to cancel its annual Fourth of July fireworks display, a move the Mayor of Miami said he firmly agrees with.

“For us, it’s very difficult to control congregations,” said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. “So, I think this particular Fourth of July, maybe celebrate with your family and friends and hopefully next year we’ll be able to have a great celebration.”

About the Author:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.