MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – With data coming out that Miami-Dade multi-generational households are at risk of spreading COVID-19 to other family members, Miami-Dade County expanded its hotel isolation program to residents who need temporary hotel rooms to isolate .
On Friday, July 17, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez announced that the county, in partnership with the state of Florida, added 400 rooms to its hotel isolation program to protect multi-generational families from the spread of COVID-19.
The county has set up a help line for assistance for people interested in finding out if they are eligible for the program during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number to call is (305) 614-1716 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.
Throughout the pandemic, the county has been providing hotel rooms to healthcare workers, first responders and the homeless, among others, who need to isolate for short periods of time. The county provides isolation rooms at hotels for patients recommended by the Florida Department of Health and area hospitals.
The new “help line” expands the program to residents — with or without symptoms— needing to isolate from family members while they wait for test results, as well as those who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.
The recent spike in COVID-19 infections among 18- to 34-year-olds has put multi-generational households, common in Miami-Dade County, at particular risk of having an older member end up in the hospital.
Data from contract tracers shows that 30.9 percent of people who get COVID-19 are reporting that they believe they got sick at home, while 37.7 percent are reporting that they are getting sick from a family member, according to Miami Mayor Francis Suárez, who spoke during a press conference last week. The isolation rooms would work to keep symptomatic family members apart so they would not spread the virus.
“This is a critical step to stop the spread of the virus in multi-generational households, especially for families that do not have sufficient room for a family member to isolate from others,” Gimenez said.
The county’s existing program pays for hotel rooms for individuals recommended by the state Department of Health who have received hospital care and are released to go home but still need to isolate for a number of days. The expansion of the program will also help families with a member who has tested positive for the virus but does not necessarily have symptoms, though that person can still spread the virus to family members.
NOTE: Miami-Dade County has changed the phone number and hours of operation for this program. The details have been updated accordingly in this story.