Surgeon General visits Miami to tour new COVID-19 testing site, pushes masks

DORAL, Fla. – Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General, toured the new federally funded COVID-19 testing site at the Miami-Dade Auditorium on Thursday and sent a strong message on wearing masks.

After visiting the test site, Adams spoke at Sergio’s Restaurant in Doral, where he delivered a million masks for Florida hospitality workers and implored all Floridians to wear face coverings

“We’ve got a simple tool that will help us reopen. It even says on the package: ‘Do your part, stop the spread.' We all need to take small measures that we can now to avoid big inconveniences down the road,” he said, saying they can save lives and keep businesses open.

Adams referenced former Miami Heat great Dwyane Wade wearing a mask as a sign that it’s “the right thing to do.”

He did field questions from reporters about President Donald Trump’s occasional reluctance to wear a mask. “Understand that the President is in a different position because he knows that he is negative for coronavirus before he goes out into the public."

He did say that he was proud of Trump for wearing a mask at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center earlier this month.

Watch a replay of Adams’ remarks at Sergio’s below:

WATCH LIVE: Surgeon General speaks in Miami

Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General, toured the federal COVID-19 testing site at the Miami-Dade Auditorium on its first day of operations Thursday and is speaking at Sergio's in Doral.

Posted by WPLG Local 10 on Thursday, July 23, 2020

Five federally funded test sites are opening in South Florida to handle the increased demand for testing during the coronavirus outbreak. The Miami-Dade Auditorium site is in its first day of operations and the other four open Friday.

The auditorium site tested 70 people in the first 30 minutes, Adams said.

“It’s as easy as can be, as quick as can be,” he added. “These sites are here for you.”

The drive-thru testing site locations are:

  • Dillard High School, 2501 NW 11th Street, Fort Lauderdale
  • Blanche Ely High School, 1201 NW 6th Avenue, Pompano Beach
  • McArthur High School, 6501 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood
  • Miami Jackson High School, 1751 NW 36th Street, Miami
  • Miami-Dade Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler Street, Miami

They will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. All five sites offer appointments with online registration. To make an appointment, go to Appointments and online registration are recommended.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Lieutenant Gov. Jeanette Nunez were also on hand for Thursday’s event with Adams.

While with Adams at the Doral restaurant, Gimenez said: “(Wearing a mask) is also a symbol of community. If you’re not wearing a mask then you may not be part of this community, or at least you’re disrespecting the other members of this community.”

The Surgeon General also implored the public to continue to donate blood. Adams had a specific message for anyone who has recovered from COVID-19. He said that those plasma donations have been one of the most effective tools in helping people recover from this disease.

The White House on Thursday also announced that Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Miami on Monday to participate in a roundtable with University of Miami leadership and researchers about the progress of a coronavirus vaccine.