Gimenez on coronavirus pandemic in Miami-Dade: ‘No! It’s not party time’

MIAMI – Less than 10% of the people who were tested in Miami-Dade County have tested positive for the coronavirus in the last three days, authorities said.

Although it’s a hopeful sign, the rate is still higher than it was in May. Dr. Lillian Abbo, an infectious disease specialist with the Jackson Health System, said hospital capacity is also lower.

“Our hospitals have more patients now — including patients in critical condition and very sick — including younger people,” Abbo said.

With the risk of more social events and travel during the Labor Day Weekend, authorities fear there could be another increase in cases. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Friday the crisis is far from over.

“This time the message has to be, ‘No! It’s not party time,‘” Gimenez said.

A worker walks past empty tables at the Hosteria Romana restaurant, which is closed to customers, during the coronavirus pandemic, Sunday, July 12, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla. Restaurants throughout Miami-Dade County are open only for outdoor dining, take-out and delivery. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

According to the Florida Department of Health’s Friday afternoon data, 2,219 deaths in Miami-Dade have been associated with COVID-19. This included an 11-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl who died in July.

There have been 150,305 cases confirmed in Miami-Dade, and 20,966 of those cases were added in the past two weeks, the data shows. The list of new cases from Aug. 7 to Thursday includes 2,044 minors.

With 17.5%, the positivity rate for children and teens tested in Miami-Dade County is much higher than adults. Epidemiologists believe the majority of children are asymptomatic.

Demand for coronavirus testing increases in Miami-Dade County

But in Miami-Dade, the list of COVID-induced multisystem inflammatory syndrome in minors was the longest. It included 12 children, ages 1 to 9, and three teens ages 14, 16 and 17.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert in May. The rare condition requires hospitalization as parts of the body — such as the heart, kidneys, brain, or eyes — become inflamed.

Gimenez said he will continue to discuss the status of the existing preventive with public health experts, epidemiologists, restauranteurs, and entrepreneurs. But as of Friday, he won’t be making any changes.

Gimenez discusses weather, health

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About the Authors:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.