Cemetery calls attention to COVID-19 deaths as virus cases rise in Florida

‘It is out of control,’ teachers union president says of infections at schools

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and the head of Miami-Dade's teachers union are saying more needs to be done as Florida's COVID-19 numbers increase.

MIAMI – A symbolic cemetery placed in North Miami’s Griffing Park is the second memorial Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson has unveiled to honor people who died from COVID-19.

“Wear your damn mask. And wash your damn hands,” Rep. Wilson said at the site Wednesday. “If you don’t understand that, what do you understand?”

Wilson was also involved in the temporary memorial erected earlier this month in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood.

She’s laying the blame for hundreds of thousands of coronavirus deaths at President Donald Trump’s feet.

“What he has done to our state is tantamount to failed leadership, devastating neglect, resulting in what I compare as homicide,” she said.

Florida has had over 4,000 new COVID-19 cases each of the past two days, with the state’s death toll passing 16,500.

Broward County Public Schools is reporting nearly 150 cases across 93 sites in the past 30 days. Miami-Dade’s schools have logged nearly 280 cases — and counting.

“We know that our teachers are scared,” said Karla Hernandez-Mats, president of the United Teachers of Dade.

On Wednesday, the teachers’ union received a donation of half a million masks for teachers.

“This could not come at a more appropriate time,” Hernandez-Mats said.

The union president says the number of cases reported in schools does not account for the hundreds of students and teachers who are now in quarantine.

“It is out of control,” she said. “That is the best way that I can describe it.”

ALSO SEE: Coronavirus cases confirmed at nearly 500 schools across South Florida

About the Author:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.