MIAMI, Fla. – Hundreds of people were packed in side by side Saturday night at an outdoor concert in Wynwood. They were there to see Jamaican dance-hall artist Shenseea performing, but without any obvious enforcement of COVID-19 social distancing rules.
It is one example of why experts believe that South Florida, among other places around the country, are speeding toward an unsettling peak in coronavirus cases.
On Local 10′s Sunday news program, “This Week in South Florida,” Aileen Marty, M.D., professor of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine at the FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, said doctors on the frontlines are already seeing a disturbing trend.
“More than anything, it comes down to people not adhering to the simple public heath requests and a false sense of security,” Marty said, adding that Miami-Dade County has the seventh highest numbers of deaths in all counties in the United States and the 3rd highest county cases in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University.
“This is extremely serious,” she said.
(See Dr. Marty’s complete “This Week In South Florida” interview below.)
The numbers are inching backwards to what it was like early on in the pandemic when the infection was deemed widespread and uncontrolled, which forced mandatory shutdowns.
The current impact is already being felt in South Florida hospitals. State records detail the troubling trend — that patients with COVID-19 are being admitted at the highest rate in several months and that the positivity rate is at its highest point in 14 days.
“We’ve been trending in the high 9 ‘percents’ for a couple of days now, which again is trending very, very, poorly for our community,” Marty said.
Lines are long once again at some COVID-19 testing sites, which is another indicator.
This is all bad news, Marty said, on the heels of the Thanksgiving Day holiday when families typically gather together to share a meal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these steps if you are considering entertaining people that do not live in your household for a Thanksgiving celebration.
- Limit the number of attendees as much as possible to allow people from different households to remain at least 6 feet apart at all times. Guests should avoid direct contact, including handshakes and hugs, with others not from their household.
- Host outdoor rather than indoor gatherings as much as possible. Even outdoors, require guests to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
- Avoid holding gatherings in crowded, poorly ventilated spaces with persons who are not in your household.
See more from the CDC on considerations when hosting celebrations and gatherings during COVID-19.