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Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe Martinez tests positive for COVID-19 after being vaccinated

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MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez began experiencing flu-like symptoms earlier this week and has since tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced Wednesday.

The commissioner who represents District 11 is self-isolating. His staff members and others who have been in close contact with him are getting tested Wednesday for the virus, his office confirmed.

Fellow Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz has also tested positive for the virus, as did his chief of staff, Isidoro Lopez.

All three had been vaccinated against COVID-19. It’s still unclear whether they were the victims of the new and more contagious Delta variant.

Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert with Florida International University, said Tuesday that those who are vaccinated should still remain cautious. She said COVID-19 vaccines are effective, but there are some people who while fully vaccinated will still get sick.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention refers to these as vaccine breakthrough cases and the agency is working with state and local health departments to identify patterns.

As of July 6, the CDC received reports of 5,186 patients with COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections. According to the CDC, 4,909 were hospitalized and 988 died.

Marty said this shouldn’t dissuade anyone from receiving the COVID vaccine since it still protects against hospitalization.

“The vaccine is a way to prepare your body ahead of time,” Marty said, comparing it to hurricane season preparations.

An Associated Press analysis last month of available government data from May showed that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 107,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 1.1%.

And only about 150 of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May were in fully vaccinated people. That translates to about 0.8%, or five deaths per day on average.


About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.