FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Two South Florida officials, a Sunrise police sergeant and a Monroe County commissioner, have been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.
Monroe County Commissioner Mike Forster is in the ICU at a Miami-Dade hospital, Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi said.
“He’s been intubated and he’s fighting, fighting the best he can so it’s definitely hit home for all of us,” Gastesi said. “We just have to be careful and get through hopefully what will be the last spike.”
Meanwhile, Sunrise police Sgt. Darwin Arroyo is currently fighting for his life in an ICU and on a ventilator, according to a GoFundMe page set up by his police union.
Arroyo is a married father of two. According to the page’s organizer, Arroyo was exposed to COVID-19 while at work.
This year, more officers nationwide have died from COVID-19 than another other threat they face on the street.
Last month five South Florida police officers died after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Michael Williams, a longtime bus operator and union leader for Miami-Dade transit is among the latest victims to die of COVID-19. He is at least the sixth transit worker the union has lost to the virus and 125 more are out sick.
“The losses the transit workforce is facing are catastrophic, but they are also preventable. We urge all who have not been vaccinated to please do so immediately,” said Jeffrey Mitchell, the president of the transit workers’ union.
Overall, COVID-19 hospitalizations appear to be trending down in recent days. But, according to state records, there are still more than 13,000 people hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19.
That’s more than three times where Florida stood this time last year.
The Delta variant is sweeping across the country at a rapid rate, and now the CDC is tracking a new strain, dubbed the Mu variant.
“The concern is that is a has a few, a constellation of mutations, that it would indicate would might evade the protection from certain antibodies,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci. “That’s what we mean when we say we’re keeping an eye on it, but right now it is not an immediate threat.”
For information on where COVID-19 vaccines are available in South Florida, click here.