Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

SOUTH BEACH (CBSMiami) – Miami Beach Public Works crews, along with Mayor Philip Levine, were using vacuum trucks to clean storm drains on Sunday morning along South Beach.

It comes as news of the five confirmed cases on South Beach caught city officials off guard.

The mayor says they were kept in the dark by the state and the health department.

He took to national airwaves to air his frustration saying the “governor and health department are not talking to us, they’re not giving us any information. We knew that there were two unconfirmed cases on Thursday. The following day the governor did a press conference and did not let myself or [Miami-Dade] Mayor Carlos Gimenez know. We were caught flat-footed.”

Miami Beach crews dropped pesticide pellets into sewer drains and teams from the Miami-Dade Mosquito Response Unit went door to door handing out informational flyers.

So far, there have been 36 infections not related to travel outside the U.S. That includes the five new cases originating on South Beach.

The Zika zone on Miami Beach goes from 8th street to 28th street, from the beach in the east to the intercoastal on the west.

The Mayor is saying his first priority is the health of residents and tourists and then his second priority is business and tourism.

He hopes the governor stops playing politics with this health issue. “Information is important; we don’t want to play around with people’s lives. This is serious stuff, we need the information.”


Governor Rick Scott released this statement following CBS4’s story being published:

“Governor Scott has been in contact with mayors, local officials and community leaders for weeks and will continue to keep them informed. Friday afternoon, the Governor hosted a call with all of the local officials in Miami-Dade to give them updates on what is going on.”

Mayor Levine responded to the governor’s statement with one of his own:

The Governor left me a brief voice message late yesterday afternoon (Saturday) apparently because of the media reports detailing our frustration with the lack of timely and accurate information. The Governor repeated to local officials FRIDAY afternoon what he had already told the WORLD at his 12PM press conference the same day. Neither he or anyone from his office informed me, any of our city staff including our City Manager nor Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez of the five Miami Beach Zika cases prior to his press conference on Friday afternoon. The Governor made a mistake by not sharing this important information with the people most involved on the ground. Everyone involved has a responsibility to provide critical information as soon as they receive it so we can beat this Zika virus once and for all!

Comments (3)