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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the battle to contain the spread of the Zika virus continues in South Florida, Governor Rick Scott held a roundtable discussion with health officials and politicians on Friday.
Scott told those in attendance that while South Florida and the Keys won’t have to deal with the brunt of a tropical wave passing to the south, he’s concerned about the standing water it will leave behind.
“We all know we are going to have some weather this weekend. Over the next few days it’s going to be even more incumbent on us to make sure we get of the standing water. I think everybody involved as we do this around the state would recognize that where we are seeing mosquitoes we are seeing standing water, there’s a direct correlation,” said Scott. “So if everybody in the state can focus on getting rid of the standing water then we are going to do well.”
Scott also reminded everyone that the state is offering free Zika testing for all pregnant women.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado told the governor that business in Wynwood remains down dramatically. Scott agreed that the area was in need of assistance.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine asked the governor for economic assistance to create media campaigns to educate the public about Zika and encourage people to keep visiting his city.
Levine also took a slight jab at Scott, saying he looks forward to full disclosure and transparency moving forward concerning the latest Zika developments.
The mayor has publicly criticized the governor over his controlled release of Zika information. He said he was “blindsided” when Scott announced last Friday that a non-travel related case of the Zika virus was found in his city but didn’t inform him or county Mayor Carlos Gimenez first.
Scott plans to go to Washington D.C. on September 6th in an effort to get more Zika funding from a stalled Congress.
“I will travel to Washington D.C. to meet with members of Congress on the day they return to work to make sure they immediately get something done on this urgent issue,” said Scott in a statement. “During Congress’s vacation, we have identified 43 cases of locally acquired Zika in four Florida counties. The Zika virus demands immediate federal action and I will impress upon our congressional members the urgency to protect our residents and visitors.”
In the Department of Health’s daily Zika update, there are no new non-travel related cases.
In fact, he department learned one of the individuals initially classified as a locally acquired case in the Wynwood area had recent travel outside the U.S. to an area with widespread Zika transmission.
Therefore, the non-travel related case count has decreased by one, to 42.
However, there were 15 new travel-related cases – three in Broward, three in Pinellas, one in Collier, one in Hillsborough, one in Orange, one in Sarasota and five involving pregnant women.
On Saturday, Miami-Dade Mosquito Control plans to do another round of aerial spraying.
Weather permitting, the spraying will take place early in the morning in the area bounded by NW 5th Avenue to the west, US 1 to the east, NW/NE 38th Street to the north and NW/NE 20th Street to the south.
The spraying covers two-square miles, which is much larger than the current hot zone.
The DOH reports they have cleared the perimeter of the Wynwood area and the current hot zone is approximately half a square mile.