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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Governor Rick Scott stopped into Miami Beach on Tuesday and brought some good news.
Scott said the Florida Department of Health cleared the northern portion of Miami Beach’s Zika transmission zone, meaning that portion is not considered an area where the virus is spreading anymore.
“I am proud to announce that three miles of the impacted area in Miami Beach have now been cleared of any ongoing active transmission of the Zika virus,” said Scott.
“This is a great day for all of us in Miami-Dade County as we celebrate another victory in our fight against the Zika virus,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
The newly cleared area – between 28th to 63rd Streets – encompasses all of Middle Beach from Biscayne Bay to the Atlantic Ocean.
It has been 45 days since the last local transmission of the virus in that portion of the city.
“Our city came together,” said Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. t shows in the tourism numbers
It shows in the tourism numbers. About 12 million people visited Miami-Dade county the first nine months of the year. That’s up 2.6 percent from last year.
On the downside, Zika played a role in down individual hotel bookings and had a major impact on Wynwood businesses.
Scott said there is still a problem in two other areas still considered Zika zones – one in Miami Beach and another in the area of Little River.
“We must continue to take aggressive mosquito control measures so we can soon lift these remaining areas,” said Scott.
The remaining area in Miami Beach is about 1.5 square miles between 8th and 28th streets.
As for the area in Little River, it’s about one square mile. The street boundaries are NW 79th St. to the North, NW 63rd St. to the South, NW 10th Ave. to the West and N. Miami Ave. to the East.
As of Tuesday, three more cases of the Zika virus had been confirmed in Miami-Dade county. Two of the new cases involved infections that occurred in the county, the third was travel related.
In all, Florida has 236 locally acquired Zika cases and 950 travel-related cases. About 168 pregnant women have been infected which is particularly dangerous to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects.
The governor said Florida is getting federal funding to fight the spread of the virus but, so far, they have records of only $7 million of funding actually reaching the state.
“We have committed every available resource, including more than $61 million in state funding to beat this virus. We waited nearly eight months for the federal government to fund the fight against Zika. While Congress passed and the president signed funding in September, we have waited nearly two months for the federal government to send only $7 million to help reimburse Florida’s costs,” said Scott. “We are on the frontlines of this fight and we are requesting every dollar to be immediately made available to Florida.”