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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Governor Rick Scott announced Friday that the Zika transmission zone has been lifted for Little River.
“After 45 days of no local transmission of Zika in the Little River area we can say that the Little River area no longer has active transmission Zika, which is a very good thing,” said Scott.
Scott gave the update Friday morning at St. Mary’s Cathedral School which is what was formerly the transmission zone in Little River.
“This great news comes as Miami is welcoming millions of visitors for Art Basel and shortly after we lifted the Zika zone in northern Miami Beach,” said Scott in a statement. “It is crucial that everyone remains vigilant and continues to do their part to wear bug spray and dump standing water so we can keep these areas clear, especially for pregnant women and their developing babies.”
“This is a great Christmas gift to our community,” said Bill Talbert, CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Tourism took a hit over summer because of Zika fears, but it’s back to business as usual as the holidays approach.
“The future is bright. We have had record numbers. We deal with this issue, you know, if things happen. This community has always handled crisis very, very well,” said Talbert.
On Thursday, the state’s Department of Health announced that there was one new travel related case and no new locally acquired cases.
To date, Florida has had 961 travel related cases, 244 locally acquired cases and 173 cases of lab results showing Zika infections in pregnant women.
The remaining area of active Zika transmission in Miami Beach is about 1.5 square miles between 8th and 28th streets.
Scott said the city and county were both very aggressive in their fight against the spread of the Zika virus this past year; from spraying for mosquitoes and code enforcement to the people who live and visit here, protecting both themselves and their homes.
Florida allocated $61 million to help come up with a vaccine and fight local transmissions. Scott said Florida still needs the federal government to step up.
“It’s still frustrating the federal government has not been a good enough partner. We’ve worked hard to get the $1.1 billion for the funding this year. It’s been two months and we’ve only seen about seven million of that so far.”
Scott said he’s confident that southern Miami Beach zone will be lifted in the near future. But even when it is the problem will be far from solved.
“We don’t have a vaccine yet. Next summer we’re gonna have more mosquitoes again. So we’re gonna have to keep working at this,” he said.