MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair, and the Miami Open tennis tournament are now suspended due to coronavirus concerns.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez made the decision Thursday morning to suspended this big events and also suspended the MIA 5K run, and all major events at the AmericanAirlines Arena.

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Mayor Gimenez declared a state of emergency for the county effective today due to the public health threat of COVID-19.

His statement reads, “Although we do not have community spread at this time, we want to take the preemptive steps to keep it that way. Therefore, I have decided to suspend the operation of the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair, the Miami Open tennis tournament, the MIA 5K run, and all major events at the American Airlines Arena. As we move forward together during this time, we will continue to monitor what the World Health Organization has determined is a global pandemic. We will constantly evaluate planned mass gatherings as the situation evolves.

I will be making future policy decisions regarding indoor events planned for more than 250 people based on federal and state health officials’ guidance.

In addition, I am recommending that smaller gatherings, if they’re not essential, also be reconsidered.”

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The Youth Fair is a private not-for-profit charity chartered by the state of Florida, but operates at the Tamiami Park Fairgrounds, which it leases from the county.

“We have no choice but to comply with the mayor’s directive, which stems from his declaration of a state of emergency,” said Eddie Cora, president of The Youth Fair.

“This is the first time in the Fair’s 69-year history that The Youth Fair has been postponed, and we are extremely regretful for the impact it will have on the youth of our community – the 600,000 guests who flock to the Youth Fair each year, the 63,000 students whose school projects are already set up for display at the Youth Fair and the high school seniors and other students who the fair funds with college scholarships and prizes from the proceeds of the Youth Fair,” Cora said.

“We will be reassessing the situation in the coming weeks and will make announcements as decisions are finalized.”

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By declaring a state of emergency, the mayor puts in place the local government’s ability to rapidly accept and deploy state and federal funds and quickly purchase supplies in addition to adding more staff.

The Miami Open tennis tournament had been scheduled for March 23 to April 5 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. The tournament moved there last year from its former home on Key Biscayne.

The Miami Open draws fans from all over the world, which compounded health concerns. Last year’s attendance totaled 388,734, the most in tournament history. Tournament officials estimated the economic impact for South Florida at $390 million.

Miami Open Tournament Director James Blake tweeted out a statement regarding the decision to postpone the event.

 

The Miami-Dade Police Department is also temporarily suspending all eviction activities until further notice as part of the state of emergency.

Miami-Dade has one confirmed case of coronavirus in a 56-year-old man. The Florida Department of Health says this is a travel-related case and the man is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials.

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