MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez held a virtual press conference on Wednesday afternoon to talk about the recent rise of COVID-19 cases.
Despite the recent surge in cases, Mayor Gimenez did not issue a mandate for wearing masks outdoors in the county.
Mayor Gimenez did say that the next two weeks would be critical in tamping down the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease specialist with FIU, said anything that brings people together in close proximity, whether it be social gathering or recent protests, are contributing to the surge.
“This spike that we’re seeing now – it’s not just a spike. It started more slowly and it’s going up and up and up, and it will continue to do so,” she said. “And it’s all behavior driven.”
More than 26% of the tests in the county are coming back positive, so the county is implementing educational campaigns and “surge teams” to go into hotspot areas.
See What Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez had to say:
The surge teams, made up by 100 people, will be going to Allapatah, Brownsville, Cutler Bay and the Homestead area to warn businesses and residents that they have high numbers and precautions must be taken.
They will also be distributing kits, including masks.
The mayor also mentioned a spike in cases between 18 to 34 year olds, who are getting COVID-19 and warned those who are overweight and those with diabetes that they are at high risk.
Mayor Gimenez also gave an update on hospital beds and availability.
“Capacity overall in Miami-Dade is very good and stable. The number of COVID patients in a hospital is still considerably less than what we saw during the height of the pandemic. We also have a temporary hospital built by the Army Corps of Engineers at the Miami Beach Convention Center, for any overflow,” said Gimenez.
Dr. Marty said beds aren’t the only things that should concern officials and health care workers should the state continue on this path.
“We’re going to be running out of vital equipment. We may run out of oxygen, we may run out of remdesivir, we may run out of steroids. All kinds of medications, all kinds of things that we need to help people stay alive,” she said.
According to the Florida health dashboard, the median age in Dade County right now for those testing positive is now in the mid-40s.
Mayor Gimenez mentioned that there is no need to wear masks outdoors as long as social distance is maintained.