By Mike Cugno

BROWARD (CBSMiami) – Broward County leaders fear another shutdown may be inevitable.

“I expect in the next week or two we’ll have to order another complete shutdown in Broward. Dade will be there a week or so before us,” said Vice Mayor Steven Geller.

Wednesday marked the eighth straight day of at least 1,000 new COVID cases in the county.

“June 15th we had 5.8 positive as of the numbers I received this morning it’s gone from 5.8 to 14.9. That’s horrible,” Geller said.

Leaders in the county don’t want residents to relax just because Miami-Dade is showing a 28% positivity rate. The vice mayor believes four factors contribute to Dade’s higher numbers. Population density, poorer neighborhoods, travelers and a higher population of Hispanics.

“I’ve been told and I read frequently that a Hispanic community, because they value family so much, is more likely to have multi-generational households,” Geller said.

Broward Commissioner Barbara Sharief said compliance is the key to avoiding another shutdown. The county just put in new restrictions on restaurants and short term vacation rentals.

“Everybody’s looking for the right balance between what we’re perceiving as the safest route to go and what people are wanting,” she said. “We would be looking at maybe another shutdown within the coming three, four weeks if we don’t see a decline in these cases.”

The uptick in cases is also straining the health care system. A representative for Broward Health said they still have capacity, but Memorial Health Care System is concerned about their emergency rooms.

“If you look at the volumes in our emergency department, they have never been this high. We’re committed to supporting our frontline staff,” said Aurelio Fernandez, the president and CEO of Memorial Health Care System.

Fernandez said 200 outside nurses have been authorized to come in over the next few weeks. They also have a new stock of remdesivir.

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