MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced Thursday that he will be meeting with business owners on Friday to discuss a possible COVID-19 lockdown.
Mayor Suarez said that the city had dropped from a high of 125 coronavirus cases a day that just 60, a day, and that the curve had flattened in terms of those testing positive for the virus.
The mayor also said hospitals are at 95% capacity but he adds that they do have capacity for another four weeks.
The mayor said he is not ruling out an erosion of phase 1 restrictions and a possible shutdown.
“I am meeting tomorrow with members of our business community to talk to them about the possibility of a future lockdown.”
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez foresees another possible shutdown of businesses. If there is not a significant drop in the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus.
“I think it’s important that we communicate with the business community, before making any decisions. And I want to get their sentiments. I want to listen to them. I want to hear what they have to say. But I also want to stress to them the severity and the seriousness that we find ourselves in,” Suarez said.
“What it’ll probably look like is something similar to where we were in March and April. In other words, aside from essential workers, you know it’ll be a stay at home order site, similar to the one that we had… We a long term plan.”
Suarez told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench “In the next few weeks if something is not done to alter the course of the Coronavirus we could be in a more dire situation.”
At a Miami-Dade County Commission meeting, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he did not envision the need right now for a countywide closure to curb COVID-19. “I was not thinking about it and I am not thinking about it right now but all options are on the table.”
He also wants to change the law to discourage cities from breaking away from the county during emergencies. He is proposing a charter amendment in November that will let voters decide if they want “One voice” during a crisis.
In Wynwood, at the Base mens multi-brand clothing store, sales associates like Richard Lilavois and Bryan Fernandez say their store had last shut down more than two months because of the Coronavirus and they are worried about another shutdown of non-essential businesses.
Lilavois said “I am skeptical. How do we start over? What are our options? What are the plans for us?”
Fernandez said “I am afraid of this happening again. We had a tough time during the last lockdown. It last two and half months. It was very challenging. I am concerned about my finances and how I will make ends meet.”
Nearby at Aviator Nation, Sales Associate Margaret Suarez said “I am kind of in the middle right now. I do not want us to close but I can see the need for it. Unfortunately, a lot of people will lose their jobs and but when you really think about it the more people are dying the more people are going to be without jobs and businesses will have to shut down and people will miss hours with the virus. People need to be more responsible. They need to wear masks.”
Suarez says the highest percent of people testing positive are in the age group of 18 to 34.
“We’re starting to see now is that age group going back to the home and infecting everybody else in the home, particularly worrisome in multi-generational households.”
Suarez expressed his concerns about the elderly.
“I’m urging elderly residents. Particularly 75 and older, to stay at home. If you can.”
“Working with the state of Florida and Miami-Dade County to provide up to 450, at least in the first phase, 450 isolation hotel rooms, so that people who are sick, and who are vulnerable and potentially be isolated.”
Mayor Suarez also said that enforcement has stepped up in the past two weeks, saying that the city has shut down some 10 businesses for alleged violations. He also said the city has conducted some 40,000 inspections and handed out 5,000 facemasks.