MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Coronavirus cases in Florida continue to surge, and hospitalizations in Miami-Dade County hit a new high as intensive care units are at about 127% capacity. Daily new cases have tripled in just a month in the Sunshine State, with more than 12,000 Floridians confirmed as newly infected on Sunday alone.
The state now has more than 350,000 cases and more than 5,000 deaths, state data shows. If Florida was a country, it would rank seventh on the global tally of the most infected nations.
The numbers are trending in an alarming direction.
“Yeah, this is scary. I mean, now every day is over 10,000 it’s almost like the norm,” said Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez on CNN Monday morning. “It’s a breaking point. Now we’re at a critical stage and more than ever, we have to unite.”
Hialeah has one of the largest number of positive COVID-19 cases behind Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
The Mayor says there needs to be one plan in place for the counties and the state including a mask mandate.
“I think that it’s about time that masks are mandated statewide,” said Hernandez. “You have state counties here, that if you go to them today, it’s like nothing’s happening. No mask, no distancing nothing and then you have other counties that are not working one with another.”
Hernandez argued that different curfews in different areas is adding to the confusion.
“For example, here in Miami Dade County, the county next to us is Broward County. We have a curfew here where restaurants are closed. And in Broward the restaurants are open. So what’s happening, instead of people not going to the restaurant, they’re just going across the border to those restaurants. So as long as we don’t work together, and I’m talking counties and the state, we’re going to find ourselves in this problem right now. You can’t fix it by pieces.”
Miami-Dade has a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and indoor dining is not allowed curfew, Broward County has an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew but indoor dining is allowed until 10 p.m. with no more than 6 people, and the Miami Beach entertainment district has an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.
There is also confusion over the new fines being issued if people don’t wear masks in certain parts of the county.
The county decided to start doing this a week ago. And that’s why I keep talking about working together. One moment the mayor of the county said it wasn’t it wasn’t necessary, while the large city said ‘hey, we need to start enforcing, we need to start doing this.’ Now it’s happening countywide. But again, as long as we don’t all unite, I’m going keep saying this at every level, local, county, state and maybe federal, we’re going to find ourselves in the problem that we have right now because it’s not the same message. Some people are confused, and some people are taking sides.” He added, “This is not the time for you know, Republicans, Democrats, none of this game. We’re in this together and there’s no way out if we don’t get on the same page.”
Mayor Hernandez also doesn’t agree with Gov. DeSantis opinion that schools should reopen five days a week in person next month after the Governor said elementary school students are “at almost zero risk.”
“I think that nobody will want to put their kids at risk to catch coronavirus. And if that was a fact, which there is no evidence for that, those kids do have parents and they do have grandparents. So, and we all know we have kids, how hard it is to control little kids and tell them to wear mask or respect social distance. So I don’t agree with that. Again, we have this serious issue right now. I don’t think talking about opening schools is the right thing at this moment.”
Hernandez says he doesn’t know if Gov. DeSantis is taking it seriously.
“I know he’s late, that I can tell you he’s very, very late. And for a long time, again, he was taking the position that this was going to go away. He was late on testing sites. He was late on a lot of things and now we find ourselves in the situation.”