By Eliott Rodriguez

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While coronavirus positivity rates continue to trend upward in South Florida, health officials are issuing a warning to residents and visitors to adhere to safety precautions, especially with the holiday season quickly approaching.

“Using masking and social distancing, we’ll be able to maintain that number where it is,” said Jackson Health System President and CEO Carlos Migoya.

Carlos Migoya met with health care officials for a virtual press conference on Monday to remind residents to stay vigilant.

“For the last couple of days, the number of beds in Miami-Dade County have inched up slightly. While the positivity rates have been hovering above the 4.5% and 5% ranges, the previous few days were in the 2 and 3 percentile,” he said. “So, we have not seen a lot of the impact, but our projections are a surge or uptick in the next 30 days, with the peak being sometime in November.”

Migoya cited the slight uptick in cases as reopenings continue statewide and restrictions are lifted.

However, he said hospitals should expect to see a surge as the holiday season approaches, even with testing trending downward.

“The important thing is not necessarily the number of people testing positive, but the percentage of people testing positive. As the number of testing varies from time to time, there’s going to be different percentages that happen. Therefore, maintaining the positivity rate is equally and more important than having the total number.”

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While health care officials prepare for a surge in cases, Migoya encourages everyone to maintain social distancing and follow the CDC safety guidelines in place to stop the spread of the virus.

“Everybody has to continue doing the same boring thing that we’ve been talking about for months now,” he said. “Which is to keep your hands clean, hand hygiene, you’re masking, social distancing. as long as we can continue to do that, let’s not worry about 2% or 7%. We need to continue to do that.”

Migoya said if cases were to climb significantly in the coming months, Jackson Hospitals are well equipped with beds and resources to help another wave of coronavirus patients.

Eliott Rodriguez