MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz, who has been helping other local officials at the site of the Surfside condo collapse, announced on Sunday that he and his chief of staff tested positive for COVID-19 even though both have been vaccinated.
The news release late Sunday from Diaz said he and his chief of staff Isidoro Lopez, who also received a vaccine against COVID-19, came down with flu-like symptoms earlier in the day and later tested positive for the virus.READ MORE: North Miami Beach Mayor Creates GoFundMe Page To Help Displaced Crestview Towers Residents
“Staff and others who have been in close contact with them will be getting tested between today and tomorrow,” the news release said. The statement also said Diaz and Lopez would be isolating and following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Everybody who has come in close proximity has been tested,” said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava during a Monday morning news conference. “There is testing available on-site whenever there is an indication or a need.”
CBS4 News has learned that Diaz was having breathing issues and was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
“He will be properly managed and treated to reduce his risk of any further progression of his illness,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease specialist at Florida International University.
She said this is a good reminder that we are not out of the proverbial woods yet.READ MORE: South Florida Doctors Reiterate There’s No Proof COVID Vaccine Causes Female Infertility
“People need to understand, unfortunately, this horrific pandemic is not over, as much as we all wish it were,” said Marty.
The search for bodies continues at the wreckage of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, where earlier Sunday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed the death toll had reached 90 in last month’s collapse. Some 31 people remain listed as missing.
“Breakthrough” infections — fully vaccinated individuals who contract the coronavirus — do happen, although they are very rare.
An Associated Press analysis of government data in May showed only about 1% of such cases resulted in hospitalization or death. The analysis suggested that nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. recently have been in people who weren’t vaccinated, a staggering demonstration of how effective the shots have been and an indication that deaths could approach zero if every eligible person gets the vaccine.
Last week, Florida health officials reported an increase in COVID-19 cases and a higher positive test rate compared with other recent weeks.MORE NEWS: Have You Seen Ashley Espinoza-Sanchez? Missing Woman Last Seen At Hard Rock Stadium
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)