MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava met with the presidents of several South Florida universities and colleges on Wednesday to discuss the summer surge of COVID-19 cases ahead of the start of the fall semester.

The group was a united force with a goal to vaccinate younger, college-aged people in what Mayor Levine Cava called “the urgent and escalating COVID crisis.”

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Presidents from Florida International University, Florida Memorial, University of Miami, Miami-Dade College, and Fortis College each spoke and encouraged students to get vaccinated.
“In a pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is safe,” said UM President Julio Frenk.

Come the fall semester, students at UM will need to either prove vaccination or get weekly testing, said Frenk on Wednesday. “We will have vaccination groups on the Coral Gables campus,” said Frenk. “Any students who has not been vaccinated or has not provided us with information will have to be tested at least once a week.”

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College campuses can’t require students be vaccinated, but some in South Florida said they will require masks in the classroom.

Madeline Pumariega, the President at Miami-Dade College, said her students are creating outreach groups to encourage vaccination. “Students are launching a campaign, ‘Get The Shot’ campaign, so they can within each other promote,” she said.

The continued effort for younger people to get vaccinated comes as hospitalizations are on the rise in Florida.

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“The median age of positive cases is 36, which is a different scenario than what we were seeing last year,” said Dr. Peter Paige, the Chief Medical Officer for Miami-Dade County.