MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) – Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and mayor from eight other Miami-Dade cities will meet at Miami’s City Hall on Monday to discuss the uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Over the last two days, the percentage of positive cases compared to negative ones made it to 13.2 percent. At the start of the week, the county saw about nine percent of the tested samples coming back as positive.
Over the weekend, the county closed three restaurants, all in Miami, for violations of the reopening rules.
Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties are home to a significant percentage of the people who tested positive for the virus.
Suarez told CNN on Sunday he’s worried South Florida could become the next epicenter for the coronavirus in the US.
“We’re extremely worried. To put those numbers in context, when we all put in the stay at home orders, the high water mark was 1300 cases. As we mentioned, we had two consecutive days where is it was almost three times the high water mark from late March and early April. Now in just Miami-Dade County, we had 930 cases, which is very close to the high water mark the state had when we implemented the stay at home order. It’s incredibly concerning. We’re starting to see the numbers tick up. We do know that a great majority of the positives are at the 18 to 35-year demographic. Those people in that demographic go home and interact with parents, grandparents and that’s a tremendous concern because it’s a vulnerable population,” he said.
Suarez noted that even if they are asymptomatic, they can still pass on the virus.
“That’s a big concern. We have another meeting on Monday morning with the Department of Health where we’ll look at the trend and analyze all the new information that we’re getting. We made the decision last Monday not to go into phase three, sounding the alarm bells for the new rise in the data we were seeing. Some members of my community were hoping we were going to open up bars and nightclubs. We’re also going to begin cracking down on restaurants and that’s already begun this week. We’re meeting with mayors from a variety of cities tomorrow (Monday) to have a press conference to make that announcement,” he said.
The mayor did not say whether the city will bring back stricter social distancing measures if the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise.
“What I said from the beginning is we cannot take that off the table. We know that when our stay at home order was implemented, we had a rise of cases at a pace of 35 cases per day. Now I’ll know tomorrow (Monday) what the rise is and based on that information, we’ll be making decisions. We implemented the stay at home orders we had a significant decrease and we’re able to stem the tide of the curve from continuing to increase. But we also have to weigh that on the impact on the economy. We know that’s been devastating. When we did it initially, we were at full employment and things were going well. Now people are desperate and times are very difficult, we have to weigh that as well,” he said.
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