It is no mystery that COVID-19 continues to ravage the United States. The country is averaging more than 60,000 cases a day while most countries have controlled their virus and are starting to return to a form of normal. In Florida, a state that has resisted measures to slow the spread, Miami has become the new epicenter with surging cases and hospitalization rates.
Medical professionals are calling for Florida to do what needs to be done to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Miami, a heavily Latino city, is seeing the worst of the pandemic since the virus came to the U.S. in March. Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has stayed defiant against health guidelines and spent months downplaying the true severity of the virus. Now, one of the state’s largest cities is paying the price.
Doctors are comparing Miami’s outbreak to the outbreak first seen in Wuhan, China, the origin of the virus.
Part of the issue, according to various doctors, is that Florida’s reopening has led the way for the surge in cases. Mask mandates and other guidelines were slow to be implemented in the state and now Floridians are not taking the virus seriously.
“They have not adhered to guidelines,” Florida International University epidemiologist Dr. Aileen Marty said at an online press conference with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “They have been in those closed spaces without taking the appropriate precautions, and that’s the main reason we are where we are.”
In response to people in the region disobeying guidelines, some businesses are being restricted.
Miami-Dade Mayor Gimenez implemented a curfew on restaurants because of the sudden spike in cases. The restriction was met with anger from various city mayors in Miami-Dade County who wish for Florida to remain open as hospitals run out of room for new patients.
“The medical experts cannot tell us that this increase comes from indoor dining,” J.C. Bermudez, the mayor of Doral, told Miami Herald. “Did it come from the protests [against police brutality]? Was it beaches? Are [people] on their boats?”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a health organization that specializes in tracking and studying diseases, disagrees. According to the CDC, being indoors at a restaurant is a risky thing to do because of the patrons not wearing face coverings to eat. This allows the virus to have a better chance of spreading.
Americans in other states just can’t make sense of Florida’s COVID-19 response.
Some of the mayors claim that closing the restaurants’ in-dining services is detrimental to the communities who need food. However, the restaurants are allowed to provide delivery and take out without limitation. This allows people to continue to get the food they need and want without further exposing themselves or others to the virus.
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