Mayor of Miami-Dade, other leaders urge COVID-19 to be cautious as Thanksgiving approaches


MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava held her first virtual press conference on Tuesday afternoon about her response to the coronavirus epidemic.

Speakers at the press conference included Dr. Peter Paige, chief physician at Jackson Health System, as well as county, city, business and health leaders.

Levine Cava began the press conference by reminding residents that the new normal guidelines approved by former mayor Carlos Gimenez will remain in place.

He said seniors will continue to be provided with free meals as well as hotel rooms for those in need of quarantine. Residents can call 311 to inquire about meals or hotel stays.

Levine Cava and Paige also urged residents to be careful during the weekly Thanksgiving.

According to Paige, residents should consider holding virtual gatherings with loved ones, but if they choose to hold personal celebrations, they should limit them to members of the household only, or rather gather outside.

“The weather is so beautiful this time of year, so take advantage of that,” he said.

Paige also acknowledged that despite the pandemic, many people are still expected to travel to the holiday, and warned that people need to be careful not only when traveling to their destination, but even beyond.

“We need to guard our guard,” he said.

Paige encouraged people to continue wearing masks, whether they were in South Florida or traveling elsewhere.

[Residents may visit MiamiDade.gov/newnormal for the latest on the New Normal guidelines in Miami-Dade County.]

Meanwhile, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber has announced that police and law enforcement will once again issue citations to those caught who do not wear the mask in public – even though Governor Ron DeSantis said the pandemic was only after a pandemic.

“Now I definitely don’t have time to let go,” Gelber said. “We need to bow more to these protections now than ever before to have a happy Thanksgiving.”

Earlier on Tuesday in Liberty City, COVID-19 hotspot Frederica Wilson, representing symbolic white tombstones, walked in our community in honor of those who died of a virus.

“We are in front of and at the center of a serious health emergency,” he said.

Vaccine update

Carlos Migoya, CEO of Jackson Health, announced on Tuesday that Pfizer plans to create a 40 million-dose COVID-19 vaccine nationwide.

“If you say 40 million doses, keep in mind that Pfizer takes two doses per person, one immediately and the other in 21 days, so 20 million people get it,” he said.

Migoya said Florida “is likely to receive about 2 million such doses, or one million people.” This is a national number.

According to the draft state vaccination plan, they will be given first to priority groups such as health workers and the elderly.

Experts believe that the population will only have access to the vaccine next spring.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is still awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA scheduled a committee hearing on Dec. 10 to review the company’s application for an emergency license.

Testing for updates

Miami-Dade County coronavirus testing sites will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and are advised that if you travel with your family or friends during the week, you should test everyone ahead of time. But look for a local testing site because some city-run test sites will actually close for the holiday.

The event with Wilson also marked the announcement of a new test site for the Jessie Trice Community Health System in partnership with Florida International University to serve the most vulnerable communities in Miami-Dade County.

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