APRIL 2, 2020
As of yesterday, 11 of our Miami-Dade neighbors have succumbed to COVID-19. May they Rest In Peace. The Department of Health’s Wednesday evening report added 214 new cases in Miami-Dade County, bringing the total number of confirmed cases up to 2,416. The health department added four new deaths in the county since Tuesday evening, raising the total to 11.
Total number of cases (Miami-Dade County): 2886
Total number of deaths: 20
ON THIS DAY
On April 2, 2020, the total number of positive coronavirus cases in Miami-Dade County reached 2,886. In the days since the first death in Miami-Dade, just one week ago, orders and initiatives have gone into place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while much confusion and wariness still hangs in the air.
All Miami-Dade County Public Schools officially transitioned to distance learning on March 30th, keeping thousands of students at home. To help ensure student wellness during these times, Miami-Dade Schools began a grab-and-go meal program for students to be distributed at 50 schools all across the county. The Miami Marlins is also doing its part in South Florida by launching Home Plate Meals Relief Fund in partnership with Feeding South Florida. The weekly drive-thru food distribution will take place throughout the month of April, expecting to be able to provide over 200,000 meals for the community. On the other hand, employees at grocery stores are testing positive, with Publix allowing workers to wear gloves and masks just today, and Sedano’s supermarkets being the first to provide their employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) in South Florida.
Despite ramping up efforts for keeping Miami-Dade and Florida healthy, including an anticipated state-wide stay at home order, medical providers are facing a shortage of PPE on the front lines. To make testing more accessible, age limits for drive up testing centers have been lifted from residents 65 and older to age 45, testing is free in Miami Beach for those who are uninsured and the City of Miami is providing at-home testing for homebound residents over 45. Yesterday, adult daycare centers were ordered to close.
Miami’s tourism industry has taken a big hit as well. Hotel occupancy has dropped to 19.6 percent last week compared to the same week in 2019 at 86.6 percent. Events across the county have been rescheduled including three big spring music festivals. Cruise lines continue to cancel trips amongst coronavirus scares like the Zaandam cruise ship incident which waited for permission to dock in South Florida after 12 days at sea with at least nine positive passengers on board. The Archbishop of Miami even told his priests to cancel drive-by confessions, palm pickups for Palm Sunday and in-person Easter masses, despite Governor Ron DeSantis stating that people could congregate at places of worship.
And for those who live, work, and play in Miami and Florida, uncertainty lingers among residents. Just today, DeSantis suspended all evictions and foreclosures to help keep people home during the pandemic, but only for 45 days. At the same time, unemployment rates have hit new lows, even lower than the 2009 financial crisis, and the state’s unemployment website just can’t keep up with the overwhelming new numbers of visitors.