Miami News

Coronavirus in Miami and what to know now


After first evolving in China, the Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19 has spread within the United States. Since its first documented presence in the U.S. on January 21, 2020, until March 12, 2020, there have been 1,215 confirmed cases in the U.S., with 36 cases resulting in death.

The coronavirus is a respiratory disease with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The virus spreads mainly from close contact person-to-person, and there is currently no vaccine.

On March 2, Florida governor Ron DeSantis informed residents that 23 people in the state have been tested and the state is currently monitoring 185 cases. Currently, however, there are two presumptive positive cases in the State of Florida.

First is a man in his 60s from Manatee County. Second is a woman in her 20s from Hillsborough County who had recently travelled to Italy, where a large outbreak of the virus is active. According to Governor DeSantis, both patients are in stable condition.

In response to this outbreak, Miami’s largest hospital, Jackson Memorial, is doing coronavirus screening at all entry points. However, this testing is not free, so patients should expect to be billed normally. One man, Osmel Martinez, Azcue was billed $3,200 for coronavirus testing. Testing is primarily done on people who have travelled to China, Italy, or South Korea.

Further, public events such as the Ultra Festival, scheduled for March 20-22 at Bayfront Park and the Calle Ocho Music Festival, scheduled for March 15, have been cancelled and/or postponed due to the outbreak. On March 11 President Donald Trump declared a travel ban from most of Europe and announced financial assistance through the SBA for small businesses that are being impacted economically.  Events such as the Miami Open, the Youth Fair, Arena Events, Jazz in the Gardens, NASCAR which might still happen but with no fans watching have all been cancelled until further notice.

A lot pf people are worried that their medical bills with respect to Corona Virus testing will not be covered, but the president said that it would be covered by Medicare and that copay's would be waived if you have private insurance.  The NBA has also suspended their season indefinitely.

Schools, colleges, and universities are also trying to stay ahead of the virus by preparing their students and faculty for a shut down. 

“We are working with deans and faculty members to prepare for the possibility of remote and virtual instruction for some (or possibly all) courses,” the University of Miami said in a statement. 

The university also announced that starting March 15 effective through March 31, all campus events or meetings with 50 or more attendees are cancelled. This excludes athletics, which will abide by NCAA, ACC, and State of Florida guidelines. 

Other schools, such as Miami-Dade College and Barry University are preparing its students and faculty for remote instruction, should they need to shut down. Further, these institutions are requiring students and faculty to self-quarantine if they have recently travelled to China, Germany, Italy, or other countries.

In order to lessen the public health threat in the Miami community, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer that is 60 percent alcohol. It is also suggests that you avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

If you are sick, the CDC advises you to stay out of contact with other people, including avoiding work, school, or other crowded areas. 

For more information on the disease and prevention methods, visit the CDC website.

Stay up to date with the latest news from Miami