Thursday, March 12, 2020
In response to the World Health Organization classifying the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic along with emergency declarations from both Governor Ron DeSantis and County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the Miami Beach City Manager has signed a State of Emergency — recognizing that it’s important for everyone to do their part to prevent the spread of this virus.
Special Commission Meeting
The City Commission will hold a Special Commission Meeting tomorrow, March 13, at 1 p.m., in the Commission Chambers, 1700 Convention Center Drive, Third Floor, to discuss the COVID-19 virus and the potential impacts on our city.
Special Event Permits
As a result of the city declaration, there will not be any special event permits issued for gatherings of 250 or more people for the next 30 days.
Neighborhood Association and Resident Advisory Meetings
The city encourages all Miami Beach Homeowner Associations not to hold in-person meetings. City staff will be available telephonically or over email to answer any questions. Resident advisory committee meetings will either be postponed or held telephonically.
The following public cultural facilities will close starting tomorrow until further notice: Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason, Colony Theatre, North Beach Bandshell and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. The Bass, Wolfsonian-FIU and Botanical Gardens will remain open, but all of their events are canceled.
Postponed/Canceled City Events & Meetings
For a full list of impacted events, please visit www.MiamiBeachFl.gov/coronavirus.
It’s Not Too Late for a Flu Shot
In South Florida, flu season peaks from January through the spring. Symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to the flu, including cough, fever, congestion, fatigue, respiratory problems and muscle aches. It is, therefore, best to diminish the chance of catching the flu before the coronavirus spreads further. That can best be done with a flu shot.
The City of Miami Beach remains committed to ensuring the safety and public health of our residents, visitors and local businesses. As the information is changing rapidly pertaining to COVID-19, the administration is conducting daily interdepartmental calls to monitor the progression of novel coronavirus COVID-19 to ensure that we stay informed and prepared to respond if needed. We are also closely following the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) as well as the School Board.
Additionally, as tourism is a major part of the Miami Beach community, we are working closely with our local agencies and a COVID-19 meeting was held on Monday in conjunction with the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association at the Miami Beach Convention Center, inviting our hotel and restaurant facility managers, representatives from the Miami International Airport and FDOH. The meeting consisted of CDC updates, facility protocols and best practices for ensuring optimal sanitary conditions as well as industry impacts.
Miami Beach continues to take elevated measures to ensure the health and safety of our visitors in our facilities, on the trolleys and in or around Miami Beach. Below is a summary of measures that are currently being implemented by the city.
Precautionary Measures by the City of Miami Beach
We are continuing to ensure our spaces, including youth centers, beachfront restrooms and city facilities are being thoroughly cleaned. This includes the daily effort of wiping down every touch surface such as door handles, elevator push buttons, handrails and recreation equipment. Cleaning contractors are also providing additional training to staff to ensure proper cleaning techniques are utilized.
We have asked our cultural facilities such as the Bass Museum, Colony Theatre, Fillmore, Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, Miami City Ballet, New World Symphony and the Wolfsonian-FIU to follow suit in emphasizing cleanliness in their respective spaces.
Our recreation staff is encouraging kids to wash their hands frequently. If a child presents him/herself sick, the child is removed from the group, placed in the admin office and parents are contacted immediately to pick up the child. Hand sanitizers also continue to be at every point of entry at our youth centers.
Miami Beach Trolley
The city’s Miami Beach Trolley operator, Limousines of South Florida (LSF), is taking additional measures to ensure our trolleys are thoroughly cleaned. In addition to their standard daily cleaning practices, LSF is increasing the frequency of cleaning, including “high touch” areas — buttons, handholds, pull cords and rails both mid-day during shift change and at the end of the day. Based on availability, trolleys may be equipped with hand wipes.
The City of Miami Beach is closely monitoring this situation and following the recommendations of the CDC and the FDOH. While this may change at any time, we recommend you continue to check our website for information on this at www.MiamiBeachFl.gov/coronavirus.
Due to the risks associated with senior and at-risk populations, the Miami Beach Parks and Recreation Department will be implementing the below changes to programmed activities, effective immediately.
- Senior programs are temporarily cancelled at North Shore Park, Scott Rakow Youth Center and Flamingo Park
- Senior field trips to the Orchid Festival and Youth Fair are cancelled
- Senior “Bingo Night” and “Art Gallery Night” are postponed
- Special populations field trips to the Youth Fair, Flamingo West Park and Greynolds Park are cancelled
At this time, senior programs will continue at UNIDAD.
The above changes are implemented in an abundance of caution as the health and safety of our residents and visitors is of the utmost importance. The department will continue to work diligently with instructors, service providers and partners to ensure the wellbeing of all program participants.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please call 305.673.7730. Check back with your local facilities for updates on postponed events.
Miami-Dade County Polling Locations
The Elections Department is providing hand sanitizer at all Early Voting and Election Day locations in Miami-Dade County. Additionally, there are bathrooms at every polling place for hand washing.
Seniors and Special Needs Community
While the city remains open for business, we understand the importance of the elderly and vulnerable populations to take proper precautions at this time. The city is working with our elderly housing and congregant meal sites to help disseminate the most current and relevant health information to our seniors. According to the CDC, the following people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness:
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease such as:
- Stock up on supplies
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible
During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible.
Prevention Starts With You
The CDC urges everyone to do their part to help during this emerging public health threat, this includes:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Take personal responsibility. If you are sick with a fever, cough or viral symptoms, please stay away from others, including the work environment and crowded area
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, you can learn more about prevention and treatment by visiting the CDC website.
Frequently Asked Question Per the CDC
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
People are thought to be the most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
For more information visit the CDC webpage.