Miami-Dade’s COVID spread complicating mayor’s plan to lift midnight curfew next week

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    Trial results for COVID-19 are rising incorrectly in Miami-Dade County, a minor change that complicates a plan Mayor Danella Levine Cava announced a month earlier to lift the county’s midnight curfew if The test statistics have improved.

    Under pressure from some county commissioners and businesses to allow restaurants and bars to remain open overnight, in early March Levine Kava announced a timetable that placed restrictions during the spring break season.

    In a memorandum to the commissioners on 5 March, Levine Kava stated that the curfew would be lifted from 5 April if the COVID-19 situation improved and if a two-week average of positive COVID results.

    With one week left to go to move the numbers, Miami-Dad’s “positivity” rate is higher, not lower. After going below 6% for most of the previous week, the daily positivity rate was 6.06% on Saturday and 7.59% on Sunday.

    Those results skewed the curve away from hitting Levine Kava’s curfew target. The new two-week average was 6.3% in the final two weeks before April 5, roughly the same level as Levin Kava announced his plans in early March.

    A week ago, the average was 6.2%.

    Levin Kava Memorandum The requirement for lifting the curfew stated an average of 5.5%. On Tuesday, the mayor and his top spokesman insisted on other numbers that would also be part of the decision.

    “5.5% is a benchmark that is used, coupled with community prevalence, hospitalization rates and deaths, and is now the percentage of vaccinated residents,” said Rachel Johnson, Lechle Kawa’s top spokesperson. The mayor is meeting with medical advisors “and reviewing the statistics and trends so that we can provide the community an update on the curfew by April 5.”

    Curfew under Jiminez, Levin Kawa

    The countywide curfew, which ends at 6 am each day, remains the Miami-Dad’s most emerged COVID-19 emergency ban.

    The then Mayor Carlos Jimenez imposed a countywide curfew for the first time in July, a spurt of COVID-19 infection that spread through the population. The curfew then began at 10 pm, but the rate of positivity declined and COVID-19 returned to the number of hospitalizations.

    At a Miami Herald online forum on Tuesday, Levin Kava said he hopes “we will continue with these positive trends” allowing the county to “redo” the midnight curfew.

    While positivity rates are rising, COVID-19 hospitalizations have been falling for the past two weeks – from an average of 623 per day on March 14 to an average of 547 on Sundays, the most recently available data.

    Levine Kava defended the curfew, but also emphasized masking, cleaning, and social disturbances as the key to avoiding COVID-19.

    “I know many are eager to end the curfew,” she said during a Herald Florida priority panel discussion on post-pandemic Miami. “But we just say, from midnight to 6, a lot of people are not on their guard. They must be partying. They may be more to drink … We don’t want these super-spreader events . “

    Spring break and COVID spread to Miami-Dad

    Last week, Levin Kava’s top medical advisor predicted a link between the county’s Spring Break visitors and the more local COVID-19 spread.

    Jackson’s Health Administrator Drs. Peter Paige, who also serves as Levin Kava’s chief medical officer, said, “Spring break is clearly going to have an impact on our positivity rates across the county.”

    “Although spring breakers can come in and leave – at least there will be a high percentage of them – they will interact with a lot of people living here locally,” Peggy said. “We still have to be vigilant.”

    So far, Miami-Dad has changed the court’s challenges to its curfew, making restaurants, bars and other businesses deemed to be non-essential in Florida only to be closed at midnight for county stays.

    Jonathan Schwartz, a Doral lawyer representing Wynwood Bar and Restaurant in one curfew case and Mr. Jones nightclub on Miami Beach in another, said it makes no sense to penalize catering for overnight customers.

    Why should restaurants on South Beach’s Ocean Drive be allowed to serve drinks to large crowds throughout the day during spring break, he asked, while clubs that market to the same customers at night cannot sell the same drinks?

    “Many of these people are on the verge of losing everything,” he said. “It is frightening.”

    Broward County also imposed its curfew in late December, but saw a judge block a ban on a case that’s still ongoing in federal court.

    ‘Everyone thinks COVID is over’

    Broward won the appeal last week, with the Eleventh Circuit allowing the county to reapply its original curfew order. But that’s not happening, according to Mayor Steve Geller.

    During the court battle, the county and Fort Lauderdale County agreed to close restaurants and bars over “arrogant” violations of COVID-19 regulations, such as requiring a facade. The county plans to continue enforcement instead of closing all businesses overnight under curfew.

    “We’re not going to have a new curfew, except in unforeseen circumstances,” Geller said.

    Broward also has increasing positivity rates, and Geller said the lack of curfew does not reflect any comfort with current COVID-19 figures.

    “I feel terrible about COVID. We are going in the wrong direction, ”he said.

    “I can’t tell you why,” Geller said. “Is it because of spring break? … Is it because everyone thinks that COVID is over?”

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