Which pandemic? Residents of Miami are disregarding home orders to hunt for yachts amid a coronavirus crisis
As the nation struggles with the coronavirus pandemic that has left thousands dead and hospitals overwhelmed, Miami Beach residents have taken advantage of the sunny air and warm weather for jet skiing and sunbathing on yachts.
Some affluent South Florida citizens decided to ignore the home orders of local governments and sail to the waters of Miami Beach’s Star Island neighborhood, where they drank, fished, and even drank Corona beer.
Several other Miamians in bikinis and tights decided to take advantage of the balmy 80-degree weather to get some exercise on Sunday.
The images from South Florida make it seem like there is no national emergency about the rising toll caused by the spread of the corona virus.
Florida state officials reported an increase in confirmed cases on Sunday.
Residents of Miami Beach enjoyed a relaxing day on Sunday when temperatures rose to 80 degrees with barely a cloud in the sky
Despite a home delivery order from local governments across South Florida, Miami Beach residents were out and about on Sunday
A total of 4,077 Floridians tested positive for coronavirus. The state has also confirmed positive test cases for an additional 169 non-residents.
56 people have died in the state since Sunday – a death rate of 1.32 percent.
Most of those cases have been reported in Miami-Dade County, where it was confirmed that 1,192 residents were infected with the virus.
On Sunday alone, 208 cases of coronavirus were reported by the state. Of these, 71 were from Miami-Dade. The state’s death toll did not change on Sunday.
Broward County has reported 828 cases of coronavirus. Of these, 100 are treated in hospital.
Palm Beach reported a total of 333 cases as of Sunday, while Monroe County reported 22 cases.
Earlier on Sunday, it was learned that two medical professionals in Florida died after being infected with coronavirus.
Nurse Araceli Buendia Ilagan (63) from the intensive care unit in Miami died on Saturday from complications from the virus, Jackson Memorial Hospital confirmed.
Her death comes four days after the death of Dr. Alex Hsu, 67, who had worked at Northwest Medical Center in Margate, Florida, and died of complications from COVID-19 on Tuesday.
Hsu and Ilagan are two out of three health workers who died in the past week from a coronavirus infection.
On Tuesday, 48-year-old nurse Kious Kelly died in New York after his hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital West, was short of medical protective equipment, forcing some nurses to carry trash bags.
Their tragic death serves as a bleak reminder of the serious risks doctors and nurses face when working with coronavirus patients, as hospitals report a shortage of equipment, test kits and health professionals.
Nationally, there are more than 123,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 2,000 deaths.
Medical experts warn that the infectious COVID-19 will continue to spread across the country, as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s foremost infectious disease expert, predicts that the US could see between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis was increasingly criticized at home for his response to the virus.
DeSantis, a Republican, has not put statewide lockdown on companies, as other states have done.
Instead, local governments have imposed their own restrictions.
Several cities and counties in South Florida have imposed a curfew.
DeSantis was the governor who reportedly urged his ally, President Trump, to impose mandatory quarantine on New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
New York, the epicenter of the US coronavirus pandemic, accounts for nearly half of all nationwide cases.
Trump eventually abandoned the idea after governors declined and lawyers wondered if it was constitutional.
Florida has imposed restrictions on visitors from New York and another emerging hotspot, Louisiana.
Florida orders quarantined arrivals from Louisiana and New York
On Friday, DeSantis ordered everyone from Louisiana to be quarantined, such as the one from New York, in an attempt to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic.
DeSantis said he is expanding his quarantine order to Louisiana after officials in the lightly hit Panhandle were concerned that people would be fleeing New Orleans as the number of positive tests there increases.
It’s about a three-hour drive from New Orleans to Pensacola, and DeSantis said the Florida Highway Patrol and the sheriff’s deputies will set up checkpoints to screen cars from Louisiana.
The warrant requires that anyone from Louisiana isolate themselves for two weeks under threat of a 60-day prison sentence.
Earlier this week, he issued identical restrictions to visitors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“New Orleans has a lot of problems – they may not be as widespread as New York City,” said the governor.
There was concern from the Panhandle that this could affect them. They are working hard to keep their rates low and we don’t want to add any problems. ‘
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards had no objection. He encourages people from Louisiana to stay at home, not to travel.
“I’m not going to doubt or criticize what other governors are doing,” said Edwards, a Democrat, on Friday.
DeSantis also said he will issue an order banning companies like Airbnb from renting homes and rooms to vacationers for two weeks. The ban has no consequences for hotels or motels.
Airbnb said in a statement that it is working with the state to provide housing for medical workers.
Despite criticism, DeSantis has refused to issue a state defense that limits residents’ movements, as states such as California, New York, and Illinois have done.
Instead, he preferred to let local authorities decide.
Restrictions in South Florida, Central Florida and the Tampa Bay region are tight, but relatively light in the sparsely populated Panhandle.
He has ordered a number of statewide measures, such as closing bars and gyms and restricting restaurants to takeout and delivery.
State parks are closed.
Elsewhere, the Florida tourism industry suffered another blow when Disney World announced it would remain closed indefinitely.
The park closed in mid-March with plans to reopen next week, but Disney said on Friday that it and Disneyland in California would remain closed.
Disney said on Friday that it would continue to pay tens of thousands of hour workers until April 18.
Universal-Orlando has said it will remain closed until at least April 19.
Also in Florida, at least a dozen police officers and deputies have tested positive and dozens of others have quarantined themselves pending test results, including 40 of them from Palm Beach County.
The positive virus tests came from three Miami Beach officers, three Palm Beach County delegates, two Miami officers, and single officers in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, and Flagler Beach.
“The spring break they got in Miami Beach, kind of like New Orleans with Mardi Gras,” said Robert Jenkins, president of the Florida State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police union.
He said that the officers without masks try to keep their distance, but still have to do their job.
The union represents some 22,000 officers.
Meanwhile, four people died on board a cruise ship seeking to travel to Fort Lauderdale, while 130 others showed symptoms of a possible infection.
Holland America said in a statement on Friday that passengers on board the Zaandam died after Chile last week refused permission to dock.
Zaandam was off the Pacific coast of Central America on Friday, pending permission to cross the Panama Canal in hopes of reaching Florida.
Holland America did not specify that the four died from the coronavirus, but says more than 130 passengers and crew have possible symptoms.
At least two cases have been confirmed.
The ship has four doctors and four nurses to treat 1,243 passengers and 586 crew members.
The channel’s administration said on Friday that the ship will not be allowed to enter if anyone on board has been diagnosed with COVID-19 as their employees will have to board during transit. The cruise line has evacuated some passengers to a sister ship.
The ship left Argentina on March 7.
Broward County is discussing whether the ship should dock in the Port Everglades. The cruise company is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough.
For some, especially the elderly and those with pre-existing health problems, it can cause more serious illness or even death. The vast majority of people recover.