By Mayor George “Bud” Scholl
(Friday, June 26, 2020) – Coronavirus cases are rising at an alarming rate in Florida. It’s been nearly four months since our lives were first disrupted by COVID-19, and the virus is stronger than ever in our community. We all must do our part to keep our city and community safe.
Most businesses have reopened and we are moving toward our “new normal,” but the virus has not disappeared. Just looking at the number of reported cases for our city is misleading and not indicative of the grave nature of this virus. Today, Florida reported nearly 9,000 new positive cases, and the CDC has indicated that the actual number may be 10 times higher than the official count.
At OneBlood we have seen the demand for COVID-19 plasma triple over the past three weeks. This plasma is one of the few therapies that can potentially provide relief to the critically ill, and the spike up in demand tells us that there are a lot more critically ill patients than ever before. These patients are not just the elderly; there are many more young people experiencing threatening symptoms during this second wave than we saw in the first wave.
Combatting COVID-19 is a joint effort requiring everyone’s cooperation. We cannot win this fight alone. Though we may have differing opinions about the guidelines and government regulations, it is proven that the best way to stay safe is to social distance, wash your hands, wear a facial covering in public, avoid crowds, and stay home when possible.
We’ve all seen the debate around face masks; most are following the guidelines, but some vehemently oppose the coverings. While Sunny Isles Beach does not have an order requiring facial coverings in all public places, we are strictly following Miami-Dade County’s order requiring masks indoors at businesses, except when eating at a restaurant, and outdoors when social distancing of six feet is not possible. Wearing a facial covering is a simple way to help asymptomatic carriers avoid spreading the virus, so we highly recommend wearing a mask in public whenever possible.
In order to keep our businesses open and enjoy this “new normal,” everyone must cooperate. When inside a business or your condominium’s common areas, wear a facial covering and take extra precautions to stay six feet away from those not in your household. Work alongside your condo association to ensure they comply with County guidelines including proper CDC signage and enhanced sanitization of all common areas. Help our businesses do business safely so that they remain open. Now more than ever we need everyone to take personal responsibility. Hold others accountable and hold yourself accountable.
We must put aside our differences to do what’s best for our community, especially our vulnerable populations. You may not be concerned with contracting the virus, but think of your parents, grandparents, kids, friends and our healthcare system. Don’t let self-interest cloud your social responsibility. Condemn complacency.
Failure to get the virus under control and slow the spread may result in more roll backs and closures. All of us on the City Commission and your City staff want what’s best for our residents and businesses. Do your part by continuing to follow CDC guidelines and State, County and City orders. Together, let’s protect Sunny Isles Beach.