State of Emergency
First of all, I'm glad to be your Mayor.
I hope you all know the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection:
"These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses).
Shortness of breath" [from the CDC : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html ]
If you are concerned about symptoms, please call the Coronavirus Telephone Hotline: 1-866-779-6121 (Hotline provided by the Florida Department of Health and is staffed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday) My understanding is that they will ask you about your symptoms and tell you what to do.
Baptist Health also has on-demand-care. It can be reached through your cell phone and your computer. On line is it: https://baptisthealth.net/en/facilities/urgent-care-centers/pages/default.aspx Scroll down and click on Virtual Visit.
Secondly, about a week ago the Commission voted to confirm the State of Emergency in South Miami which had be declared by the City Manager. This allows him to rearrange City employee assignments and schedules.
The City has gone into a "lock down" of sorts. Many of the employees who usually work at City Hall are working from home. The Police Department and the Public Works department are carrying on much as usual. So trash will be picked up.
Here I quote from the memo the City Manager effective March 19: "We are currently under a declared state of emergency until further notice. We have suspended all Committee and Board meetings as well as City Commission meetings until May 5 at the earliest. The Community Center is closed and there are no recreation programs occurring at this time. Police and Solid Waste collection will still go on as always to ensure health and safety as usual.
"In an effort to preserve the health and safety of our community and workforce, the City of South Miami is temporarily requiring approximately 50% of its “non-essential” employees to work-from-home.
"The Building Department office will accept plans on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00am to 12:00pm. Inspection requests will be accepted through e-mail only. Inspections will be performed daily as possible. No new permits will be issued until further notice"
As a result of county orders, all South Miami parks have been closed. "By way of Miami-Dade County Emergency Order 06-20, the County Mayor of Miami-Dade County has issued an order that all parks, beaches and recreational facilities in the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County shall be closed by 9:00 a.m., March 19, 2020. Therefore, all City parks, including open space parks, pool facilities, park facilities and indoor facilities are CLOSED to the public as this order applies to both publicly-owned and privately-owned parks, beaches, and recreational facilities." "Patrons shall refrain from using city parks until further notice as local authorities will be frequently patrolling and enforcing laws. Any violation of the aforementioned emergency measures may subject the individual or business entity to criminal penalties."
The Senior Center is not serving lunch to non-residents. However, Miami-Dade County has been delivering box lunches on a regular basis. And they have been delivering food to the MetroSouth Senior Apartments.
Thirdly, I talked with the CEO of South Miami Hospital last night. He stated that they have not seen a huge number of positively testing people. He and the City Manager have talked about what emergency accommodations might be made if numbers of patients and the need of testing get beyond what the hospital can handle.
In addition, I am concerned about what this crisis is going to mean to working people and small businesses. Information about the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program can be found at https://floridadisasterloan.org.
It is hard to know at this point, what the short-fall in revenues will mean to the City budget. At this point, the City has a large emergency fund which it will draw upon carefully when needed.
The Child Care Center at Riviera Church (5275 Sunset Drive) is planning to offer child care in groups of less than 10 soon. The County is limiting it so ONLY the kids of a narrow class of essential workers such as first-responders and medical care workers, can access this child care. It's probably too too limited to make a public offering of it. For more details call 305-666-2203.
PLEASE, everyone practice “Social distancing” of at least 6 feet. This is necessary to keep yourself away from potential droplets of coughs or sneezes from a potentially infected person. This practice has been recommended by everyone from the President and the CDC to the City Manager.
Take care -
Sally B. Philips, EdD
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