Just as COVID-19 cases rise in our area smack in the middle of the holiday season, some people say they will get tested for the virus before getting together with loved ones.
Sonia Diaz, a South Florida resident, says she’s getting tested three times this week.
“I’m going home to see my mom for Christmas and my mom’s 84," Diaz said. "Just as out of extra precaution because you never know, I just want to be extra sure that I'm not bringing something home to my elderly mother."
Captain Jason Fernandez of Miami-Dade Fire Department, who runs the county testing sites, says they have seen a slight uptick in the past month regarding the number of people getting tested. He says they expect it to increase further as the holidays approach.
“From Nov. 14 to Nov. 15, we had about a 30% increase in the daily number of individuals tested and that’s remained steady,” Fernandez said.
A chart with data taken from the state’s records also reflects an increase that began the day before Thanksgiving. According to Florida health officials, last week, a record 135,000 test results were reported to the state each day on average.
Yohandel Ruiz, a small business owner in Coral Gables, says he and his partners have asked their employees to comply with additional safety measures in anticipation of holiday get-togethers and rising infection numbers.
“Right after the Thanksgiving holiday, we implemented a protocol that every employee has to get tested once a week and they have to test negative before they’re allowed to come to the office,” said Ruiz, one of the founding partners of Studio Dado.
He says their workers at the design firm have taken well to the request.
“We have a really great team. They’ve all been very positive," Ruiz said. "Some of our team members are testing even more than once a week, so they’re really, really taking ownership of that it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep our families and our office family safe."
Diaz, who works for Balsera Communications, says she feels safe at work as well because they’re taking the same precautions.
“We have our yearly lunch that we do for the holidays, and this year, it will be only team members. No clients, no other friends, and out of respect for each other, we’re all gonna get tested ahead of time so that everybody can feel relaxed, and everybody can enjoy just a little bit of time together before the holidays,” Diaz said.