Cities Adjusting to Recent Spike in COVID-19 Cases

Safety practices used against the virus are now reappearing

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It’s not just schools strategizing, planning and preparing for the coming days — cities all over South Florida are also adjusting for COVID-19.

Plantation Fire Rescue, again, designated one of its ambulances to make runs on all COVID-related calls. They started using it around April of last year, then put it back into general use at the start of this summer, when COVID rates were manageable.

Thursday, they redeployed it.

“Here were are now, in August of 2021, and it’s like deja vu all over again because the cases are now spiking significantly,” said lieutenant Aston Bright with Plantation Fire Rescue.

Crews on the unit will wear protective gear. The vehicle will be decontaminated after every COVID-related run. 

“We’re trying to make sure we keep our crews safe as well as keeping the patient we are transporting safe, and reduce anyone from the risk of cross-contamination,” Bright said.

In Pompano Beach, the summer COVID spike and increased demand for testing have delayed the plan to require that all city employees show proof of their vaccination or a weekly negative COVID test result. 

A city statement reads in part “…due to logistics issues that are out of our control, we are reevaluating the manner in which the testing will be conducted. There has been a recent surge in demand for testing, and we are exploring options to make testing more readily available and easier.” 

Lines have been long at testing sites and wait times have stretched three hours and beyond. 

Pompano Beach city officials say it’s not feasible for employees, who are unvaccinated, to go through that process.

In Plantation, fire rescue is making a request. 

“If you call 911 and you have COVID or COVID symptoms, make sure you tell the dispatcher,” Bright said. "If it’s possible, please come outside to meet the rescue units.”

Miami-Dade County is getting ready to implement the “proof policy” for all of its employees. Details are still being worked out.

Broward County will not require employees to show proof of vaccination.

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