What to Know
- Miami-Dade's first confirmed coronavirus case announced Wednesday involved a 56-year-old man who had recently traveled
- As part of the state of emergency, a number of major events in the county were being canceled or postponed, including the Youth Fair and Jazz in the Gardens music festival
- State health officials said more positive cases have also been confirmed in Broward County
Miami-Dade's mayor declared a state of emergency Thursday after the county's first coronavirus case was confirmed, while state health officials said more positive cases were confirmed in Broward County.
Miami-Dade's first confirmed coronavirus case announced Wednesday involved a 56-year-old man who had recently traveled, Florida Department of Health officials said. The man was being kept in isolation.
The announcement came as Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez declared a state of emergency in the county to deal with growing concerns over coronavirus.
"Miami-Dade County is an international hub for trade and tourism, so it's especially important for our community to add extra layers of protection against this virus," Gimenez said at a news conference Thursday with Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Gimenez said the emergency declaration is a preemptive measure that will allow the county to react faster to any potential issues.
The order follows DeSantis declaring a state of emergency earlier this week.
"It just allows us to do certain things that the governor's state of emergency didn't give us," Gimenez said.
As part of the state of emergency, a number of major events in the county were being canceled or postponed, including the Youth Fair and Jazz in the Gardens music festival.
"Life is going to be a little different for all of us in the weeks ahead so I urge everyone to be patient as we adjust to these temporary changes to ensure the health and well being of everyone in Miami-Dade County," Gimenez said.
Numerous cities in Miami-Dade, including Miami, Miami Beach, and Coral Gables, announced similar emergency declarations Thursday.
"There is not a real playbook for addressing this challenge,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said in a statement. “And for our City – with so many visitors, venues and gatherings – it is particularly daunting. But panic is not part of our playbook. We will take actions that are grounded in the best information available."
Later Thursday, it was learned that Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Florida Sen. Rick Scott were self-isolating after possibly coming in contact with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s communications director, who tested positive for the new coronavirus after a trip to South Florida.
Department of Health officials said the new Broward cases include a 65-year-old man and a 61-year-old man whose travel-related case is associated with Port Everglades.
Both men were in isolation and an investigation was underway into how the 65-year-old man got the virus since it was unclear if it was a travel-related case, officials said.
Earlier Wednesday, a 70-year-old man in Broward County -- its sixth case overall -- was also tested positive for the virus. Health officials said he traveled to Tampa for an EMS conference last week.
Health officials said a 63-year-old resident of New York, who is currently in St. John's County, was also tested positive. He traveled from New York to Daytona Bike Week. All three are isolated. A 57-year-old man in Lee County was also confirmed to have the virus, officials said.
As of Thursday, there were 26 residents in Florida who tested positive for COVID-19, along with three non-Florida residents in the state who tested positive, according to the Florida Department of Health. Another five Florida residents have tested positive outside the state.
Two deaths have been reported in Florida, and there were 147 tests with pending results.