This joint statement was issued by: U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, State Senator Annette Taddeo, State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez, State Rep. Kionne McGhee, State Rep. Javier Fernandez, County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, County Commissioner Dennis Moss, Florida City Mayor Otis Wallace, City of Homestead Mayor Steven Losner, Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers, Islamorada Mayor Mike Forster, City of Key West Mayor Teri Johnston, Key Colony Mayor John DeNeale, and Mayor of Layton Bruce Halle.
“South Florida is once again the epicenter of an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases, and we, as community leaders of federal, state, and local governments, need the state and the Florida Department of Health to take decisive action to: (1) communicate that anyone seeking a test can get tested without preconditions (2) surge contact tracing to South Florida (3) work to comfortably quarantine infected people, and (4) require the use of masks in
public settings, especially indoors. We write with extreme urgency because we know that if these steps are taken in a robust and timely manner, we can help contain the spread of the virus and minimize the public health and economic consequences to our communities."
“In lieu of a vaccine or therapeutics to treat this disease, implementing a plan to significantly increase the testing, contact tracing, and quarantine measures while requiring the widespread use of masks and face coverings is the best way to aggressively locate the virus and break chains of transmission. The Florida Department of Health must clearly state that anyone seeking a test can get tested, without any of the prior restrictions that existed early in this
pandemic, and additional testing supplies be sent to the region. The state must surge contact tracing personnel into South Florida to identify other potential spreaders of this disease, and we stand ready to collaborate in this effort. The state must also work with us to determine local hotels where positive and presumed positive cases can comfortably quarantine, reducing the risk of transmission to close contacts.”