Miami-Dade County Mayor Gimenez announced that he was sending Outreach Teams to County areas with high COVID infection rates.

The Strategic Unified Response to Guideline Education (SURGE) teams were trained over the weekend by community-based organizations such as COFFO, Dream Defenders, and Chamber South. Their mission is to preach the importance of hand-washing, sanitizing, maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.

SURGE teams are set to visit Homestead, Cutler Bay, Allapattah, Little Havana and Brownsville. Teams are to provide information on testing sites, masks, and hand sanitizers to targeted audiences of the young and elderly citizens. “We’ve been requesting this response for over a week,” said Homestead Mayor Steve Losner. “The County needs over a thousand such workers to cover the whole County.”

The SURGE effort is in direct response to an uptick in hospitalizations and positive tests, particularly among the 18 to 34 year-old age group.

“The hotspots in the County were targeted,” added Mayor Losner.

The CEO of Homestead Hospital Ken Spell said they were working with federal, state, and local government to identify communities for enhanced testing and education.

“This type of outreach is a critical component to bringing key information to the community,” said Spell. “We are grateful to have so many partners engaged in our mission to keep everyone informed, safe and healthy.”

Miami-Dade County promised to expand testing options by offering more mobile testing and additional drive-up test sites. A list of testing sites where appointments can be made is available at www.miamidade.gov/coronavirus

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