Miami-Dade has seen an increase in coronavirus cases which has forced the authorities to backtrack on reopening county.
Much of the responsibility, experts say, is the failure to put in place an effective contact tracker and testing program, such as has been carried out in states like New York, where, following the reopening, cases of coronavirus instead of increasing, they have decreased.
“If we had the program and the correct number of people trained as trackers we were not in this situation, we would have controlled this problem and many lives would have been saved,” she said. Dr. Aileen Marty, FIU epidemiologist.
According to Dr. Marty, a combination of more evidence of coronavirus and contagion tracking, you can eliminate the COVID-19 of the communities.
Contact trackers are health workers who call infected residents, ask them for a list of everyone they’ve had contact with, and then notify those people to be quarantined and to watch for symptoms.
But this program has not been carried out in the state of Florida.
The health department currently has 1,600 active trackers and 600 under training, which is less than a third of what is needed.
For these programs to be effective, 30 trackers are needed for every 100,000 residents. In other words, in Florida, which has an estimated 21,000,000 inhabitants, there should be 6,300.
DeSantis asks about the trackers and Gimenez answers
At a press conference in which he announced a $138 million fund for the response to coronavirus, which includes contagion tracking, the governor Ron DeSantis He asked Mayor Carlos Gimenez if he had hired trackers.
Apparently, the governor did not know that it is the Florida Department of Health and not the mayor, who has the authority to hire these people.
“I am not sure that the governor has all the information about what is happening here, he has been very good to us in Miami-Dade, he has given us what we have asked for, but there is bureaucracy in the health department,” Mayor Gimenez said.
On this subject, Dr. Marty said that Gimenez has tried by all possible means to increase the number of contact trackers because she knows its importance and wants to do it. But he needs community support to insist that the state of Florida give Miami-Dade what it needs.
There are currently 200 contact trackers in Miami-Dade County and at least 810 are needed.
Wednesday were reported 2,916 new cases of coronavirus in Miami-Dade, for a total of 53,974 infections since the start of the pandemic. In total, 1,068 people have died from COVID-19 in the county.