Sun | Aug 9, 2020

Top Florida doctor says Miami is turning into the “epicenter of the pandemic”

Published:Monday | July 13, 2020 | 3:18 PM
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives an update on the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic during a press conference at Florida's Turnpike Turkey Lake Service Plaza, in Orlando, Fla., in a Friday, July 10, 2020 file photo. Florida on Sunday, July 13, 2020 reported the largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases in any one state since the beginning of the pandemic. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

MIAMI — A top Florida doctor says the state’s rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases is turning Miami into the “epicenter of the pandemic.”

That assessment came as Florida recorded more than 12,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases Monday after a record-setting weekend. The spike partly reflects the larger number of tests being performed, but also a high percentage of those returning positive.

While the outbreak has been spreading through much of the state, it has hit South Florida particularly hard.

Florida International University epidemiologist Dr. Aileen Marty called the region’s situation “extremely grave.” She says the public is not taking the virus seriously enough, ignoring rules on large gatherings, social distancing and wearing masks in public places.

Dr. Lilian Abbo is the chief for infection prevention at Jackson Health System. She described nurses and doctors working around the clock and some of them getting sick.

She added: “Miami is now the epicenter of the pandemic. What we were seeing in Wuhan six months ago, now we are there.”

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