The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that two additional individuals have acquired the Zika virus locally through mosquitoes in Miami-Dade County. The total number of local transmissions of Zika in Florida is now 35. In order to connect the tourism industry with resources to combat the spread of the Zika virus, Governor Scott today directed the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and DOH to work with hotels, restaurants and attractions in Miami-Dade County on Zika prevention and education. Governor Scott has also directed DOH to offer these businesses mosquito abatement consultation services, which includes mosquito spraying, at no cost. Governor Scott has held two calls with Visit Florida and tourism leaders this month on Zika preparedness.
Governor Scott said, “As we continue to aggressively assess and test people for Zika, we will make every resource available to fight this virus. While we still believe local transmissions are only occurring in an area that is less than one square mile in Wynwood, our state is committed to remaining vigilant in our Zika prevention, education and response efforts. Today I have directed DBPR to work closely with hotels, attractions and restaurants in Miami-Dade County to connect them with resources for Zika prevention and education. To assist in this effort, I have also directed DOH to work with DBPR to provide educational materials and offer mosquito spraying at no cost to these businesses in Miami-Dade County.
“Tourism is a driving force of Florida’s economy and this industry has the full support of our state in the fight against the Zika virus. Additionally, our Department of Economic Opportunity is working with businesses that may have been impacted to ensure they have everything they need to remain successful. We will continue to work closely with our businesses and the tourism community to ensure their needs are met.”
Any Miami-Dade County resident who would like to request mosquito control services for their residence or business should contact Miami-Dade Mosquito Control HERE.
In addition to these efforts, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has made available a survey for businesses in Miami-Dade County that may be impacted by the Zika virus to complete. This survey will help DEO asses the needs of businesses and what resources can be quickly made available. The survey is available HERE. DEO, in partnership with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida International University, has contacted more than 55 businesses in the Wynwood area. The SBDC is also sending email blasts to all the businesses and the Wynwood Improvement District to share information on Zika.
At this time, DOH is investigating nine areas in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties where local transmissions of Zika may have occurred (eight locations in Miami-Dade and one in Palm Beach). DOH has closed out the investigations into the first cases in Miami-Dade and Broward counties which were announced on July 29th. DOH tested 124 close contacts and individuals from the community and found no additional positive cases of Zika in those areas.