70ºF

Health experts: Miami COVID-19 outbreak similar to one seen in Wuhan

A health care worker signs people up for testing at a COVID-19 testing site at the Miami Beach Convention Center, during the coronavirus pandemic, Monday, July 13, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
A health care worker signs people up for testing at a COVID-19 testing site at the Miami Beach Convention Center, during the coronavirus pandemic, Monday, July 13, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – Health experts in Miami said Monday that South Florida’s outbreak of COVID-19 is similar to the outbreak that was first seen in Wuhan, China, the city where the pandemic began.

“Miami is now the epicenter for the virus,” said Lilian M. Abbo, M.D., an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Miami Health System, according to WPLG. “What we were seeing in Wuhan [China] five months ago, we’re now seeing here.”

Florida’s Department of Health reported 12,624 new cases of coronavirus on Monday -- down from Sunday’s record peak but the second-highest daily increase in the state. The state now reports 282,435 cases -- that’s double the number from June 28, just 15 days ago.

In the past 24 hours, Miami-Dade County’s confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by 3,269 to 67,713. The county has had 1,143 reported coronavirus-related deaths since the outbreak began, the highest total in the state, WPLG reported.

The Miami health experts stressed the need to restrict large gatherings of people in indoor spaces, and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the biggest thing that needs to be done is residents following the safety guidelines.

“The reason [for the spike] is us. There’s no Boogeyman. The reason is us,” he said. “We have to change our behavior. The number one reason is our behavior.”