Miami is getting closer to new stay-at-home orders “every day” if its coronavirus situation doesn’t improve, but no federal guidance has come in terms of what would happen if there was a second spike of the disease like is being seen now, Mayor Francis Suarez said Thursday.
“How do you go backward?” the Republican mayor said on CNN’s “New Day.” “If we shut down, there’s not going to be the same federal aid in unemployment that there was, at least there’s no indication that there will be. There’s not going to be another round of PPP, at least there’s no indication that there will be. So there’s no economic support for another shutdown.”
During a press conference later Thursday, Suarez said he will meet with business leaders on Friday before deciding to move toward another shutdown, reports NBC affiliate WTVJ in Miami.
Suarez told CNN there have been some remedial measures, such as closing indoor dining and instituting a curfew, and while there has been some level of flattening the coronavirus curve from 125 new cases a day to about 60, it’s not enough.
“We have to continue to flatten at a significant rate to avoid the unavoidable, which may be implementing a stay-at-home order,” said the mayor, stressing that he’s never ruled out a lockdown, even while Gov. Ron DeSantis has stressed that he does not want the state to close again.
“You cannot rule out a stay-at-home order,” said Suarez. “You cannot allow your hospital system to get overwhelmed…people will literally be dying in the hallways.”
Meanwhile, the normal capacity for ICU beds in Miami-Dade County has been met. Suarez said he’s been speaking daily to local hospital CEOs and they have been converting regular beds into ICU units and not accepting elective surgeries.
“They’ve estimated somewhere between two to four weeks of capacity if everything goes well, and if, obviously if things continue at this trajectory,” said Suarez. “We’re at double the number of COVID patients that we were in March and April. We’re at the highest level of hospitalization that we’ve seen throughout this pandemic.”