It’s been announced that the Florida Keys, the 125-mile long chain of islands that begin just south of Miami, will now remain closed to visitors and non-residents through at least May 31st.
Located in Monroe County, the Keys have been closed to visitors and non-residents since March 22nd and road blockades have been in place to ensure that right of way only is allowed to those with identification that they live in the Keys.
County officials said after discussions with the health department, they decided to not open the Florida Keys to visitors throughout the month of May, and possibly longer, because of the continued threat of coronavirus in areas outside the county.
The Florida Keys has 3 hospitals, one of which is a temporary structure (their previous 3rd hospital was destroyed during Hurricane Irma). They don’t have ability to treat more than a moderate handful of critical ill patients; less than 50, all told. And they don’t have enough staff for that many patients. On top of that, the closest hospital(s) outside the keys are in Miami-Dade County, which currently has over 10,000 COVID-19 cases (1/3 of the entire state’s patients with the diagnosis). So as a busy tourist destination, I could definitely understand Monroe County’s unwillingness to open the Keys to outsiders.
The Emergency Management team of Monroe County is working on draft framework for a phased reopening, to be used sometime in the future. Relaxation of the protective measures could happen when there are either no new cases or a steady downward trend of cases in the Florida Keys for at least two weeks.
Cases of coronavirus in Florida can be found at this link and you can click on number of cases per county. The page is updated daily, at roughly 11:30am and 6:30pm.
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary