Local leaders working to educate elderly on coronavirus

MIAMI (WSVN) - Local Miami leaders spent the day Friday helping inform those most at risk of coronavirus: the elederly.

Manolo Reyes, City of Miami Commissioner, said, “Getting this disease, it will very be devastating for them. We are very concerned about our elderly population.”

Reyes went to the Armando Badia Senior Center to talk about the coronavirus to seniors on Friday.

“What we are trying to do is try to educate them on how to prevent acquiring this virus,” Reyes said.

The commissioner and his team handed out flyers illustrating best practices as well as close to 300 hand sanitizer bottles.

“It’s extremely important that we do whatever it is in our power,” said Reyes.

His visit to the senior center came as officials continue to warn about the dangers of COVID-19.

Dr. Aileen Marty of Florida International University said, “The seriousness goes up as we get older.”

With Florida’s large population of retirees, prevention is crucial.

Marty said, “Someone 80 years old, depending on which study you look at, and has no more comorbidities, has a risk of death between 14.8% and and 21%, simply for being that age.”

Angela Vazquez of SW Social Services Programs Inc. said, “It’s important to be prepared and not to panic.”

The people who oversee the center are now working on a plan in case it needs to be shut down because of the outbreak.

“I have been to two community meetings sponsored by the county on what’s going on with coronavirus,” said Vasquez.

“I’m washing my hands a lot. I don’t know how many times I wash my hands everyday,” said one elderly Miami resident.

A further 2,000 hand sanitizers have been purchased and will be distributed next week.

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