Miami-Dade Mayor outlines plan to get life back on track for those most affected

MIAMI (WSVN) - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect day-to-day life, many people are wondering when things will get back to business.

A South Florida mayor offered some details on a plan to do just that, while keeping everyone safe.

We all know how important social distancing is, and we realize that we are flattening the curve by not going to some of our favorite hot spots.

However, it’s never too soon to start thinking about how to get South Florida up and running again.

Empty streets and closed signs have been prevalent in Miami-Dade County for weeks.

But Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is thinking about what comes after the COVID-19 crisis.

In a briefing posted to social media on Monday, he said he’s planning for what life will be like in his county once streets and stores open back up.

“The first initiative is called ‘Moving to a new normal.’ Starting later this week we will be working with community leaders and health experts to establish a deliberate plan to allow people in our county to return to as normal a life as possible without jeopardizing the health of our community and our most vulnerable residents,” he said.

The mayor announced a two-part plan to get South Florida in the right direction and to get back to business as usual.

“The second initiative will cover economic restoration. This will involve business and community leaders and academics to work on a resilient plan to restore our economy as quickly as possible,” he said. “This is a longer-term plan that will tie into the county and the Beacon Council’s One Community One Goal focus.”

While Gimenez is only talking about a plan to create a more formal plan, it’s a step in the right direction for Igor Ferraro of Ferraro’s Kitchen Restaurant and Wine Bar in Miami.

“Business like mine is struggling every day to make it happen. Of course Ferraro’s, we open as a dine-in restaurant, not a takeout or a delivery restaurant, so for us, it’s really difficult to adapt ourselves to this new situation,” Ferraro said.

Ferraro’s has been doing takeout and delivery, and so far has been able to keep their head above water.

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees urged caution when describing a potential timeline for reopening.

“I cannot emphasize enough that we cannot let our guard down at this present time,” he said. “Until we get a vaccine, which is a while off, this is going to be our new normal, and we need to adapt and protect ourselves.”

Moments after he made this statement, Rivkees was approached by Helen Ferré, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ spokesperson, and the two left. Ferré later came back, but without the Surgeon General.

Experts said it could take between a year and 18 months before a vaccine is developed and approved.

A timeline for Gimenez’s plan has not been announced.

Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.

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