COVID-19 Cases Surge to 55 in Wilton Manors and 63 in Oakland Park

Scott Israel wearing a mask as he directs traffic at a drive-thru grocery distribution on April 18. Photo credit: J.R. Davis.

Cases of COVID-19 surged in Oakland Park to 63 since last week when the number was 39. In Wilton Manors the cases surged to 55 from 34 a week ago. Two weeks ago those numbers stood at 29 in Oakland Park and 31 in Wilton Manors.

As of Monday, 4,078 have tested positive in Broward County up from 2,865 a week ago.

“The curve has not flattened in Wilton Manors. While this jump in numbers may be related to a lag in reporting experienced by the Florida Department of Health, it is not what we had hoped after more than a month into this pandemic,” said Julie Carson, a Wilton Manors City Commissioner. “Social distancing is the new norm, and face masks and gloves are the new apparel.”

In order to help mitigate the impact of the shutdown Carson said the city has canceled code enforcement fine accruals; parking fees in metered lots have been suspended, and online convenience fees have been waived. She also said there will be no utility shutoffs. 

The numbers in parenthesis are from last week. Looking at the four individual zip codes that include some portion of Wilton Manors 33305 has 39 (19) cases; 33306 has nine (five);  33334 has 66 (45), and 33311, which includes a portion of Fort Lauderdale has 243 (178). All of the zip codes include portions of neighboring cities.

In comparison to Wilton Manors there have been 922 (653) cases in Fort Lauderdale, and 63 (39) in Oakland Park. Meanwhile there are 27,058 (19,895) confirmed cases in Florida, more than 790,000 (560,000) in the U.S., and globally more than 2.4 million (1.8 million). So far there have been 823 (461) deaths in Florida, 42,000 (22,100) in the U.S. and globally more than 170,000 (116,000).

Florida is now under a stay-at-home order and in Broward only essential businesses are allowed to operate.

Additionally Broward County is now mandating the use of face coverings when visiting essential businesses for services, or are providing essential services during in-person interactions with the public.

Carson also encouraged those that have the ability to donate money to give to the GoFundMe account set up to assist the employees of Wilton Manors businesses. So far it has raised $4,686. 

Carson believes the pandemic will have a significant impact on the city government including a loss of $500,000 to $700,000 in revenue. Carson expects the commission to revise the budget and possibly make cuts in services. 

“While there are some offsetting expenditure savings, they are not enough to match revenue losses,” she said. “We are committed to developing a creative budget that will continue the provision of essential services to the community.  To help, there is a freeze on hiring and certain delays on capital purchases.”

Carson said there is a task force that is charged with addressing the many financial hardships that the city now faces. The city manager, Carson said, is working to develop a coordinated reopening with the rest of South Florida. 

“These times are very difficult, but our community is coming together in ways that are indicative of the bond that we share,” she said. “Be kind to yourself and others and remember to thank your nurses, doctors, medical personnel and first responders.”


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