South Florida, and Broward County especially, are the hottest of COVID hot spots.
Recently the state has accounted for nearly one in five new COVID cases in America. The delta variant, a particularly resilient and transmissible strain of COVID, is responsible for many of the cases which are mostly among unvaccinated people.
The issue hit home after public meetings on July 27-28 at Wilton Manors City Hall. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports a mask-less person in attendance has subsequently tested positive. The city confirmed the basic details but, as of this writing, still has not posted anything publicly on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The resurgence has local agencies adjusting on the fly to stay safe and still help South Florida’s underserved communities. “Unfortunately, due to the increasing COVID cases, SunServe has returned to adhering to pandemic protocol,” Terry Dyer, SunServe’s director of Development told SFGN. “This includes wearing masks throughout the offices, temperature checks, questionnaires, etc. In order to avoid large gatherings in our lobby, we have gone back to appointments only as well.”
The Pride Center at Equality Park developed a flexible plan so they can quickly adjust to changing health situations. While they have begun welcoming back groups in person it’s best to check out their website, PrideCenterFlorida.org for their latest protocols and guidelines.
Latinos Salud began offering free vaccines in April. Executive Director Stephen Fallon says the spike in cases may be encouraging the vax-hesitant to get the shots. “We had seen a steady drop off in people requesting the vaccine through June and early July. Last week, we had a noticeable increase in people requesting the vaccine at each of our locations.” He also says Latinos Salud continues to see patients and notes that they never closed their doors during the pandemic. “Some of our clients had been laid low with COVID, especially in the early months of the pandemic. We haven’t heard of any hospitalizations in many months.”
SunServe’s Dyer says despite the virus surge they are working to make sure everyone who needs help has safe access. “Our homeless clientele continues to struggle with access to testing thus not knowing if they have contracted the virus. We are in the process of discussing ways to address these gaps in care. One of which is to potentially begin testing onsite for those in need. In the meantime, we remain in close contact with our clients doing wellness checks and providing as many referrals as possible.”