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Apocalypse Florida: COVID Testing Sites Shuttered as Hurricane Takes Aim at Miami

If 2020 could be summed up in one place, at one time, it just might be a coronavirus hotpot getting smacked by a hurricane.

The Sunshine State is normally an east coast tourism hot spot, complete with amusement parks, attractions, and some of the most scenic beaches in the entire world.  In 2020, however, things are a little different.

Florida is currently one of the world’s coronavirus hotspots, with no real sign of slowing down.  They’ve consistently broken new records for case counts, deaths, and hospitalizations in recent weeks, and some health officials are beginning to wonder aloud if things are even under control at  all.

Now, to add to this mess, many of the state’s COVID testing sites have been forced to close on account of an impending hurricane.

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Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez urged everyone to have a storm plan and CBS4 discovered residents feeding his advice.

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It a busy morning at Doral Central Park, where more than a hundred people drove up in their cars Friday morning to pick up free sandbags. Will Tovar told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench “We are trying to protect our home by putting barriers on our porch to stop water from coming in.”

Some preparations were a bit more grim, however.

In preparation for any potential power outages. Gimenez said they have been calling more than 2,000 people who have registered for transfer to a safe place.

“These folks will use vital medical devices like respirators at home. That means that they’re power dependent. About 500 people have already indicated that they will need assistance,” said Gimenez.

People who need this service can call 311 to register. “You can not receive service during a storm,” said Gimenez.

Because of the storm, the county has temporarily shut down all COVID-19 testing sites. These sites will reopen once the storm passes. For details go to Miamidade.gov/COVID-testing.

Authorities are also reminding businesses and individuals alike to secure or store items such as outdoor furniture, construction supplies, and yard trimmings to avoid the possibility that they could become airborne and dangerous.

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