A surge of COVID-19 cases in Key Biscayne that’s caused long lines at testing sites may lead officials to renew a mask mandate in Village buildings and curtail activities at the Community Center.
Officials say the positivity rate is over 10% in Key Biscayne, a dramatic shift from just a few weeks ago. On Monday, 1,200 people got rapid tests at the Curative testing location on the Village Green. About 50 had lined up for tests by 7:45 am Tuesday.
“It appears that omicron is infecting anybody and everybody,” said Village Manger Steve Williamson. The median age of positive cases was 34, compared to the 50s historically.
“We don’t want to over analyze this thing,” Williamson said, adding County officials have told him the surge is due to the new omicron coronavirus variant. “We are looking at minimal staffing, police, fire, and whatever is needed to support residents.”
While Williamson said a decision has not yet been made on possible program suspensions at the Community Center, he is leaning in that direction because of the rapid spread.
“We have got to nip this in the bud because it’s coming quick.”
So far, he said a few Village workers have tested positive in recent days and that he is implementing remote work for any employee that can do a job at home. Village employees have been directed to wear masks on the job as of last week, and masks may soon again be required to enter Village buildings.
The Village is also looking to expand testing capacity at the Village Green location. On the protection front, two more vaccination events are scheduled Dec. 23 and 24th, but will be held outdoors at Paradise Park, 530 Crandon Blvd., to minimize the possibility of virus transmission.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.