I've received lots of questions regarding COVID19, like how we are preparing and what should people do regarding events and gatherings. These are fair questions.
COVID19 (this version of coronavirus) is a clear health risk that needs to be treated seriously. Our City is doing everything that health care professionals have suggested. We are reaching out to the entire community, especially to vulnerable populations like seniors, with directions and assistance in counter measures (hand washing stations, readily available hand sanitizers, urging less physical contact, cleaning of surfaces, PSA announcements, etc.). We are also organizing our hospitality industry so that it has the awareness and tools necessary to minimize risks among our visitors. Our paramedics are also trained and ready to respond to issues, and we have organized with our local hospitals.

Click here or on the video preview image below to view a brief COVID19 PSA with information on how the community can take preventative measures to reduce your risk.
It is a far trickier question when it comes to what extent should municipalities be actively cancelling events and gatherings. Emergency management authorities at the County, State and Federal levels have not advised us to do this, nor directed us to. Some cities have unilaterally taken measures. For instance the City of Miami cancelled Ultra – an international music festival where thousands come here from all over the world including from nations with already documented high incidents of the virus. Some groups scheduled to meet here have cancelled their own events – usually based on the challenges they are facing with international travel, exhibitor and organizer availability and related issues.
At this point, while we are closely monitoring the situation and in constant communication with local and federal health care and emergency management officials, our City is not prohibiting community events nor affirmatively cancelling gatherings. It would be difficult to go down that road in the absence of informed advice from professionals. Do we cancel all arena events where large groups of people gather like NBA basketball games or every concert at the Arsht or Fillmore? What about movie theaters and public schools? Do we close down hotels and restaurants, all of which receive tens of thousands of visitors daily? Our decision making must be grounded in health care and emergency management expertise. Panic should not be part of our playbook.
So to be clear, we will take every counter measure that health care professionals and emergency management personnel advise. We need to be smart and careful and prepared, and counsel vigilance within our community.
Be safe and healthy.