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Miami-Dade Mayor Stresses Importance Of Vaccinations, Testing Amid Omicron Surge

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There is no end in sight yet with the omicron surge, and it has disrupted workers nearly everywhere. Vaccinations along with testing remain key to protecting oneself and others from the virus.

"We shouldn't be hysterical, but if we've been exposed or if we have symptoms, we should be tested," Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.

Following the holiday, the omicron variant has exploded.

"We've added three new laboratories so test results come back quicker and we're working on a system that will tell us where the lines are," Cava said.

WATCH: Deborah Souverain's Report On The County's Response


Miami-Dade now has 35 testing sites, with one more being planned to open this week in Miami Gardens.

Meanwhile, the latest case positivity rate for the county from December 24-30 is over 27%. While more people are getting COVID, at the same time, there's also a shortage of the more effective monoclonal antibody treatment.

The current rate is still far higher than past variant was. For example, during the week of August 27-September 2, the peak of the delta variant, the Miami-Dade positivity rate was 8.1% and Broward County was at 10%.

"Really, the important thing is to get the kind that is going to work. And my understanding is nationally that's in relatively shorter supply, so it isn't available yet. We've been in touch with the hospitals, Jackson doesn't have it, Baptist doesn't have it," she explained.

Cava also said it's fortunate this omicron variant has not been as deadly as others.

In Broward County, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Tantralis announced the opening of a new testing facility at Snyder Park to shorten wait times, though lines began stretching soon after it opened.

"It'll probably last through the summer, God help us we want to get rid of this disease and the only way we can do it is to ensure that we know who has COVID," Mayor Tantralis said.

In Broward, from December 24-30, showed new positive cases at over 31.7%.  While testing lines may be getting shorter, the work to fight COVID continues.

The number to call in Miami-Dade County for a testing kit for the homebound is (305) 614-1716.

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