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Omicron Surge Not Stopping South Florida Restaurants & Bars From Seeing Steady Business

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high.  Earlier this week, more than 1,000,000 cases were reported in a single day, according to data from John Hopkins University.  In the midst of the Omicron surge, restaurants and bars are seeing steady business.

It's a tale of two pandemics.

"What can you do this is our new norm," said Felida Tensley

Some are continuing to wear masks and keep their distance from large crowds.

"People are not taking it seriously, way too many people are not taking it seriously," said FIU infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty.

While others are of the opinion it's time to start living life again.

Felida Tensley is one of them.  She's celebrating her birthday in midtown.

"It is kind of getting a little crowded.  We're here for happy hour everyone is here to enjoy the drinks," she said.

In Broward County, a quiet Las Olas Wednesday night.  But in Wynwood, a different story, where restaurants were packed.

"People are going to go out no matter what.  We only have one life to live," said Jazmine Kade of Opa Locka.

Testing sites are also packed.  Wednesday CBS4's Ashley Dyer saw long lines of people waiting in their cars to be swabbed.

"I keep hearing people talk about is let's let is spread it's natural and that's going to give us protection for the next variant. Just look at how easily omicron is infecting people," said Marty.

People we spoke with, hoping Omicron will lead to herd immunity.

"I think this is the one that gets everybody though," said Sam Miriki of Kendall.

But Dr. Marty said it's not that simple.

"Every time it spreads, every time, is an opportunity for the formation of a worse variant," she explained.

To slow the spread of Omicron, experts continue to push for masks, social distancing and of course vaccines.

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