COVID-19 Response

Today, Miami-Dade County leads the State of Florida in COVID-19 vaccinations, having administered over 2,500,000 shots since the vaccines became available in January of last year.
From the very beginning of our vaccination campaign, we were determined to ensure that this life saving vaccine was available to all of our residents, regardless of zip code, income, or status. In order to accomplish this, we knew that we would need the support of residents and businesses across Miami-Dade, and laid the groundwork for doing so before the vaccines were even available.

One of my very first initiatives as Mayor was our countywide We Can We Will campaign, a collaborative communications effort with County departments, elected leaders, business groups, health leaders, and residents to share positive messaging about how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Through this initiative, we celebrated residents and businesses doing the right thing and invited our community to enjoy the beautiful parks and open spaces that make Miami-Dade so special.
Image of drive-up vaccinations
Image of Miami-Dade County Drive-up Vaccination Site
Most importantly, the We Can We Will campaign helped us build the community ties that would become so critical in our vaccination effort.

Once the vaccine became available, Miami-Dade County was positioned to hit the ground running: quickly opening vaccination and testing sites while also conducting a comprehensive Community Vaccination Outreach Program, which enlisted trusted community leaders into service as vaccination ambassadors. Before too long, faith leaders, business leaders, community activists, and everyday residents were doing the critical work of raising awareness of the vaccine, and helping others in our community schedule their appointments and get themselves protected.
At the same time, Miami-Dade County was also working collaboratively with State and local authorities, the United States Military, and the Florida Department of Health opening 18 public testing sites, eight mobile testing centers, and multiple pop-up sites established through our Office of Emergency Management. Currently, Miami-Dade County has over 30 testing sites to serve the increased demand in recent months.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue deployed four mobile teams to vaccinate homebound seniors and residents and worked collaboratively with strike teams from Miami Beach Fire Rescue, Coral Gables Fire Rescue, Miami Fire Rescue and Key Biscayne Fire Rescue to perform 700 homebound vaccination missions throughout the County.

For as much progress we have made against this pandemic, the fact that the Omicron variant has forced us to gather virtually for this year’s State of the County address, is a reminder that this progress is fragile, and it will take continued vigilance on behalf of all of us to continue protecting lives and livelihoods.
Image of Mobile Vaccination Program
Image of Mobile Vaccination Program
One department that has gone above and beyond in continuing to adapt to these ever-changing circumstances has been the Miami-Dade County Public Library System. When the Omicron variant began its rapid spread through our community, Miami-Dade Libraries collaborated with the Miami-Dade Police Department and Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center to distribute over 300,000 test kits over the course of three days in December 2021 and January 2022. Knowing that this pandemic has made access to the internet a necessity, our Library system also launched its Drive-Up Wi-Fi community connectivity initiative, which provides residents without internet access at home a reliable way to get online. This initiative has allowed individuals to connect for work, school, apply for social services, and more. Currently available at 24 of our 49 library locations, we’ll be expanding this initiative in 2022, bringing it to 35 locations and increasing the number of Wi-Fi parking spaces from 240 to 829.

Complementing this initiative is our library system’s Tablet Lending Program, because internet connectivity doesn’t do a whole lot if our residents don’t have devices to connect with. Through this program, residents throughout Miami-Dade County can now check out tablets equipped with cellular internet services from all 49 of our libraries to be used at home, school, work, or on the go. To date, approximately 4,500 tablets have been checked out. In fact, this program has been so successful that we’ll be expanding it by adding 2,000 chromebooks and 500 more hotspots over the course of the next year.

Miami-Dade’s Public Library System’s innovative work through this pandemic has helped ensure that none of our residents are left behind as we continue our recovery and adapt to these new circumstances - but they’re hardly the only department that has done an amazing job helping those hardest hit by this pandemic.

In addition to the public health consequences of COVID-19, we have also seen this pandemic’s impact on our vibrant and diverse arts community, which generates $1.43 billion in annual economic impact and employs 41,000 cultural workers. In our community, visual and performing arts are central to our collective identity, and through the work of our Department of Cultural Affairs, we have made sure that the ties that bind us to our past, present, and future remain stronger than ever.

Throughout the course of 2021, our Department of Cultural Affairs secured federal and private funding to help arts organizations and artists in Miami-Dade County survive the pandemic and help restart the economy. This includes helping more than 130 Miami-Dade County arts organizations secure over $128 million in federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grants to keep them afloat through the worst of the pandemic.