Heard On Sundial: Miami Beach Mayor On COVID-19, Nurses Get Disaster Response Training

Mar 23, 2020

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On this Monday, March 23, episode of Sundial:

A conversation with Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber

The City of Miami Beach has implemented a series of measures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 global pandemic: a curfew of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., shutting down all public beaches and canceling spring break.

And effective Tuesday, ordering residents to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.

"You can see that it is very much a ghost town. In terms of Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive looks and feels empty," said Mayor Gelber on Sundial. 

Miami Beach relies on its tourism economy. Gelber joined Sundial to talk about how he’s encouraging social distancing and how the city is making sure to implement curfews. 

University of Miami pandemic simulation training

The University of Miami’s School of Nursing and Health Studies is training the future generation of nurses on how to deal with full-scale disaster and emergency response. 

“Nurses need to be prepared for large-scale disasters, but that’s difficult to prepare for. No one saw [COVID-19] coming,” says Dr. Susana Barroso-Fernandez, an assistant professor.

Barroso-Fernandez is the director of the university's Simulation Hospital Special Projects which gives hands-on disaster response instruction for nursing students. She says nurses play a key role during these situations. 

"When we look at what is happening right now. I don't care if you've been a nurse for over 10 years. It's an overwhelming environment and we need to train," says Barroso-Fernandez.

At UM, disaster response has been a core aspect of the curriculum. Barroso-Fernandez joined Sundial to discuss the COVID-19 response and what protocols she’s learned are important when dealing with a pandemic.

COVID-19 numbers and data aren’t so clear

Data on Coronavirus cases and deaths is critical information for the public. Why has the Florida Department of Health reported it inconsistently? 

WLRN received a tip last week from a listener saying numbers were changing. Reporter Danny Rivero looked into COVID-19 data from the Florida Department of Health and identified a series of instances where virus cases disappeared, were removed, or might have been altered. He joined host Luis Hernandez on Sundial to talk about why this is happening and what it means.

Read more: There's Something Strange About Florida's Coronavirus Data