Vaccinated Leader at Florida Condo Site Tests Positive for COVID-19

Vaccinated Leader at Florida Condo Site Tests Positive for COVID-19
Search and rescue personnel walk back to work on the recovery operation at the collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building after a send off for members of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) National Rescue Unit in Surfside, Fla., on July 10, 2021. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

MIAMI—A vaccinated Miami-Dade county commissioner who helped other local officials in Surfside following the collapse of a condominium building announced that he and his chief of staff tested positive for COVID-19.

The news release late Sunday from Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz said he and his chief of staff Isidoro Lopez, who also received a vaccine against the virus, came down with flu-like symptoms earlier in the day and later tested positive.

“Staff and others who have been in close contact with them will be getting tested between today and tomorrow,” the news release said. The statement also said Diaz and Lopez would be isolating and following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Diaz had participated in news conferences and meetings with other officials in Surfside, the Miami Herald reported.

Miami Dade spokesperson Rachel Johnson told the newspaper that COVID-19 tests would be administered at the Surfside command center on Monday.

The search for bodies continues at the wreckage of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, where earlier Sunday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed the death toll had reached 94 in last month’s collapse. Some 30 people remain listed as missing.

Search Shifts To Recovery Operation At Surfside Condo Collapse
Miami-Dade County Mayor, Daniella Levine Cava, prays along with other officials in from of the rubble that once was Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla., on July 7, 2021. (Jose A Iglesias/Pool/Getty Images)

“Breakthrough” infections—fully vaccinated individuals who contract COVID-19—do happen, although they are very rare. An Associated Press analysis of government data in May showed about 1 percent of such cases resulted in hospitalization or death.

Last week, Florida health officials reported an increase in COVID-19 cases and a higher positive test rate compared with other recent weeks.

NTD staff contributed to this report.

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