People lined up early Friday morning in Miami Gardens to get their hands on a take-home COVID-19 test.MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – People continue to crowd testing sites across South Florida, creating long lines.
The increase in cases also prompted changes in mask rules at Miami-Dade public schools and a major statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding cruises.
“I think I’ve been here since 5:47 (a.m.),” Miami Gardens resident Paulette Wilson said Friday morning as she waited for a free at-home COVID-19 test kit.
“Your life depends on it. Some people don’t want to do it, but I’m not one of those,” another resident, Tony Jackson, added.
With store supply low, people like Jackson knew this is a good chance to get their hands on a test kit.
“There was a short supply. I knew here there was going to be tons of them. I’ve been here since 5:30 this morning,” he said.
The long lines of cars and people at the North Dade Regional Library speak for itself.
And the spread of the omicron variant has people taking caution on land and water.
Port Everglades Chief Executive Port Director Jonathan Daniels said he was surprised following the latest CDC guidelines, telling people to avoid cruise ship travel whether you have been vaccinated or not.
“We don’t want to see (the) CDC saying not to cruise seeing how big a part of the economy it is,” he said.
Health officials say there has been an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases among cruise ship passengers and crew.
The CDC announced the COVID-19 travel health notice level has been updated from a level 3 to level 4 — the highest level.
This reflects increases in cases onboard cruise ships since identification of the omicron variant.
Travelers boarding Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas Thursday responded to the warning.
“So if they are going to monitor the cruise lines this closely, they need to be monitoring everything else,” Tina Mayer said.
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About the Author:Parker BrantonParker Branton joined Local 10 News in January 2019 as a reporter. He was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, but now loves living on the sunny beaches of South Florida.