Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 210857
    Clerk's Official Copy   

File Number: 210857 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted as amended
Version: 0 Reference: R-227-21 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: RESOLUTION RELATED TO CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) Introduced: 4/8/2021
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 3/16/2021
Agenda Date: 3/16/2021 Agenda Item Number: 11A14
Notes: THIS IS FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED. ALSO SEE 210476, 210576. Title: RESOLUTION RELATED TO THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19); DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO: (I) STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF PROCURING AND USING ROBOTICS TO STERILIZE COUNTY FACILITIES AND USING GENOMIC TESTING TO TRACK COVID-19 REINFECTION RATES AND VARIANT PREVALENCE, (II) ESTABLISH A CALL CENTER AND TEXTING SERVICE FOR COUNTY RESIDENTS TO OBTAIN INFORMATION REGARDING COVID-19 AND VACCINATION, (III) ENTER INTO A PILOT PROGRAM WITH FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY TO EVALUATE USING DOGS TO DETECT COVID-19, AND (IV) PROVIDE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST; DIRECTING THE PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST TO, WHERE AUTHORIZED BY LAW AND SUBJECT TO FUNDING LIMITATIONS, CONDUCT COVID-19 EDUCATION AND OUTREACH CAMPAIGNS AMONG ITS PATIENTS AND FOR COUNTY RESIDENTS; URGING THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL VACCINE SUPPLY TO MIAMI-DADE COUNTY; URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE AND THE FLORIDA GOVERNOR TO RESCIND THE PORTION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-244 LIMITING THE ABILITY OF THE COUNTY TO COLLECT FINES AND PENALTIES FROM INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE VIOLATED ANY COUNTY EMERGENCY ORDER; DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO BROADCAST MESSAGES REGARDING COVID-19 VACCINATIONS; AND REQUIRING REPORTS [SEE ORIGINAL ITEMS UNDER FILE NOS. 210476, 210576]
Indexes: CORONAVIRUS
Sponsors: Kionne L. McGhee, Prime Sponsor
  Oliver G. Gilbert, III, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Danielle Cohen Higgins, Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

County Attorney 4/8/2021 Assigned David M. Murray 4/8/2021

Board of County Commissioners 3/16/2021 11A14 AMENDED Adopted as amended P
REPORT: Commissioner Heyman advised the following doctors and professionals would be involved in the feasibility study: Dr. Lilly Lee, Jackson Memorial Hospital with Florida International University (FIU); Dr. Peter Page, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Medical Advisor for the Miami-Dade County Administration; and Mr. Frank Rollason, Director, Miami-Dade Emergency Management Operations Center (EOC). Commissioner Heyman indicated that the feasibility study would be completed after JMH completed the field work and FIU conducted the analysis study. She stated her support for the foregoing resolution was subject to the conclusions of a valid scientific study. Discussions ensued between Board members as to the scientific validity to certify that trained canines could accurately detect COVID-19. At the request of Commissioner Martinez, Miami-Dade Canine Officer, Jeff Schmittinger, indicated more studies were needed to make that determination. (12:02) Commissioner Sosa thanked Commissioner McGhee for the Sunshine meeting with professional scientists, doctors, and professors involved in leading this proposed pilot program. She indicated this program could be used as a model in the future for similar uses at large venues such as Miami International Airport (MIA), PortMiami, and other large events. Commissioner Souto indicated Board members needed to stay focused on the issue to fight COVID-19. He announced he was currently working on legislation that would involve minimizing various sources contributing to the transmission of COVID-19 by putting forth a concerted effort to improve sanitation conditions. Commissioner McGhee provided an oral report outlining the benefits of FIU’s International Forensic Research Institute Team work in Tallahassee with Former Emergency Management Director, Jeffrey Moskowitz, and the EOC Department, to train the canines which maintained a 90% to 95% success rate in detecting COVID-19. He indicated the trained canines were bought by a breeder, who had been trained by the Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Detector Guidelines (SWGDOG) , chemists, and biologists that worked directly with the dogs. He noted the University of Pennsylvania and FIU were the only two (2) schools leading the research on COVID-19 and work detection methods (quality and sample control). He advised FIU would use rescue dogs for the pilot program for six (6) months. Commissioner McGhee highlighted the following benefits of the pilot program and qualifications of the participants: FIU had twenty (20) years of experience studying dog training methods, specialized in quality and sample control of COVID-19 order; The trained canines had a 90-95% success rate in detecting COVID-19; Rescued dogs would be used; F.I.U. would undergo their first, peer review and would become the only published article on COVID-19 detecting canines, which placed FIU as the leading pioneer in the technology of COVID-19 canine studies. Canines could be retrained to be used for other purposes; Update the foregoing proposed amendment to include procurement language to include a partnership with F.I.U. on a leasing program to lease dogs from the handlers to provide the service to eradicate the Novele Coronavirus Disease, 2019. At the request of Commissioner Regalado, Mr. Don Steigman, Chief Operating Officer, Jackson Health System provided feedback on this proposed item on behalf of the Public Health Trust and stated there were no issues with the contents of this item with the exception of the canine portion which was a separate item. - Chairman Diaz, Commissioners Gilbert, Heyman, Monestime, Hardemon, Cohen Higgins, Sosa, and Souto requested to be listed as co-sponsors for Agenda Item 11A14 - Chairman Diaz, Vice Commissioner Gilbert, Commissioner Monestime, Commissioner Heyman, Commissioner Sosa, and Commissioner Souto, Commissioner Cohen Higgins, requested to be added as co-sponsors for this item. Commissioner McGhee announced the foregoing proposed item would be amended to partner with the Florida International University to lease out dogs from the handlers. County Attorney Geri Bonzon-Keenan read the amendment into the record as follows: “On page 9 existing Section 3 as deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following, directs the Mayor or Designee to enter into a pilot program as authorized by Implementing Order 3-38 with Florida International University (F.I.U.) for the purpose of evaluating the efficacy of dogs trained by F.I.U. to detect COVID-19 at Miami International Airport, the Port of Miami, and Stephen P. Clark Center. The Pilot Programs shall provide for no more than four canines, shall not last longer than 6 months, and shall be accomplished using existing budgeted or legally available funds.” “This Board directs the Mayor or Mayor’s Designee to identify and designate legally available funds that may be used in the current fiscal year to support the above described policy and further to identify and designate funds to support this policy in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 -2022 county budget and future fiscal year budgets. If there are not sufficient budgeted or legally available funds to accomplish any directive the mayor or designee shall prepare a report detailing such insufficiency.” There being no further questions or comments, the Board proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed resolution, as amended.

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION RELATED TO THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19); DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO: (I) STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF PROCURING AND USING ROBOTICS TO STERILIZE COUNTY FACILITIES AND USING GENOMIC TESTING TO TRACK COVID-19 REINFECTION RATES AND VARIANT PREVALENCE, (II) ESTABLISH A CALL CENTER AND TEXTING SERVICE FOR COUNTY RESIDENTS TO OBTAIN INFORMATION REGARDING COVID-19 AND VACCINATION, (III) ENTER INTO A PILOT PROGRAM WITH FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY TO EVALUATE USING DOGS TO DETECT COVID-19, AND (IV) PROVIDE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST; DIRECTING THE PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST TO, WHERE AUTHORIZED BY LAW AND SUBJECT TO FUNDING LIMITATIONS, CONDUCT COVID-19 EDUCATION AND OUTREACH CAMPAIGNS AMONG ITS PATIENTS AND FOR COUNTY RESIDENTS; URGING THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL VACCINE SUPPLY TO MIAMI-DADE COUNTY; URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE AND THE FLORIDA GOVERNOR TO RESCIND THE PORTION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-244 LIMITING THE ABILITY OF THE COUNTY TO COLLECT FINES AND PENALTIES FROM INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE VIOLATED ANY COUNTY EMERGENCY ORDER; DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO BROADCAST MESSAGES REGARDING COVID-19 VACCINATIONS; AND REQUIRING REPORTS [SEE ORIGINAL ITEMS UNDER FILE NOS. 210476, 210576]

BODY
WHEREAS, the 2019 novel coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, caused an outbreak of illness (COVID-19) that began in December 2019 and quickly spread throughout the world; and
WHEREAS, on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency and later declared it a pandemic; and
WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order No. 20-51, directing the State Health Officer and Surgeon General to declare a public health emergency in the State of Florida and directing the State Health Officer to take any action necessary to protect the public health; and
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order No. 20-52, declaring a state of emergency for the State of Florida due to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the Mayor of Miami-Dade County declared a state of emergency for Miami-Dade County as a result of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, these orders have since been extended; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 remains an ongoing threat to Miami-Dade County residents; and
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County has suffered more COVID-19 cases, and more COVID-19 deaths, than any other county in Florida; and
WHEREAS, ensuring that the virus is controlled locally is of critical importance to the future of Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, there are numerous actions which can be taken to ensure local control of the virus; and
WHEREAS, the County can invest in tools to limit the spread of the disease, which include the procurement of dogs that have been trained to detect COVID-19 by smelling infected persons, which are currently being used to screen entrants into American Airlines Arena, and which could be deployed by the County to screen entrants at Miami International Airport, the Port of Miami, and other County facilities with extensive public utilization or which otherwise present unique risks related to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, the County can also invest in autonomous robots with the capability of killing pathogens such as COVID-19 in the air and on surfaces through high-intensity ultraviolet UV-C wavelength light, which are currently used at Key West International Airport to sterilize its terminals overnight and which could be applied to Miami International Airport, the Seaport, and other County facilities; and
WHEREAS, continuing to educate the community with respect to availability of resources and measures to protect themselves can help individual residents make better choices to keep their families safe; and
WHEREAS, the County does not currently have a single point of contact for residents with questions regarding the pandemic, which could include questions as to testing or vaccine availability, questions about symptoms, questions about the virus, or questions about County responses to the pandemic; and
WHEREAS, establishing a single phone number where residents can get answers to these questions will assist residents in protecting themselves and other residents; and
WHEREAS, additional outreach and education can be performed by the Public Health Trust (“Trust”), Miami-Dade County’s most vital health care resource, which operates the Jackson Health System, including Jackson Memorial Hospital, Jackson North Medical Center and Jackson South Medical Center; and
WHEREAS, it is the mission of the Trust to build the health of the community by providing a single, high standard of quality health care for the residents of Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, the Trust can use its relationships with its patients to encourage vaccination, to provide follow-up to infected individuals, and to provide medical advice to the community; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to section 25A-4(j) of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida (the “Code”), the Trust shall comply with any Commission directive, as set forth from time to time by resolution of the Commission; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to section 25A-4(b)(4) of the Code, if any such directive will result in a financial impact to the Trust, then this Board shall provide County funding to the Trust for implementation of and compliance with the directive for the period of time necessary for implementation or compliance; and
WHEREAS, enhancing the County’s understanding of local conditions will also assist in recovery, especially as there is still much about COVID-19 that is not understood; and
WHEREAS, for example, it is critical to know which COVID-19 variants are prevalent locally, which can only be determined by genomic testing; and
WHEREAS, it is unclear how long persons who have recovered from COVID-19 enjoy immunity to the disease, or whether or not any variants are more capable of reinfecting recovered persons; and
WHEREAS, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests laboratory testing, particularly the genomic sequencing of paired specimens from each infection episode, as a means of investigating possible reinfection with SARS-CoV-2; and
WHEREAS, additional information about the nature and extent of reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 could inform Miami-Dade County’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts; and
WHEREAS, the County could utilize additional assistance by the Federal and state governments in ending the crisis; and
WHEREAS, vaccines are a critical resource to contain the spread of COVID-19, but presently only a limited supply is available; and
WHEREAS, in December 2020, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorizations for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 16 years of age and older, and for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older; and
WHEREAS, the allocation of vaccine supplies both as between states and intrastate is controlled by the federal government and Governor DeSantis, respectively; and
WHEREAS, additional vaccine supplies for Miami-Dade County are needed, as Miami-Dade County continues to have the highest rates of COVID-19 infections in the state, and in the nation; and
WHEREAS, in light of these rates of infections, the County should also be allowed to utilize its police powers to enforce local masking and social distancing requirements, which may be necessary locally due to the unique spread of disease in Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, on September 25, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order Number 20-244, directing, in section 4, that the collection of fines and penalties associated with COVID-19 enforcement on individuals be suspended during the State of Florida’s declared COVID-19 state of emergency; and
WHEREAS, the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Amendment expressly authorizes the County to pass ordinances relating to the affairs, property and government of Dade County and provide suitable penalties for the violation thereof; and
WHEREAS, Executive Order 20-244 does not prohibit the issuance of fines or penalties on businesses or individuals associated with COVID-19 enforcement, but merely delays the collection of such fines and penalties until the expiration of Executive Order 20-244 or the State of Florida’s COVID-19 State of Emergency; and
WHEREAS, this Board believes that the ability to timely collect fines and penalties from individuals is a critical element in ensuring compliance with local ordinances and emergency orders necessary to stem the spread of this deadly pandemic; and
WHEREAS, this Board believes that the suspension of the collection of fines and penalties in Executive Order Number 20-244 needlessly impedes upon the ability of local governments to adjust rules and restrictions necessary to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in their local jurisdictions; and
WHEREAS, this Board believes that the suspension of the collection of fines and penalties in Executive Order Number 20-244 may increase the risk to the health and safety of Miami-Dade County residents and visitors by preventing the County from timely enforcing necessary COVID-19 restrictions on individuals; and
WHEREAS, the suspension of the collection of fines and penalties in Executive Order Number 20-244 violates the spirit of the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Amendment to the Florida Constitution which should be liberally construed to grant local government control of local affairs; and
WHEREAS, this Board desires to provide for the continuing health, safety and well-being of the residents of Miami-Dade County,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that:
Section 1. This Board adopts the foregoing recitals as if fully set forth herein.
Section 2. This Board directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to examine the use of artificial intelligence or robotics to assist in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by disinfecting County airports, seaports, and all points of travel. This Board further directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to provide a report to this Board with the results of said examination.
Section 3. Directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to enter into a pilot program, as authorized by Implementing Order 3-38, with Florida International University (FIU) for the purpose of evaluating the efficacy of dogs trained by FIU to detect COVID-19 at Miami International Airport, the Port of Miami, and the Steven P. Clark Center. The pilot program shall provide for no more than four canines, shall not last longer than six months, and shall be accomplished using existing budgeted or legally available funds. This Board directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to identify and designate legally available funds that may be used in the current fiscal year to support the above-described policies and further to identify and designate funds to support this policy in the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 County Budget and future fiscal year budgets. If there are not sufficient budgeted or legally available funds to accomplish any directive, the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee shall prepare a report detailing such insufficiency.
Section 4. This Board directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to examine the feasibility of implementing procedures to study COVID-19 reinfection rates in Miami-Dade County through use of genomic sequencing or other testing of specimens and by using other legally available means to collect and analyze data, and to provide a report. Such report
shall indicate, at a minimum, the capability of Miami-Dade County to retain specimens and perform genomic sequencing or other testing to investigate COVID-19 reinfection countywide, as well as the costs of doing so.
Section 5. This Board directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to create a COVID-19 call center and texting service whereby Miami-Dade residents can obtain information regarding COVID-19. In creating the call center and texting service, the Mayor or Mayor’s designees shall consider, at a minimum, the feasibility of : (1) service staff able to provide residents with information related to COVID-19, including general symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus, the County’s general COVID-19 policies and procedures, locations within the County offering the COVID-19 vaccines, the methods available to set an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, and lodging options for residents who are seeking to quarantine; (2) staffing the call center and texting service with retired and active healthcare professionals; (3) staffing the call center with medical students and volunteers; and (4) Miami-Dade County residents being able to use the call center and texting service by dialing 311 or a different three digit number.
Section 6. This Board directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to provide a report on the actions referenced in section 5 above. In addition to addressing the considerations required in section 5 above, such report shall also include, at a minimum, an analysis of: (a) the required costs to create a COVID-19 call center and texting service including, but not limited to, equipment, and staffing costs; (b) the available funding source(s) to create the call center and texting service; and (c) the time frame needed to begin operating the call center and texting service.
Section 7. This Board urges the federal and state governments to provide additional vaccine supply to Miami-Dade County and to distribution sites within Miami-Dade County.
Section 8. This Board urges the Florida Legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis to rescind Section 4 of Executive Order 20-244 which suspends the collection of fines and penalties associated with COVID-19 enforcement upon individuals until the expiration of Executive Order 20-244 or the State of Florida COVID-19 State of Emergency.
Section 9. This Board directs the Public Health Trust to: (1) take all legally available measures to contact persons who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for available vaccine appointments at Public Health Trust designated facilities; (2) educate the public on the efficacy and availability of the COVID-19 vaccine countywide; (3) take all legally available measures to contact persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 for purposes of educational outreach; and (4) take all actions necessary to carry out the purposes of this resolution. The Public Health Trust shall cease carrying out the foregoing directives when any legally available funds allocated pursuant to section 11 below of this resolution are unavailable or otherwise exhausted.
Section 10. This Board directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to: (1) take all actions necessary to achieve the purpose of section 9 above; and (2) allocate and use legally available funds to achieve the purpose of section 10 above to the maximum extent possible.
Section 11. This Board directs the Public Health Trust, together with the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee, to provide a written report regarding section 9 above to this Board. Such report shall update this Board on the progress and achievements of the directives set forth in this resolution and shall include, at a minimum: (1) the number of eligible persons who have been contacted for available COVID-19 vaccination appointments; (2) the means of educating the public on the efficacy and availability of the COVID-19 vaccine countywide; (3) the measures
taken to contact persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 for purposes of educational outreach and the number of persons contacted; and (4) how much funding has been allocated and expended to achieve the directives set forth in this resolution.
Section 12. This Board directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the legislative or other action set forth in sections 7 and 8 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2021 State Legislative Package to include this item.
Section 13. This Board directs the County’s federal lobbyists to advocate for the legislative or other action set forth in section 7 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2021 federal legislative package to include this item.
Section 14. This Board directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Members of the Florida Congressional Delegation, the Governor, Senate President, and House Speaker of the State of Florida, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade County State Legislative Delegation, and the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Section 15. Unless otherwise specified herein, all reports required by this resolution shall be provided to this Board within 30 days of the effective date of this resolution, and shall be placed on an agenda of the Board pursuant to Ordinance No. 14-65.
Section 16. The County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee is directed to use internal media resources currently available to the County, such as MDTV and other County controlled media sources, to broadcast messages encouraging COVID-19 vaccination and providing information on vaccine and testing availability.



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