This morning (September 19), Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared the Miami neighborhood of Wynwood—where the Zika virus was first discovered in the continental U.S.—Zika-free after 45 days of no active transmission in the area. He also announced “Dine Out Wynwood” on September 30 to encourage people to visit restaurants and businesses there.
“Everybody should be coming back here and enjoying themselves,” Scott said during a news conference, according to the Miami Herald.
Though Wynwood is seemingly safe, local cases keep appearing throughout the state—in close proximity to the neighborhood. Across the Biscayne Bay, on Miami Beach, the state health department is investigating two new, non-travel related cases that were confirmed on Friday (September 16). The Miami New Times reported today that “the state expanded Zika zones in Miami Beach and appropriated $10 million to fight the disease” last week. There are 79 non-travel related infections of the virus currently in Florida.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also issued an update today advising “pregnant women and partners of pregnant women who are concerned about potential Zika virus exposure” to consider avoiding Miami Beach. The language is not as strong as its initial statement on August 1, when Zika was first discovered there. Then, the centers explicitly advised women to avoid traveling to the neighborhood.
“Still, we encourage people not to let down their guard,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, in an online statement. “We could see additional cases. People living in or visiting Miami-Dade County, particularly pregnant women, are encouraged to continue to take steps to prevent mosquito bites and to follow guidelines for preventing sexual transmission.”