If we step away from the "He Said, She Said" game for a moment between local and state officials regarding the "hiding" of four locations where Zika-infected mosquitos were captured on Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County officials finally released the locations publicly on Wednesday, per the Miami Herald.
Locations of Zika-positive mosquitoes were released after the Herald’s lawsuit set off a dispute between the county and the state health department about releasing the information. The county initially denied the Herald’s public records requests, claiming the records were exempt from Florida’s public records law because they were part of an epidemiological investigation.
But Tuesday, Miami-Dade Mayor Gimenez sent a letter to State Surgeon General Celeste Philip advising her that the county would release the locations unless otherwise instructed by the health department in writing. Both Philip and Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office responded late Tuesday that the county was free to notify the public.
The four sites are labeled on the Herald’s map below, in addition to a fifth site — Miami Beach Botanical Garden at 2000 Convention Center Dr. — which was released earlier in the month.
None of the five sites testing positive for Zika-infected mosquitos were on the eastern or western outer edges of South Beach’s "Zika Zone." All were roughly located within three or four blocks from the center of the island.
However, since the five sites tested positive, a large set of samples have been taken from the same areas. All have tested negative:
▪ On Aug. 22, one sample tested positive from a trap at 932 Lenox Ave. Since then, 27 samples have been tested from that location, and all were negative.
▪ On Aug. 23, two additional samples at 1619 Meridian and the Botanical Garden tested positive for Zika. Since then, 45 samples from those two locations have been tested, all negative.
▪ On Sept. 4, a sample from 2378 Prairie Ave. tested positive. Since then, 17 samples have been tested and all were negative.
▪ On Sept. 9, a sample from 1236 Drexel Ave. tested positive. Ten more samples taken subsequently from the same area have tested negative for Zika.
Hopefully South Beach gets the all-clear from Zika in the coming weeks.