Miami-Dade mayor asking Florida to reimburse county for millions spent fighting Zika virus

Posted at 5:16 PM, Aug 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-13 17:16:32-04

With the fight to combat the Zika outbreak in South Florida still ongoing, the Mayor of Miami-Dade County wants the state of Florida to pay them back for money spent in the battle.

In a letter to Governor Rick Scott that was obtained by the Miami Herald, Mayor Carlos Gimenez is asking to be reimbursed for a variety of things, including aerial and ground spraying as well as outreach efforts to inform the public.

State officials have said they have close to $26 million set aside to fighting Zika, but Miami-Dade County so far as received around $300,000 of that. The CDC sent the state close to $36 million in funds to be used to help in the fight.

Scott’s office issued a statement saying that all counties, including Miami-Dade, have had access to resources since the first case was discovered this February in Florida and has been in constant contact with Gimenez.

As of Friday, Miami-Dade County had 120 travel related cases as well as 25 of the state’s 28 non-travel related cases, with the other three coming from Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

Gimenez has said previously that Miami-Dade County will spend nearly $8 million fighting mosquitoes this year, nearly four times more than budgeted.

At the same time, Miami-Dade County officials say it's safe to attend a monthly art festival in the Miami neighborhood linked to Zika cases.   

According to a statement from Gimenez's office, volunteers will hand out repellent and pamphlets about preventing mosquito bites to people attending events Saturday evening in the Wynwood arts district.   

Florida health officials have linked Wynwood to over two dozen Zika infections apparently spread by Miami mosquitoes. The county is spraying pesticides throughout the 1-square-mile area. Some charities also hand out mosquito repellent. Feeding Florida began offering it Friday in South Florida food banks.


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