Miami Beach Launches Race to Trace to Combat COVID-19 Pandemic


The City of Miami Beach announced the launch of Race to Trace, a new program intended to provide focused COVID-19 contact tracing and other health resources to Miami Beach hotels, restaurants as well as cultural venues. Funded under a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation, the program will provide businesses with a dedicated strike team of seasoned contact tracers from the Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Miami-Dade County to keep employees and patrons safe.

“Our hospitality industry has gamely addressed these challenges but needs tools better suited to its unique profile,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber explained. “This partnership will elevate our contact tracing efforts to give us the best opportunity to cabin this virus and provide a safer environment for our guests and workers.”

Starting this week, Race to Trace teams will proactively reach out to target businesses citywide to establish relationships — aiming to alleviate the burden that business owners and managers face by quickly responding to COVID-19 issues as they arise.

“The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade is looking forward to working with The Rockefeller Foundation and the City of Miami Beach in this innovative, multidimensional approach to combating COVID-19 in our community while preserving our economy, hospitality industry and protecting our public health,” shared Administrator/Health Officer Dr. Yesenia Villalta of DOH-Miami-Dade County. 

The Rockefeller Foundation awarded grants to the City of Miami Beach and Florida Department of Health (FDOH) to further the goals of its National COVID-19 Testing & Tracing Action Plan. The Plan supports reopening the economy through a combination of effective testing, contact tracing and strengthening of data platforms and public education campaigns to better track and monitor the spread of the disease.

“A strong contact tracing program is a critical component to suppressing an outbreak, especially where people come and go, and ensuring that the trail of infections stops quickly,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “We are proud to support the efforts of Mayor Gelber and the Florida Department of Health to protect the hard-working women and men who are the backbone of Miami Beach’s dynamic tourism and hospitality industry, alongside the millions of visitors to the region, through this innovative contact tracing and public education program.”

Miami Beach businesses will be invited to further demonstrate their commitment to following COVID-19 best practices by participating in the city’s Pledge to Protect initiative which will be rolled out later this month.

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