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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Scott reiterates Zika prevention tips to colleges, universities, Miami-Dade officials



After the state confirmed Friday that Zika cases are spreading in Miami Beach, Gov. Rick Scott spoke to Miami-Dade officials and college and university leaders on conference calls, urging them to continue Zika prevention efforts.

Empty standing water, wear bug spray and use condoms, he and state Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip said in each of three calls. Scott also criticized the federal government for not providing enough resources for Zika prevention and test kits.

"I've repeatedly called on the federal government for these and at this point, they haven't provided additional resources," he said.

The feds have sent the state $9 million in emergency funding and dispatched a team of experts to South Florida, where the virus continues to spread. Scott has allocated more than $26 million in emergency state money.

The governor will return to Miami on Monday, he told county officials.

Friday afternoon's calls echoed earlier teleconferences with other groups: Scott and Philip updated the groups on the latest information but did not answer questions. He directed them to call him if they had more questions.

He did the same with state lawmakers two weeks ago, much to the chagrin of some, including state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, who called it "ridiculous."

"What I don't understand is why do you call a press conference with the entire Legislature and refuse to take input from them?" she told the Times/Herald after that phone call. "If he got input from us, he’d have a better product."

However, he did not break much new ground Friday. Scott emphasized a public information campaign by the state's college and university systems to inform their students about the threat of Zika and how to prevent it.

"Build a relationship with your county health department," Scott said. "You've got to put a lot of effort into making sure there's no standing water." 



[Last modified: Friday, August 19, 2016 3:28pm]


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