MIAMI – Miami-Dade officials expect Florida to lift its Zika warning over South Beach on Friday, ending the county's final transmission zone for the mosquito-borne disease that has rattled the region's tourism industry and upended the lives of pregnant women and their partners.
Gov. Rick Scott is expected for a morning news conference at the Betsy Hotel in South Beach to declare an end to the Zika "transmission zone" that currently stretches from Eighth Street to 28th Street, overlapping with Miami Beach's Art Deco District and Lincoln Road, two of the county's top tourist attractions.
The South Beach zone is the last of four Zika zones remaining since health officials identified the nation's first active transmission area for the virus in Wynwood in late July. Florida has since lifted all of the zones but South Beach's, which was identified on Aug. 19.
Health officials lift a Zika zone after 45 days pass without someone in the area being confirmed as having contracted the virus from a mosquito within the boundaries. The rule comes from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has maintained a broad warning for pregnant women, and women who may become pregnant, to consider postponing non-essential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.
Sources in Miami-Dade and Miami Beach confirmed Scott's expected announcement. The governor's office was not immediately for comment.