Miami’s rich-poor divide is exposed by flawed Covid-19 testing

<span>Photograph: Cristóbal Herrera/EPA</span>
Photograph: Cristóbal Herrera/EPA

The first cars arrive at Hard Rock Stadium shortly after 4am. It is three hours until sunrise, and five before the state-run coronavirus drive-through testing station opens its gates, but the early arrivals, some coughing and feverish, all wearing face masks, want to be sure of their slot.

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Even so, some are out of luck. With a daily capacity of only 400 tests, it takes authorities fewer than 120 minutes to exhaust their limited supply of throat swabs, and those at the back of the queue – after hours waiting in temperatures close to 90F – are sent away to try another day.

Meanwhile, over on Fisher Island, a swanky enclave for the super wealthy barely 15 miles away, and where the average annual income is $2.5m, it is a different story.

Island managers’

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Wealthy Fisher Island, which bought its own COVID-19 tests, may ask for federal loan

The homeowners’ association for Fisher Island, the private paradise near Miami that recently bought enough COVID-19 antibody tests for all of its residents and employees, is considering applying for a loan through the federal government’s massive stimulus program to bail out small businesses.

During its 5 p.m. scheduled meeting Wednesday, according to an agenda obtained by the Miami Herald, the association’s board of directors will vote on whether to apply for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, which is designed to help business owners pay their employees and weather the economic turmoil brought on by the novel coronavirus.

The agenda said the board would discuss and vote on approving the application and the execution of loan documents with Regions Bank.

It wasn’t immediately clear Tuesday why the Fisher Island Community Association — the master homeowners’ group for the wealthiest ZIP code in the United States — would need

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