The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday released a Zika advisory for the Wynwood area of Miami, which is home to a number of prominent cultural institutions, saying that pregnant women should not visit because of a cluster of cases of the disease there. It is believed to be the first time that the CDC has issued such an advisory for a location in the continental United States, according to a report in the New York Times.
The square-mile area, shown in the map at right (which can be clicked to view in greater detail), stretches from about 20th Street to 38th Street and from 5th Avenue to Biscayne Boulevard (U.S. 1), a swath that includes the Rubell Family Collection, the Wynwood Walls graffiti area, and a number of galleries. The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse is located about a block outside the borders.
As of yet, there has been little news of Zika affecting the operation of local arts institutions, though according to a report in the Miami New Times, tour buses operated by the Miami Tour Company will no longer make stops at Wynwood Walls.
People in the zone are understandably remaining cautious. Reached by phone earlier this week, the Rubell Collection’s director, Juan Roselione-Valadez, said, “No, it won’t affect our hours, but we take it very seriously.”
Art Basel Miami Beach takes place every December about six miles away from the affected area. When reached for comment, a PR rep offered the following statement:
Art Basel is closely following all reports from health officials regarding cases of the Zika virus in Florida, as well as the aggressive counter-measures taken by Miami-Dade County officials, including increased spraying and mosquito abatement efforts in the impacted area. We remain confident that the city is taking precautionary steps to confront the virus and ensure Miami is a safe environment for visitors to the show in December, and for its residents, year-round.
The Times notes that the dense nature of the Wynwood district means that aerial spraying is not particularly effective in combatting the mosquito species that carries Zika, and today there are reports that officials are investigating a potential Zika case in Miami beyond the borders of Wynwood. The full CDC advisory is available here.