Things are different in Fisher Island, a private island off the coast of Miami that hosts some of the richest Americans. Guests must have an invitation, access is only possible by boat or ferry, and those who live or work there have the opportunity to take a test to see if they have developed antibodies to the coronavirus.
The island has secured the required tests through the University of Miami. A blood test for antibodies, unlike what is done with a sample of fluid from the nasal cavity, shows if someone has come in contact with a patient, even if they have no symptoms.
After the outbreak of the pandemic, the island banned visitors from entering, while the connection to the ferry continued exclusively for the approximately 1,000 permanent residents and the small number of workers. The island’s marina and local club (registration fee $ 250,000) have closed, while the golf course, beach, tennis courts and swimming pool are also closed.
“I call it Alcatraz. We’re surrounded by water and have nowhere to go,” said Daniel Azule, a 74-year-old fashion photographer who has lived in Fisher for 29 years. Azule underwent the test last week and is waiting to find out if he has immunity, while his home assistant, who now comes twice a week, instead of every day, as he used to. Fisher residents paid for the tests. A community spokesman said this was necessary, as most were elderly. The cost for each test was $ 17, and 1,250 tests have been performed since the beginning of April.
At the same time, a wealthy resident pledged to donate $ 200,000 to a charity to conduct a test in downtown Miami.
The revelation that the residents of Fisher Island were being tested, however, angered some local actors. “I can’t reconcile the image of poor children, without masks and disinfectants, that they have secured today with the news of a fundraising test in Fisher Island,” said Alberto Carvalho, the head of secondary education in Miami County.