Welcome to the Village of El Portal

  • New Normal Phase 1

Hurricane Preparedness

Office of the Mayor
Claudia V. Cubillos 

El Portal Residents: 

             RE: April COVID-19 Report 

I hope you and your families are as well as you can be as we continue to cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Please be sure to know that we will improvise, adapt to, and overcome this crisis, and with that I am providing this report as an update, along with some reminders, as we continue to work to preserve the health and well-being of our El Portal community during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

As a reminder, El Portal follows Miami-Dade County Emergency Orders; all Miami-Dade County emergency orders are located on our Village website homepage on the right side: 

Just to review, and as was communicated at our last virtual council meeting on March 31, 2020—since March 26th, 2020, the Village of El Portal has been under the “Safer at Home” order, enacted by the Miami-Dade County Emergency Order 12-20 and the Village of El Portal Emergency Order 20-01.

Again, until that order is lifted or modified, please continue to STAY HOME, and only leave if you have to: go to the doctor or pharmacy, get gas, food, buy groceries, work at an essential business and now as of (today) April 29th an Emergency Order 21-20 ‘Moving to a New Normal’ goes into effect, this allows the opening, with restrictions, of parks, golf courses, marinas, and boat ramps. We ask that we all adhere to the guidelines/restrictions set forth in this County order 20-21. Again, this order (along with all orders) can be found on our village website. 

Highlights since the last El Portal Council Meeting on March 31, 2020:

Wednesday, April 1st: Miami-Dade County Mayor’s collaborated on a ‘Safer at Home’ PSA video circulated throughout the County and broadcasted on local stations.

Thursday, April 2nd: Mayor Cubillos, via email, informed/reminded the community that the CARES Act-Federal Stimulus Package for small business will begin to accept applications on April 3rd.

Friday, April 3rd: Chief Magnusson identifies all Miami-Dade County Police agency needs and collaborates amongst them to encourage them to share resources, so no first responder goes without PPE

Sunday, April 4th: Mayor Cubillos secured over 200 masks for El Portal. These masks have been distributed as follows: 100 for the El Portal Police Department, 4 for EP Administration and I then emailed residents asking whoever needed to let me know. Masks were delivered on April 7th.  

Monday, April 5th: During this week routinely called Seniors and delivered masks to those who needed some. 

Wednesday, April 8th: the Village’s Emergency Team virtually met. During this meeting we discussed the Village’s on-hand inventory on PPE, shared the data from our respective meetings, addressed some residents immediate concerns, reiterated our communication protocol to ensure that we are continually informing our residents. The Manager is in regular communication with her staff and both the Chief and the Manager informed the Mayor that their staff are all ok and not in need of anything at this moment; only that some are eager to come back to work and the Manager advised them that when she re-opens the Village Offices it will be a tiered and gradual process, based on calculated and measured data on order to ensure the safety of the entire Village staff and community.

Thursday, April 9th: Mayor Cubillos participated in a Florida League of Mayors State-wide conference call with Senator Marco Rubio about an update on the PPP and unemployment assistance programs.

Thursday, April 9th: Miami-Dade County issued Emergency Order 20-20 “Regarding Facial Covering” and it went into effect as of 11:59 p.m. on April 9, 2020: Persons working in or visiting grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, construction sites, public transit vehicles, vehicles for hire, and locations where social distancing measures are not possible shall wear facial coverings as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). A facial covering includes any covering which snugly covers the face and mouth, whether store bought or homemade, and which is secured with ties or ear loops. Examples of compliant home-made masks may be found at: 


As of Friday, April 10th: here all COVID-19 testing sites:


Monday, April 13th: Village of El Portal Emergency Management Team provided the Council, Staff and Community with a third written update on COVID-19. 

Wednesday, April 15th: The ‘Miami-Dade County (MDC) Mayor’s New Normal Initiative Taskforce’ made up of: Dr. Abbo, Dr. Marty, Samir Elmir from the Department of Health; the Miami-Dade County League of Cities (MDCLC) Executive Board led by Mayor Cubillos; the Miami-Dade County Staff and Mayor Gimenez held a ‘New Normal Initiative Kickoff Zoom Meeting.’ At this kickoff meeting with the ‘MDC Mayor New Normal Initiative Taskforce’ was a cross-section of industry and medical experts from (4) counties (Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe). During this kickoff meeting, Mayor Gimenez advised us all that ‘Outdoor Open Space’ was the first priority, as such, the 3 following subcommittees were formed and Chairs appointed: Parks, Golf Courses and Marinas/Beaches. Each sub-committee was tasked with drafting a recommended re-opening guideline using a phased approach to then present to MDC Mayor New Normal Initiative Task Force. Each re-opening phase needed to include specific language on: approach, requirements and communication on how ‘new normal guidelines:’ social distancing, facial covering, cleanliness on common areas, and cleanliness overall would be implemented.

Thursday-Saturday, April 16 – April 18th: The (3) Open-Space subcommittees met between 3-4 times, an infectious disease doctor and/or a department of health official were on these calls vetting recommendations. ( I sat in on all Park subcommittee calls)

Sunday, April 19th: Each subcommittee chair presented their ‘re-opening guideline draft (1) report’ to the ‘MDC Mayor New Normal Initiative Task Force.’

Monday, April 20th: It’s been a month since I identified and sent the County Staff El Portal’s Senior list for meal delivery, I took the opportunity during Monday’s call with the County Staff to ensure meals are still being delivered. I did receive confirmation that meals are still delivered and for right now there is no end-date to this service. 

Tuesday, April 21st: As of this week, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) continues to distribute “grab and go” meals for children between 4pm-7pm on Tuesday and Friday’s only! The school providing meals closest to the Village of El Portal is: Miami Edison Senior High School at 6161 NW 5th Court. If student is not present with the adult that is picking up the meals, they are asked to please bring a form of ID for the student. IDs are to be shown to MDCPS staff packaging the meals at  safe ‘physical distance’ of 6ft.

Tuesday, April 21st: Informed by Early Learning Coalition regarding Child Care for First Responders and Healthcare Workers. Childcare is now available for these heroes for free until July 1st, 2020.  In addition, First Responders and Healthcare Workers can receive financial assistance to help pay for child care and help with locating open childcare programs from the Early Learning Coalition, regardless of income level. For more information and to apply email: info@elcmdm.org

Wednesday, April 22nd: MDC Mayor’s New Normal Initiative – Interior Space Kick-Off Meeting was first held. This comprehensive meeting only had Miami-Dade County cross industry (to include medical) experts, business owners, and MDC Mayor’s New Normal Initiative Task Force. From this discussion the following subcommittees were formed for Interior Space re-opening: Hotels, Retail, Restaurants, Real Estate, Small Business, Manufacturing, Office Space, Arts & Culture and Warehouse/Logistics. Each subcommittee was tasked with drafting a recommended re-opening guideline using a phased approach. Each re-opening phase needs to include specific language on: approach, requirements and communication on how the ‘new normal guidelines:’ social distancing, facial covering, cleanliness on common areas, and cleanliness overall would be implemented.

Wednesday, April 22nd: Open-Space Subcommittees presented again their third and final draft to the ‘MDC Mayor’s New Normal Initiative Task Force’ for consideration.

Thursday, April 23rd: VOEP Emergency Management Team met, Mayor Cubillos provided an update to the Chief and Manager. She recommended a town hall meeting on Monday April 27th for residents and an internal staff training to bring them up to speed on moving to the new normal.

Thursday, April 23rd -Saturday, April 25th: The (9) Interior-Space subcommittees met several times. During these calls an infectious disease doctor and/or a department of health official was on vetting recommendations. (Mayor Cubillos sat in on ALL subcommittee meetings)

Saturday, April 25th-Sunday, April 26th: all (9) subcommittees presented their first draft of recommendations to the MDC Mayor’s New Normal Initiative Task Force. All subcommittee’s need to further work on their recommendations and update it to incorporate some recommendations made by the task force.

Sunday, April 26th: A “Hotel Pools” subgroup was formed to formulate a recommendation on re-opening of the pools, and it must include specific language on: approach, requirements and communication on how the ‘new normal guidelines:’ social distancing, facial covering, cleanliness on common areas, and cleanliness overall would be implemented. (Mayor Cubillos sat in on this call). 

Monday, April 27th: During this Monday County Call, MDCLC was informed by Mayor Gimenez that Parks, Marinas and Golf Courses will re-open on Wednesday, April 29th at 6am. A Miami-Dade County Emergency Executive Order will come forward later this day after 4pm.

Monday, April 27th: The Village of El Portal Emergency Team held a virtual town hall meeting regarding COVID-19 at 4pm. 

Tuesday, April 28th: Regular Council Meeting held virtually-brief versión of this message was shared.  

Wednesday, April 29th: Miami Dade County  Emergency Order 21-20 “Moving to a New Normal-Phase 1’ goes into effect. This Order 21-20 allows for the opening, with restrictions, of parks  golf courses, marinas, and boat ramps – we ask that we all adhere to the guidelines set forth in our County order 20-21. This order (along with all orders) can be found on our village website: http://elportalvillage.com/.  Our Village of El Portal Tot-lot will still remain closed during this phase 1 reopening. 

Below share with you on how we are working with our Miami-Dade County and Municipal colleaguesto overcome this challenging time together:

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday: Mayor Cubillos, who serves as the President, along with her Miami-Dade County League of Cities (MDCLC) Executive Board, are in a Zoom Meeting with Miami-Dade County Mayor Gimenez and his staff. On these calls, the County shares up-to-date numbers on hospital beds and ventilators available, the number of COVID-19 patient discharged and admitted by day among other key information that helps us shape our message and plan.

Every Tuesday: Village Manager Christia Alou virtually meets with all Miami-Dade County Managers. During this call they share and discuss resources and ideas on how they are managing the response and recovery of COVID-19, while still addressing the needs to many residents who still want their permits issued, and/or work completed and ensuring continuity of essential government services.

Every Tuesday: Mayor Cubillos and the MDCLC Executive Board virtually meets with their associate members. These companies share information on what they are hosting and/or offering to the community during this Pandemic. This information is then shared to EP residents via email and social media.

Every Tuesday: Mayor Cubillos and the MDCLC Executive Board virtually meets with the MDCLC Board of Directors. During this meeting, the BOD are updated on Miami-Dade County statistics and other pertinent information to ensure all municipalities are on the same page.

Every Thursday: Mayor Cubillos and the MDCLC Executive Board virtually meets with all Miami- Dade County Mayors. During this call we discuss best practices on this fluid situation, we also share ideas, and fliers, so as not to reinvent the wheel.

Every Friday: Interim Village Attorney virtually meets with all Miami-Dade County Municipal Attorneys. This meeting is coordinated by the MDCLC and as a legal group they address municipal legal concerns that have risen since COVID-19.

This concludes my Mayors’ Report for April 2020! 

Yours in Service,
Mayor Cubillos
Miami-Dade County League of Cities – President
‘Communication creates connection – it creates a stronger sense of community, and it creates progress regardless of the resources available to us and our long-list of differences that so often mistakenly divide us.’ Mayor Cubillos

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The Village of El Portal

El Portal is a picturesque and historic village in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The village name is derived from the Spanish word for the wooden gate that once stood at the entrance to the village. El Portal, a primarily residential community of single-family cottages and bungalows, was founded in 1937 and to this day includes prime examples of 1930’s and 1940’s South Florida architecture.
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