Broward County is mandating a daily 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, as well as installing other public health restrictions due to the area's worsening coronavirus outbreak.
"In the past week, Broward has experienced more than 1,300 new cases each day and positivity rates as high as 16.58%," the Broward County Mayor's office announced. "Our hospitals are either at or are exceeding their bed capacity."
The curfew will go into effect Friday, July 17 and will stay in place until August 1. Exemptions to the curfew include first responders, media personnel, delivery workers, and people seeking emergency medical care.
Additionally, the county is banning private gatherings of more than ten people at private residences. "Persons present at such gatherings shall be individually liable for violations of this Order and subject to civil and criminal penalties," a press release said.
The emergency order carrying these restrictions includes several other rules that will now be enforced:
- Short-term vacation rentals that "are not actively managed by on-site owners or on-site management companies with staffing or security on site 24 hours a day to enforce compliance with all the requirements" are not permitted to operate as of July 20 until August 20
- Patrons at restaurants are forbidden from ordering food or drink from any bar counters, and must be seated at a table
- All persons must wear facial coverings while inside a gym or a fitness center, including while they are doing exercise
The order also encourages that anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 self-isolate to the greatest extent possible, avoid visiting establishments except when medically necessary, and avoid use of common areas within their living arrangements.
"Businesses in our community must adhere to the guidelines governing their operations, and patrons of reopened business are encouraged to report violations, which may result in warnings, citations, fines and/or business closures," the press release stated.
Residents can report violations by calling 311 or by going online.
In addition to the restrictions, the county also announced it would begin posting a daily statistical dashboard including COVID-19 indicators for Broward, including number of cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations, hospital capacities and deaths.