Miami-Dade Enforcing Safety Rules Amid ‘Worrisome Spike' in COVID-19 Cases: Mayor

Mayor Carlos Gimenez said police will be enforcing rules concerning wearing masks in public places and social distancing with "zero tolerance"

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Miami-Dade will be vigorously enforcing coronavirus safety rules as the county is experiencing a "worrisome spike" in COVID-19 cases, mayor Carlos Gimenez said Tuesday.

Gimenez tweeted that police will be enforcing rules concerning wearing masks in public places and social distancing with "zero tolerance."

Gimenez later clarified that emergency orders for mask wearing haven't changed.

"You must always wear masks indoors at businesses, except when eating at a restaurant, and outdoors when social distancing of six-feet isn't possible," Gimenez tweeted.

The Florida Department of Health reported 26,822 total COVID-19 cases in Miami-Dade Tuesday, an increase of 583 cases since Monday. The county's total has increased by more than 4,000 cases over the past seven days.

According to Miami-Dade's New Normal dashboard, the county's average positive test rate over the past 14 days has been 12.4%, above the 10% threshold recommended by health experts.

The county's non-ICU bed capacity was at 25.28% available, while ICU bed capacity was at 33.26% available, the dashboard showed.

The mayor's message comes a day after a number of cities in Miami-Dade said they would be requiring people to wear face coverings in public.

Area inspectors with City of Miami Code Enforcement were spotted out in Wynwood on Tuesday patrolling, taking pictures and passing out flyers educating people on mask mandates in the city.

“We have a program that was developed and implemented called Stand Up Miami Community Outreach and Inspection Program. And we have several task forces. Each task force is comprised of a fire inspector, a police officer and a code compliance inspector,” said Adrian Plasencia, Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal with City of Miami Fire Rescue.

City officials say they have visited over 14,000 businesses since restaurants started to re-open in May. A few spots in Miami were even briefly shutdown over the weekend.

“The goal is to educate them. I believe most businesses want to comply so usually when we educate them and explain to them that these are the requirements and the emergency orders, usually they work to comply immediately. In the event that they don’t or refuse to comply where it presents a health issue, then the task force would visit them and they will potentially be closed down,” said Plasencia.

Some citizens have been using social media to call out those who have not been following the rules. Instagram user covid_305 posting pictures and videos of restaurants not complying with orders, but also praising those doing things right.

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