coronavirus florida

Miami Issues Citywide Mandatory Mask Policy, Makes Fines Stricter for Those Caught Without One

Residents will no longer be issued warnings for not wearing masks, and they will instead be fined $50 on the first instance they are caught

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The City of Miami issued an emergency order Friday making masks mandatory at all times while in public.

"The City may issue noncriminal civil infractions to individuals or properties who violate the face covering order," a spokesperson said. "However, when possible, City officials will provide a free mask to those who do not have one of their own."

Also Friday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced at a press conference that the fine policy for those caught violating the rule would now be stricter.

Previously, those caught not wearing a mask received a warning on the first instance, a $50 fine on the second, then a $150 fine, then a $500 fine.

Now, the warning has been eliminated, and a $50 fine will follow the first offense. The new rule will be put in place Monday, Suarez said.

"The rate of growth (of the coronavirus in South Florida) is flattening a little bit, and that's because of the remedial measures we've put in place," Suarez added.

Florida added more than 11,000 new coronavirus cases to its tally Friday, pushing the state's total close to 330,000 as the death toll rose by more than a hundred for the fourth day in a row.

The state has seen a large increase in cases in the past several weeks, with more than 83,000 cases confirmed in the last seven days, about 25% of the total count.

Florida also reported 128 deaths Friday, the third-highest one-day jump on record, bringing the death toll to 4,805.

In Miami-Dade County, the state's most populous and the current epicenter of the outbreak, there were 2,442 new coronavirus cases reported Friday, pushing the county's total to 77,867.

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