One county in South Florida is making sure visitors and non-residents are not coming in as part of its effort to stop the spread of the growing coronavirus pandemic.
Monroe County has set up law enforcement traffic stops starting Friday for an 18-mile stretch of U.S. 1 south bound at mile marker 112 as well as part of State Road 905, located between Ocean Reef and Key Largo, in an effort to enforce the county’s closure to those who are not residents.
“We set this up so people will understand we are serious about this,” Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers said of the checkpoints that will run for 24 hours a day until further notice.
Amid growing concern over the coronavirus, Monroe County last week announced it was only allowing those who live, own property or actively work in the Florida Keys to be admitted until further notice. Hotels in the area were closed and visitors were asked to leave and all non-essential businesses were closed.
“We are very concerned about making sure this disease doesn’t spread in The Keys,” said Carruthers. “That we get it under control so that we can get back up and open to accept visitors as soon as possible.”
Residents can show their proof of residency with a resident reentry sticker, local identification, utility bill, deed and lease or tax bill.
Those who work in the Florida Keys, such as construction workers, will need to show a letter from their employer, employee identification, a pay stub or a current construction contract in the Keys.
First responders, healthcare workers and military actively engaged in work in the Keys will need proper IDs.
“We’ve dealt with hurricanes,” said Carruthers. “We know what a hurricane does. We know how to respond and recover. We have some sense of the timeline . This is a completely different beast because we’ve never been here before."