What to Know
- Many businesses and restaurants told NBC 6 they will continue to require mask-wearing inside their private establishments
- The office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said they will continue to give citations for an educational purpose until there is more clarity
- Earlier this summer, the Miami Beach Police Department gave out 288 $50 fines
Confusion continues in South Florida after Gov. Ron DeSantis wiped fines away for people who refused to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic.
Police departments were mostly silent as businesses told NBC 6 they’ll continue to require masks on their private property to make customers feel safe.
Earlier this summer, the Miami Beach Police Department gave out 288 $50 fines. The department has not returned a request for an interview.
Miami-Dade County cited 255 people. The office of County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who also oversees the county police, said they will continue to give citations for an educational purpose until there is more clarity from DeSantis.
The City of Miami Police had no comment at this time.
Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease and public health expert at Florida International University, said if people are not fined, it could lead to more people not wearing masks, which could cause a rise in cases.
“Taking out tools from our tool box at a time when we’re still fighting a global pandemic, which is still here, still with us, is extremely dangerous,” Marty said. “We are not ready to go to this spot. This is courting danger. If we follow the lack of masks and 100% occupancy for indoor spaces, we will see more cases.”
Marty told NBC 6 there will likely be an increase in cases in two to three weeks.
DeSantis tweeted Monday a different health expert, from Harvard Medical Schools, casting doubt on the need for social distance and requiring face masks for school aged children. He continues to roll back COVID-19 regulations to juice the economy.
Making customers feel safe
Many businesses and restaurants told NBC 6 they will continue to require mask-wearing inside their private establishments.
Perricone’s Marketplace and Cafe was pretty calm at lunchtime Monday during Yom Kippur. Owner Steven Perricone said they hope to soon go beyond 50% capacity per county rules. However, many precautions will remain: they likely won’t go to max capacity, the thermometers will remain, and in order to eat, masks will be required.
“I don’t have a problem wearing a mask. My employees are going to continue to wear masks. And we’re going to continue to try and make everyone feel safe,” Perricone said. “You know, we’re living in a new world. We’re still learning and you know everybody has to do their part individually.”