Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties are pushing back on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ latest executive order remitting fines related to COVID-19 restrictions.
“While our positivity rate continues to trend in the right direction and vaccination efforts are accelerating, now is not the time to throw caution to the wind as we are so close to putting this pandemic behind us,” said a joint statement that was issued Monday.
DeSantis’ executive order “inadvertently sends a message to residents and the business community alike that common-sense measures to fight COVID-19 are no longer needed – when we know that they do in fact work to prevent the spread, and most importantly save lives,” the statement read, urging that all South Florida residents, businesses and visitors need to continue to take precautions as the pandemic wears on.
DeSantis’ order, which was signed last week, does not apply to any previous COVID-related orders or enforcement by the state and does not cancel fines imposed on assisted living facilities, hospitals or health care providers.
"I don't think it's liberal or conservative, I just think those fines are out of control," DeSantis said in an earlier news conference. "Most of those restrictions have not been effective. That's just the reality. The numbers are in on that."
DeSantis has singed similar orders in the past that include prohibiting local governments from collecting fines for violations of mask mandates, which have been in place for several cities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.