‘You Wouldn't Know There Was a Pandemic': People Seen Without Masks, Not Following COVID-19 Guidelines in Miami-Dade

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With spring break just a few months away, a local commissioner and other residents are worried that some South Florida businesses and customers are not following proper COVID-19 safety protocols.

“I went out myself and it was like Mardi Gras,” said Surfside Commissioner Eliana Salzhauer. “You wouldn’t know there was a pandemic.”

NBC 6 has received complaints saying that people are not wearing face masks or social distancing at restaurants in Surfside and Wynwood, despite a mask mandate issued by Miami-Dade County.

From December 8th to January 24th, the Surfside Police Department said it had 25,000 verbal mask warnings on record and have also handed out 175 masks.

While police officers do appear to be enforcing the rules, some residents are not deterred. 

Throughout Miami-Dade County, fines and violations have been handed out, but due to an executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis, residents are not obligated to pay these fines until the order is lifted. 

Health experts are still recommending that people double-mask, wash hands regularly and continue following social distancing guidelines, especially with reports of new COVID-19 variant cases in the state.

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