Amid the steady increase in COVID-19 numbers in South Florida, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said that enforcement of safety guidelines will be increased, with violating businesses shut down.
In a video message on Wednesday, Gimenez addressed concerns regarding the spike in numbers and rumors of a reimplementation of the stay-at-home order.
“Rest assured if you are a business owner and decide that it is not your problem, we’re going to make it your problem because our education campaign is now over,” Gimenez said. “Businesses that are not abiding by the rule will be shut down by the Miami-Dade Police.”
As for another stay-at-home order, City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez says he views that as a last resort that he doesn’t feel is necessary yet. But it can’t be ruled out.
“I don’t think there’s any elected official on the planet, not one, that could tell you that there’s no circumstances under which we wouldn’t consider a closure,” said Suarez.
While Miami-Dade, along with Broward and Palm Beach, have not yet been included in the state’s phase two reopening, Suarez said that a growing number of residents in South Florida have done away with the CDC health guidelines.
“We’re seeing some people getting a little too comfortable not wearing masks when they go to stores or restaurants and not following social distancing rules,” Gimenez said. “We expect businesses to monitor those situations and not let that happen.”
Gimenez said that “if you see a person or a business who is not following the rules, call 305-4-POLICE, report it so that we can follow up.”
As for why we’ve seen the increase in cases, Suarez says he thinks it’s a combination of more testing, large crowds gathering for protests, and people not following social distancing guidelines.
“We’ve done tens of thousands of inspections, but clearly people still send images and videos, and particularly those [businesses] who are still closed that are upset they’re still closed while others are open and doing things they shouldn’t do,” the Miami mayor said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis was firm in saying Tuesday that the state will push forward with its reopening plans. Suarez noted that many people and businesses in South Florida are just starting to get back on their feet economically, and others are still desperate to open and return to work.
On Tuesday, Florida recorded 2,783 new cases of COVID-19, the highest number of cases recorded in the state in a day. Today came confirmation of another 2,610 cases, second-most since the start of the pandemic.