Broward County has reinstated its new mask mandate inside county buildings, at county parks, and at the county courthouse amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in Broward and throughout the state of Florida.
Effective Friday, July 30, employees and visitors to Broward County facilities will be required to wear a facial covering when indoors at all County facilities regardless of vaccination status.
Broward County Mayor Steve Geller warned weeks ago that the county was in the “danger zone” and could soon see a rise in cases caused by the delta variant.
On July 31, Florida reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic.
According to the Associated Press, the state has become the new national epicenter for the virus, accounting for around a fifth of all new cases in the U.S. as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread.
The state also reported 409 deaths last week, bringing the total to more than 39,000 since its first in March 2020. The state’s peak happened in mid-August 2020, when 1,266 people died over a seven-day period. A spike in deaths is usually caused by a rise in hospitalizations.
The Florida Hospital Association said Friday that statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations are nearing last year’s peak, and one of the state’s largest health care systems, AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, this week advised it would no longer be conducting non-emergency surgeries in order to free up resources for COVID-19 patients.
In Broward County, more than 95% of the people being hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
In a statement, the county said “vaccines are not mandatory, but strongly encouraged for people ages 12 and over. Vaccines are free and insurance is not required.
Infections are occurring in a small portion of people who are fully vaccinated, however, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the new variant can spread the virus to others who are not vaccinated and have no protection.”
The County has various vaccination sites and pop-up locations available in partnership with the Florida Department of Health (FDOH). Appointments are not required at County/FDOH sites, but may be required at other facilities not run by the County.
A new vaccination site will also be open on August 2 at the South Regional Health Center.