MIAMI ( June 23, 2020 ) — Today, I had a virtual meeting with public health experts and doctors from the Florida Department of Health, Jackson Health System, U-Health and the medical schools at Florida International University and the University of Miami.
We discussed continuing to increase enforcement of New Normal rules and the importance of municipalities enforcing those rules in their jurisdictions to stop the spread of COVID-19.
At this time, the County is continuing to enforce Order 20-20, which I signed on April 9, and all New Normal rules that require everyone to wear masks when inside public establishments, as well as when they are outdoors if they cannot practice social distancing of at least six feet.
As always, cities can have more stringent rules. Each city should let their residents know what their rules are if they go beyond the countywide “New Normal” requirements.
Unfortunately, there seems to be some confusion about the existing countywide mask order, which is quite stringent. Only people with respiratory problems or those doing certain strenuous activities are exempt from the mask requirement, as well as children under the age of 2, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Everyone else must wear a mask if they cannot stay at least six feet away from others while outside and always when inside a public establishment or when visiting friends or family members that do not live with them.
I will reiterate that enforcement remains key. Cities that are requiring masks at all times outdoors must beef up their enforcement and shut down establishments that are not following these life-saving rules. I discussed this with the League of Cities today.
The Miami-Dade County Police Department (MDPD) continues to be out in force checking on businesses, parks, beaches and marinas, both in the unincorporated areas and in cities that are not enforcing the County orders.
On Monday, MDPD checked on 7,011 businesses, found 17 in non-compliance for minor violations and ordered five businesses to close.
The County is finding excellent compliance in unincorporated areas, but I remain concerned about lax enforcement in some cities. MDPD will continue to monitor violations at businesses in all the municipalities.
Tough talk won’t scare away the virus. Only tough enforcement — to make sure everyone is following the rules — will make a difference and stop the spread.
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