Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez on Monday announced an emergency order to shutdown indoor dining, gyms and banquet halls as coronavirus cases continue to spike in Florida. The emergency order goes into effect Wednesday.
Giménez said the measures would help “ensure that our hospitals continue to have the staffing necessary to save lives.” At Miami Jackson Health System, the number of coronavirus patients in intensive care has tripled in the last month.
Since mid-May, restaurants had been allowed to operate indoor dining at 50% capacity. Under the new order, they will still be allowed to serve takeout and delivery. Bars without food licenses remain closed throughout the state. Gyms in Miami-Dade county reopened in early June.
Party venues, short-term rentals like Airbnb’s and ballrooms will also be closed as a result of Giménez’s emergency order.
According to CBS Miami, since Florida began reopening, the county’s daily rate for confirmed COVID-19 cases skyrocketed from about 300 a day to more than 2,000. The state took over three months to reach 100,000 coronavirus cases, but it took just two weeks to get from 100,000 to 200,000.
Miami-Dade County beaches, which had been closed for the July 4 weekend, are still scheduled to reopen Tuesday. However, Giménez noted that if people are seen not practicing social distancing he will shut the beaches down again. The curfew implemented before the holiday weekend is also still in effect, according to CBS Miami.
“At this time, I plan to keep open various outdoor activities, including condominium and hotel pools with strict social distancing and masks rules, as well as summer camps and child daycare centers with strict capacity limits, requiring masks and social distancing of at least 6 feet,” Giménez added.
Florida has seen multiplein coronavirus cases in recent weeks. On Friday, the state reported 11,458 new cases. A large number of new infections are being found in younger people.
“We are still tracking the spike in the number of cases involving 18 to 34-year-olds that began in mid-June, which the county’s medical experts say was caused by a number of factors, including young people going to congested places, indoors and outside, without taking precautions such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing,” Giménez said Monday.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the average age of coronavirus patients has dropped by 15 years. In Florida, 21-year-olds now make up the majority of cases.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has stated he will not close down businesses statewide again.
“We’re not going back, closing things. I don’t think that that’s really what’s driving it, people going to a business is not what’s driving it,” he said last Tuesday.
David Begnaud contributed reporting.