State Watch

Miami-Dade mayor closes restaurants, gyms and other facilities as COVID-19 cases rise

Miami-Dade County will close bars and restaurants amid an ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus in Florida, county Mayor Carlos Gimenez (R) announced Monday.

“I am signing an emergency order that will close restaurants (except for takeout and delivery services), along with ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues, gyms and fitness centers, and short-term rentals. These closings, among others that will be included in the order, will be effective Wednesday, July 8, 2020,” Gimenez said in an announcement Monday.

“We want to ensure that our hospitals continue to have the staffing necessary to save lives. 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,” he added.

Gimenez said the county’s beaches will be open Tuesday but vowed to close them again if beachgoers fail to follow anti-crowding rules. Offices, retail stores and personal grooming businesses will remain open “for now,” he added.

The mayor said county officials are continuing to track an uptick in younger patients that began in June, which he blamed on a combination of young people going to congested indoor and outdoor events without masks, specifically blaming graduation parties.

Gimenez also attributed the uptick to street protests, echoing comments he made on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, although the cities where the biggest protests took place — Minneapolis, New York and Washington, D.C. —saw no comparable spike.

“We can tamp down the spread if everyone follows the rules, wears masks and stays at least six feet apart from others,” Gimenez said. “I am counting on you, our 2.8 million residents, to stop the spread so that we can get back to opening our economy.”

Florida reported a new single-day record of 11,458 new coronavirus cases Saturday after previously reaching a new high the previous Thursday. The new case numbers dipped Sunday, with the state health department reporting 6,336 new cases.

Tags Carlos Gimenez Coronavirus Miami

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