MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County officials will require all non-union employees to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or undergo weekly testing for the virus.

Thursday’s announcement comes as health officials reported 20,133 new COVID cases and 84 COVID-related deaths in Florida over the past 24 hours.

Miami-Dade officials said the new policy for non-union employees will go into effect Aug. 16.

“We are taking a further step forward to ensure a safe and healthy workplace by requiring weekly COVID testing of all Miami-Dade employees,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Those who wish to opt out can provide proof of their vaccination status.”

Levine Cava said some exceptions could be made on a case-by-case basis.

“We all know that getting vaccinated is the single best step that any of us can take to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” she said.

Meanwhile, Jackson Health officials said they will require all unvaccinated employees to follow a set of strict guidelines.

“As healthcare workers, it’s our responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone around us,” said Jackson Health System CEO Carlos Migoya.

He noted they went from treating 66 patients at the beginning of July to 320 as of Thursday.

“Nearly 100% of them, I’d say 100% of them are unvaccinated,” he said.

Migoya said about 60% of their more than 13,000 employees are currently vaccinated.

“Given the dire situation we are facing, that is way, way too low,” he said.

The guidelines unvaccinated Jackson Health employees will be required to follow include not being allowed to take their face masks off at any time while inside a building.

“They will not be allowed to enter any Jackson cafeteria, dining room or coffee shop,” said Migoya, “nor will they be able to take off their N95 masks to eat or drink inside any of our facilities.”

The new developments come as local hospitals are once again being pushed to the brink.

“This hospital system has about 1,600 patients and a capacity, usually, for only about 1,400,” said Kevin Cho Tipton, a nurse for Memorial Healthcare System. “About 95% of all patients in hospitals in Florida, which is about 12,000 right now, are unvaccinated.”

Memorial Healthcare System has been forced to convert a cafeteria into a hospital floor.

Other hospitals are also weighing whether or not to suspend elective procedures, a move Memorial Healthcare will make on Monday.

The rise in cases has forced new testing sites to open, like one at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines.

Despite concerns he could catch the delta variant, patient Kenneth Logan said he is still not ready to roll up his sleeve.

“I’m very cautious about injecting stuff in my body, so that’s something I’m going to have to think about,” he said.

Patient Niky Nammur was also in line to get tested Thursday. He said he’s on the fence when it comes to the vaccine.

“I’m a little concerned about it, so I don’t know. I might change my mind next week,” he said.

But experts said, as long as a portion of the population still won’t receive the shot, new variants of the virus will continue to circulate, and nurses like Cho Tipton do not want to keep on delivering bad news.

“We’re having parents lose children, 50- and 60-year-olds who are losing 30- and 40-year-olds adult kids, and it’s been a lot,” he said.

The policy changes for unvaccinated employees at Jackson Health are set to go into effect Aug. 23.

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