FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The mayor of Broward County is calling on residents to do more to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in South Florida.

Over the holidays in Fort Lauderdale, people were seen in the street not wearing masks and not practicing social distancing. Photos from Fort Lauderdale and at other bars across the county showed many people not wearing masks and not following COVID-19 guidelines.

According to Broward County Mayor Steve Geller, conditions in South Florida will worsen as a result.

“If you look at the pictures, you will see that despite our urgent requests, people are still partying like it’s 2019,” Geller said. “It’s not, and I will repeat the same request that I have been making: Please wear your masks and social distance.”

Long lines, no social distance and no masks were present as COVID-19 runs rampant throughout the region and local hospitals reach near capacity.

“The hospital admissions are going up, and the hospital patient census are going up,” Geller said. “I try and listen to the experts, whether they’re scientists or physicians, but those are the two experts that I try and listen to. They have all predicted that January and February are going to be much worse than other months have been.”

On Tuesday, the health department reported 1,193 new cases in Broward County with a positivity rate over 10%. The county’s total case count has now eclipsed 143,000.

If the photos taken over the holidays are an indication of what’s to come, Geller said the county may have to take action.

“We do not want to shut down businesses in Broward,” he said. “We want people to wear their masks and social distance.”

During the holidays, county inspectors handed out violations to businesses who had people in long lines without masks. About 20 citations in total were handed out.

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