FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The mayor of Broward County had a message for residents and visitors as cases of COVID-19 rise ahead of Christmas.

Mayor Michael Udine’s media conference ended just before noon, Wednesday.

The conference came after Udine spoke with several mayors in the county, as well as hospital administrators.

“We will not be imposing mask mandates on private businesses. That was preemptive by the state,” he said. “We’re not going to be shutting businesses down, we’re not going to be reducing hours and we’re not going to have mask mandates on private sector businesses.”

On the same day, Memorial Healthcare System changed its visitation policy.

Visitors will not be allowed into the Memorial Healthcare hospitals unless it is an end-of-life situation or the birth of a child.

Florida reported nearly 13,000 new COVID cases on Monday, the highest single-day increase in months but, thankfully, no new deaths.

Healthcare officials from Broward Health and Memorial Healthcare System said the winter surge is not as bad as they saw in the summer.

The majority of patients they are seeing are said to be unvaccinated.

Hospital officials said omicron symptoms are showing up quicker, within 3 to 5 days, but for those that are vaccinated, they are mild.

For a list of COVID-19 testing sites in Miami-Dade County, click here. To find vaccination sites, click here.

For a list of COVID-19 testing sites in Broward County, click here. To find vaccination sites, click here.

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