Miami-Dade, Broward to require masks, face coverings in public at all times — including outdoors

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MIAMI (WSVN) - Leaders in Miami-Dade and Broward counties have announced new orders requiring the use of masks or face coverings in public at all times.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced he will be signing an order requiring the public to wear a face mask in public at all times.

The order is an expansion on a previous order issued in April, requiring masks and face coverings in public spaces inside. The order now requires people to wear masks or face coverings while outdoors.

The exclusions to the use of masks apply only to those with respiratory conditions that make it difficult to cover their mouth and nose, people doing strenuous activities, such as jogging, and children under the age of 2, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Margaret, who approves of the mask policy, said, “I think that that is very good because a lot of people are not wearing it, and they’re not abiding by the CDC.”

Susan Howell, who also approves of the policy, said, “It gets me a little concerned when we are mandated to do things. I think until the numbers start coming down, this is a pretty smart thing to do.”

Carlos Migoya, the CEO of Jackson Health, said he wants to prevent a shortage of ICU beds.

Migoya said, “Back in March when we shut down electives, the biggest issue we had at the time was a shortness of PPE, and it was not a shortage of beds at that point in time.”

Baptist Health is beginning to cut down on elective surgeries.

In the last 24 hours, more than 6,500 cases have been reported in Florida.

Broward County also implemented a similar order, Wednesday.

“This action is, unfortunately, necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 cases,” said Deputy County Administrator Monica Cepero. “The safety of all residents and visitors to Broward County is utmost on our minds, and it’s important that everyone follow these requirements. We’re hopeful that these additional, responsible measures will add an extra layer of protection for our residents and visitors.”

People who violate the order in Miami-Dade can face a fine of up to $500 and could be sentenced to 180 days in jail.

Hotel pools will have to close at 8 p.m. and can reopen at 6 a.m. during the Fourth of July weekend.

Alcohol can only be served on the pool decks from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Gimenez said, “If we comply with the regulations we have today, we can tamp down this virus.”

Restaurants throughout Miami-Dade will have to close in-house dining from midnight until 6 a.m. beginning July 2.

One South Florida business owner said it’s becoming a tougher and tougher hill to climb.

Ben Potts of Beaker and Gray said, “That will have a pretty substantial impact on the way we do business. That is another hurdle that we’ve been trying to get over, and we understand why, but at the same time it does pose a pretty big challenge for the business.”

Broward’s order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

For more information, on Miami-Dade’s order click here. For more information on Broward’s order, click here.

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