Miami-Dade County closes beaches, bans gatherings of 50 or more for Fourth of July weekend

MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County will be closing all of the county’s beaches and will not allow gatherings of 50 or more people for Fourth of July weekend amid a spike in coronavirus cases throughout the state.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a release he will be signing an emergency order on Saturday that will close the county’s beaches from Friday, July 3 until Tuesday, July 7.

“As we continue to see more COVID-19 positive test results among young adults and rising hospitalizations, I have decided that the only prudent thing to do to tamp down this recent uptick is to crack down on recreational activities that put our overall community at higher risk,” Gimenez said in a release.

The Florida Department of Health reported nearly 9,000 cases of COVID-19 throughout the state on Friday. Several South Florida hospitals also reported that less than 7% of their ICU beds were available, Friday.

“I have been seeing too many businesses and people ignoring these lifesaving rules,” Gimenez said. “If people are not going to be responsible and protect themselves and others from this pandemic, then the government is forced to step in and restore common sense to save lives.”

Along with the closure of the beaches, Gimenez said he will ban any gatherings of more than 50 people, including parades, from July 3 to July 7, citing Centers for Disease Control recommendations.

Public viewing of fireworks at all parks and beaches in the county will not be allowed, and fireworks must be seen from a person’s home or parked car, Gimenez added.

The announcement of the order comes on the same day the fireworks display at Bayfront Park, the largest in South Florida, was cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

The fireworks shows in Fort Lauderdale will continue as of Friday night but with some changes. The celebrations will be held in four different areas, so people can enjoy the show from home. The locations of Fort Lauderdale’s shows will not be open to pedestrian or vehicle spectators.

“After all the success we have had tamping down the COVID-19 curve, we cannot turn back and overload our hospitals, putting our doctors and nurses at greater risk with more emergency room cases,” Gimenez said.

The closure may be extended if conditions do not improve and if people do not follow the county’s “New Normal” rules, according to Gimenez.

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