MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has announced that masks will be required for people visiting county-run buildings due to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Levine Cava made the announcement Wednesday, just a day after the Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance recommending that people wear masks in areas of high transmission.
“Starting today, masks will be required at all indoor county facilities for employees and visitors,” Levine Cava said. “The numbers are clear. These cases are on the rise. We must do our part to keep people out of the hospital, and the only way to do that is to vaccinate and take these other protective measures.”
The positivity rate for COVID-19 across South Florida is more than 10%, and hospitals have started to fill up with patients. At Jackson Health, nearly 90% of their COVID-19 patients have not received the vaccine.
“When the healthcare system is overwhelmed, that is extremely dangerous for all of us,” Levine Cava said. “People are getting gravely ill, and they are dying.”
The county order does not apply to private businesses, though owners can still require masks, if they want. Macchialina Restaurant in Miami Beach will enforce mask wearing while indoors.
“I think we all have to join forces,” owner Jacqueline Pirolo said. “I think if we band together and we all do it together, the outcome will be that much easier.”
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the increase in cases is due to the delta variant, which is extremely contagious.
“We wanted people who are vaccinated to understand that they could potentially pass this virus,” she said.
Levine Cava also urged residents to wear masks while in public.
“We have all come too far. We have all sacrificed too much in this past almost year and a half. We cannot turn back now,” Levine Cava said. “It is essential that we do everything we can to keep building on the progress that we have made.”
Levine Cava also added that daily COVID-19 hospital reports for the county will be coming back.
Broward County officials said they have been considering bringing back similar guidance to their county-run buildings.
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