Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez signs order closing all hotels amid COVID-19 outbreak

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. (WPLG)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced some new changes as the county continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mayor said Saturday that he signed an emergency order to close all hotels, motels and other lodging establishments throughout the county, with few exceptions.

He also posted a video on YouTube announcing the changes.

Those include first responders, displaced visitors, airline crew members and journalists from out of town.

Gimenez also signed an order stopping boats from “rafting up” together for partying purposes, whether out at sea or in Biscayne Bay.

Additionally, Gimenez noted that pawn shops can remain open for business, as they can “provide essential financial resources to those in need.”

Gimenez said Saturday he is working with Jackson Health and the University of Miami to put up testing sites for coronavirus as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, hospital officials at Jackson have been forced to address an alarming issue with its staff.

An email obtained by Local 10 News that was sent to Jackson Memorial Staff confirms the Jackson is treating COVID-19 patients.

The email also warns staff of “stealing medical supplies of any kind for use outside Jackson is a crime and puts our patients and fellow healthcare workers at risk.” The email thanks “the numerous employees that have spoken up about this problem” and reminds that “attempting to take Jackson materials improperly is grounds for temination.”

This comes as the Florida Department of Health confirmed 95 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Florida on Saturday.

The new cases include 19 in Miami-Dade County and 23 in Broward County.

That brings the total of positive cases in Miami-Dade County to 142. In Broward County, there have been 151 positive cases, including three deaths.

About the Author:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.