FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As cases of COVID-19 shoot up, code enforcement is cracking down — on people and businesses not playing by the rules.
Friday marks a new chapter for Broward County, whose leaders admit they were a bit lax in enforcing their orders earlier.
Under a new emergency order, businesses cited will have to shut down for a minimum 24 hours, and repeat offenders could face fines upwards of $15,000.
“We need to be more aggressive in our enforcement,” Broward Mayor Dale Holness said.
The rules are familiar: forcing people to wear masks, practice social distance and follow hygiene protocols.
“These are the types of things that have to slowly seep into the everyday lifestyles of people,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said. “And I think once that happens — hopefully, it’ll be today — we’ll start to see a flattening of that curve.
Trantalis says that Broward County as a whole is on the same page. Now, it’s really about that enforcement.
“We all know that we need to suppress the contagion of this disease,” he said. “Our code enforcement team is out there every day. Day and night. We do get emails. We get videos sent to us. We get text messages. People out there are helping us with the enforcement. And that’s a good thing.”