MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – If your plans for the Fourth of July were to go to the beach and watch fireworks in Miami-Dade County, you need to think again.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez will be signing an executive order closing all of Miami-Dade County beaches starting on July 3. He will also be restricting any gatherings of more than 50 people until July 7.
Gimenez announced on Friday night his decision to do so was as a response to 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 statement.
“Fireworks displays must be viewed from one’s home or parked vehicle,” Gimenez said.
If the idea was to celebrate at a bar, change that plan too. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation ordered business owners to refrain from serving alcohol at bars statewide.
“We cannot turn back and overload our hospitals, putting our doctors and nurses at greater risk with more emergency room cases,” Gimenez said.
In Miami-Dade, officers will close businesses flaunting the social distancing and masks rules and capacity limits, Gimenez said. Violators face a second-degree criminal penalty of up to $500 and 180 days in jail.
“This new order will be targeting those who are being most irresponsible and endangering our community’s health and our economic recovery,” Gimenez said.
Gimenez and Gov. Ron DeSantis supported President Donald Trump’s push to reopen businesses with some restrictions to prevent unemployment from climbing even more than it already had.
“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.”
County employees will visit coronavirus hotspots to provide information about testing, face masks and hand sanitizer.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has advised six presidents on infectious diseases, had some advice on Friday for the people who are ignoring social distancing and face masks orders.
“A risk for you is not just isolated to you,” Fauci said.