Shutdowns, curfew part of Miami-Dade County’s rollback to stem surge of new COVID cases

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Families were happy when they were able to enjoy Zoo Miami after it reopened from closure during the coronavirus shutdown. But starting Saturday, the zoo will again be shuttered. Jungle Island closed its doors effective immediately.

Miami-Dade County also order closures of indoor entertainment venues like bowling alleys, movie theaters and non-tribal run casinos only a few weeks after they re-opened. This is now Phase 1 of the rollback.

"The numbers continue to trend strongly in the wrong direction," Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said.

Pressure on ICU beds and a rise in percent of positive coronavirus cases are prompting county leaders to add stop-the-spread strategies to its COVID-19 exposure prevention tool kit. On Friday, the start of the Fourth of July weekend, Miami-Dade County will begin a 10 p.m. curfew and countywide beach closures.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez frames the new measures enacted in response to worrisome metrics as a form of patriotism in a video posted to social media and echoed by Gelber. On Friday, Gimenez tweeted out his New Normal daily summary.

· Rolling 14-day positivity rate in Dade: 20.71%

· 73.21% of ICU beds are being used right now (306 Covid ICU cases admitted out of 418 COVID ICU beds)

Also, the mask mandate has expanded in restaurants. You must wear your mask at all times in a restaurant, only except while eating and drinking. That changed from the former rules, which allowed masks to be off when seated at a table.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, we all play a critical role in everyone's right to life," Gimenez said during his daily video press conference.

"What is more American than sacrificing for a family, friend or even a stranger," Gelber said reiterating that the preventative measures are a way to avoid a complete return to a shutdown. "We don't want to do that. It really destroys the economy."

Tourists in town for the holiday weekend were unaware that the beaches were closed and there was a curfew in place and it was a big disappointment.

“I hope they are going to open soon. It is tough,” one visitor said.

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