Miami-Dade County adding new tools in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – New tools are coming on-line in Miami-Dade County to provide more ways to help stop the surge of coronavirus cases.

There's a voluntary contact tracing app in development. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is hoping it will be ready for download in three weeks.

"I met with officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties for a regional approach to this contact tracing app since so many of our county residents are criss-crossing across our three counties," said Gimenez.

There’s a voluntary survey program now online.

“Residents are asked to get tested and then check in by completing a brief survey to participate in contract tracing to assist the county recovery from COVID -19,” Gimenez said.

This comes on the first full day of civil penalties in place to help with enforcement. Those caught not following the New Normal rules could face fines – for individuals $100, businesses could be looking at a $500 fine. That includes the in-public mask mandate. Also, it is important to note that the civil penalties are not just about masks. It’s about enforcing all the New Normal rules.

[What to do if you get a civil citation? FAQs]

(See the complete New Normal rules below)

“Miami Dade Police continue to have the authority to go the criminal route,” reminded Gimenez.

The mayor said with the hospital system still in the position to turn regular beds into ICU beds and a slowing percentage increase in hospitalizations, the hope is that the new tools paired with strategies already underway like the 10 p.m. curfew, new isolation hotel beds to help mitigate against multi-generational household transmission, and the ban on in-door dining will help tamp down on transmission. And prevent the need to toggle-back to a “safer-at-home” status.

Gimenez said: “This is a balancing act. Starting to shut down again? It could cause irreparable damage, irreparable harm to people and their livelihoods, so you have to consider that.”

About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."