Miami-Dade Police: About 115 fines for breaking county mask, distancing rules

MIAMI, Fla. – South Florida continues to be a hotspot in the coronavirus pandemic that's surging in the United States.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez talked to a national audience on Sunday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” speaking about the new $100 civil penalty for breaking county mask and social distancing rules.

“The first night, I think we had about 35; we closed some businesses. It’s gonna ramp up as we get inspectors up and running,” Gimenez said.

Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramírez, speaking on Local 10′s “This Week In South Florida,” said about 115 citations were issued and now that it is a civil citation and not a criminal offense, enforcement is more in line with the crime.

“It makes us a lot more nimble in enforcement because we don’t want to criminalize; what we want is compliance,” Ramírez said.

In Amendment No. 1 to Emergency Order 20-20, passed on July 2, it states: “All persons through out Miami-Dade County shall wear a mask or other facial covering when in public.” Last Thursday, the announcement of civil citations and fines was announced by Giménez.

Florida saw more than 12,000 new cases Sunday. U.S. Representative Ted Deutch (District 22, D-FL) believes Gov. Ron DeSantis is downplaying the concerning numbers.

"We continue to see cases increase dramatically and the number of deaths increase dramatically," said Deutch.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo, who is running to unseat Gimenez as the county’s mayor, blames local case rises on young adults.

“Young people in our community, I think dropped the ball. They feel that they’re immune to everything, they started congregating,” Bovo said.

Meanwhile, in the Florida Keys, they are expecting an influx of people for lobster mini season and leaders in Monroe County said they are preparing for it.

Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers, said: "We are trying to do everything we can to limit the chance to gather in groups when one's inhibitions may be down."

They are preparing by putting some restrictions in place including hours as to when alcohol will be sold and there is a curfew in place.

The mini lobster season is an annual, two-day period that always falls on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July. This year, it’s on July 29 and 30

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About the Author:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.