Hialeah mayor defies Miami-Dade restrictions during pandemic

HIALEAH, Fla. – Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernández announced on Tuesday that the city’s police officers and code enforcement officers will not be enforcing Miami-Dade County’s limits on indoor dining.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez faced opposition in July when he instituted the indoor dining ban, which he suspended on Tuesday with a 50% capacity limit starting on Monday.

“They can open up on Monday, but if they are opening up before that they could face a fine,” Gimenez said.

Gimenez said Hernández’s decision to not enforce the limit was irrelevant. The city is under Miami-Dade County’s jurisdiction. County police officers and code enforcement officers were ready to issue fines in Hialeah, he said.

Hialeah is the fourth city in the state with the most Florida Department of Health confirmed coronavirus cases ― only after Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville. Hernández didn’t mention this during his announcement. Instead, he focused on Broward County.

“I would love to have an explanation of why Broward, our neighbors, which have kept the restaurants open, of course following the regulations like we did here,” Hernández said, “How come their numbers are not through the roof?”

Broward County Mayor Dale Holness implemented capacity limits and not a ban because the COVID-19 caseload and testing positivity rate was lower in Broward than in Miami-Dade County.

Hialeah has been the second city in Miami-Dade with the most confirmed cases after Miami. With a total of 21,887 confirmed cases since the outbreak began, there was an increase of 95 new cases on Tuesday, according to FDOH data. Hialeah Hospital reported a 23% positivity rate.

Gimenez and Gov. Ron DeSantis also announced Monday that a maximum of 13,000 NFL fans will be allowed at the Miami Dolphins’ Sept. 20 home opener against the Buffalo Bills at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.


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