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Movie theaters, bowling alleys may open Friday in Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade mayor preparing to allow some indoor entertainment venues to reopen
Miami-Dade mayor preparing to allow some indoor entertainment venues to reopen

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade County is ready to have fun inside again, with coronavirus safety rules in place.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Thursday that he has signed an executive order, allowing movie theaters, concert houses, convention spaces, auditoriums, bowling alleys, arcades and indoor amusement facilities to open beginning at noon Friday.

The announcement comes a day after Gimenez announced the anticipated date at a news conference.

During Thursday’s news conference, the mayor was flanked by two of an eventual 12 mobile testing vans that will be deployed throughout the county.

“They’ll be making stops in supermarkets, parks, even Zoo Miami and sports venues,” Gimenez said.

Miami-Dade’s COVID positivity rate has maintained a good downward trend, but with that comes a concerning reality, which is that critical contact tracing efforts are being stymied in South Florida.

“Tracers reaching out by phone, please do not hang up on contact tracers from the health department,” Gimenez said.

Half the people contacted by the health department are not cooperating.

“The biggest fear is mistrust,” said Dr. Yesenia Villalta with the Florida Department of Health. “They feel like it could be a scam, that’s the biggest factor we are seeing.”

Tracers' call those who test positive for COVID-19 to gather information about their movements, such as who they have been around and might have infected.

No financial or medical information is requested.

Also going live recently was Miami-Dade County’s own version of a tracking app, which is available for download.

It’s called Combat COVID MDC and it alerts anyone who has been around a person who tested positive for COVID-19 without transmitting identifying information.

Miami-Dade County’s efforts received a thumbs up in a state-by-state status report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, obtained by ABC News.

About the Authors:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.