COOPER CITY, Fla. – Broward County’s mayor Steve Geller said it is a simple message about helping quell the surge of COVID-19: “Do your patriotic duty to the United States. We are under attack by a virus that killed more people yesterday than died in 9/11.”
In Miami-Dade County, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava hosted a virtual press conference on COVID-19 hospitalization rates with hospital CEOs, while in Broward County, Geller spoke virtually with all the city mayors of the county.
On Friday, they were sounding the alarm about the state of emergency in South Florida when it comes to COVID-19.
Geller and the county’s mayors discussed what’s working and what’s not, but the biggest takeaway was about enforcement and how relaxed residents were becoming as of late, not wearing masks and letting their guard down.
Levine Cava said there will be a rolling out of a new public awareness campaign, “We Can, We Will,” emphasizing the need for the public to “help us through the next couple of months, which the hospitals are predicting are going to be rough.”
On Levine Cava’s call, there was discussion about frontline hospital workers referencing that in July and August during a South Florida surge, other health-care workers were able to be brought in from other places to assist the hospital crisis.
It was pointed out that now, the entire county is a hot zone.
Both counties are trying to come up with ways to implore the public to do their part asking them to avoid indoor gatherings, wear a mask, and wash your hands.
“Let me be clear. We still have the ability to fine and close down businesses and we still have the ability to fine individuals,” Geller said.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ extended a September order that ushered South Florida into Phase 3 and continues to strip local governments from being able to collect fines from individuals caught violating in public mask mandates.
Geller clears this up by saying, “What the governor’s order did is say that we don’t have the ability to collect the fines during the state of emergency, but as soon as the state of emergency is over, we will go after the fines. So the message we’re trying to get out is wear your mask.”