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Despite DeSantis’ order, some mask rules will remain in Miami-Dade

COVID-19 remains ‘a present danger,’ mayor says

Despite Gov. Ron DeSantis' orders, many businesses and county facilities will still enforce COVID-19 safety rules.
Despite Gov. Ron DeSantis' orders, many businesses and county facilities will still enforce COVID-19 safety rules.

MIAMI – Sven Vogtland owns several restaurants and venues in Miami Beach and Wynwood, including his latest mixed-use project “The Oasis.”

He says Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order issued Monday doesn’t change what staff and customers can expect when they visit amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

“We really want to make our guests feel comfortable and confident for coming here, so all of our staff are still wearing masks here and we suggest that the guests follow CDC guidelines also,” Vogtland said Tuesday. “I know there is a lot of pushback sometimes from some guests and a conflict between what the governor is saying and from what CDC guidelines may be. Let’s make sure our guests feel comfortable, and I think the best way of doing that is following the guidelines of the CDC.”

Publix, Walmart, Target and Home Depot are among national retailers who have told Local 10 they are not changing their mask mandates in stores at this time.

[RELATED: Do you still need a mask? It depends where in South Florida you go.]

DeSantis’ order lifts local municipality COVID-19 safety protocols such as indoor mask mandates but does not force any action by private businesses.

It also doesn’t change the facts on the ground when it comes to case numbers in Miami-Dade, says infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty of Florida International University.

“[There’s a] decrease in total number of cases but we are still higher today than we were in September 2020,” she said. “We are also seeing a tremendous amount of variants.”

Tuesday on social media, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava called the pandemic a “present danger to our public health,” adding that “pretending it’s over won’t make it go away. Lifting orders won’t make it go away. What will: getting vaccinated.”

Levine Cava later said precautions including masking, social distancing and disinfection will continue to be required on county property and at county facilities. She added that federal requirements also call for such precautions at the airport and seaport.

“We are still in a pandemic and we are still in a state of emergency and the only path forward is to take the shot,” Levine Cava said.

Countywide, 56.8% of the eligible population (ages 16+) have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, while 38.5% of residents are fully vaccinated, according to the latest state data.

Demand for the shots has softened, with Black and Hispanic communities lagging behind in vaccination rates.

[RELATED: Some Broward businesses will keep masks in place after DeSantis order]

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."