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Miami-Dade’s new mask mandate kicks in with some criticism

Face masks are now required inside Miami-Dade County government facilities as COVID-19 cases rise throughout Florida.
Face masks are now required inside Miami-Dade County government facilities as COVID-19 cases rise throughout Florida.

MIAMI – Anyone who comes into a Miami-Dade County government building once again needs to mask up.

Some feel the change in policy announced by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava on Wednesday is taking a step backward.

Daniela Leyva, 17 had her mask ready to go before she headed into the Miami-Dade County Children’s Courthouse on Thursday morning.

But she’s not on board with the requirement.

“I think it’s like, pointless to be honest,” she said. “We already got vaccinated, so we shouldn’t be having to wear a mask again after not having to wear it.”

The county is also urging people to wear masks when in large groups or in enclosed spaces, but it does not have the authority to require that at businesses.

The urgency on masks comes amid a spike in COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant that can even infect vaccinated people.

“I had not heard of that,” Leyva said when told.

A small percentage of COVID patients currently admitted in South Florida hospitals were vaccinated.

The region as a whole is struggling to control new infections.

“This is not our first rodeo. We’ve been here a year and a half,” Levine Cava said Thursday. “And people know that we did get our numbers way down and now the numbers are going up because of those who are unvaccinated. Vaccination is really the only way out of this mess.”

Now that the CDC is reversing its guidance and recommending that people wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status in high-infection areas — like South Florida — the superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools says the district will re-evaluate its decision to make masks optional for students.

In Broward County, the school board voted unanimously Wednesday to require that all students mask up when classes begin next month.

For information on where COVID-19 vaccines are available in South Florida, click here.


About the Author:

Madeleine Wright is a general assignment reporter for Local 10 News. She joined the team in March 2017.