MIRAMAR, Fla. – COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Broward County and across the state of Florida, which is why Broward County has issued a new mask mandate inside of county buildings, at county parks, and at the Broward County courthouse.
Friday evening, Chief Judge Jack Tuter entered an administrative order requiring masks be worn in all public areas of Broward County’s courthouses, including courtrooms.
This rule is effective beginning August 2.
And due to the new surge in cases, hospital workers in Broward County are overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 patients flowing into their care.
“We are tired, we are exhausted — not only physically, but mentally,” says Juana Mejia, COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit Nurse Manager of Memorial Healthcare Miramar.
“It’s very sad to have someone dying in the ICU by themselves,” says Mejia. “Most of these patients are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.”
They’re also mostly unvaccinated.
In fact, in Broward County, more than 95% of the people being hospitalized with COVID-19 have not received a vaccine against the virus, and the numbers are starting to get seriously concerning.
According to the Florida Hospital Association, more than 8,800 people were hospitalized state-wide earlier this week, quickly closing in on the peak Florida had in July of 2020, when more than 10,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19.
“Today is a different set up than where we were in June when community prevalence was low and we should make changes accordingly,” explains Dr. Aharon Sareli of Memorial Healthcare.
With that in mind, Broward re-instated the mask mandate inside of all Broward County-owned and run buildings beginning Friday.
However, compliance was mixed on Friday, even though Mayor Steve Geller said there could be consequences for those who don’t follow the rules.
“They’re our buildings,” explains Geller. “We have the right to protect our staff and we have law enforcement at every building we have, so, we have ways of enforcing that.”
For the complete Broward County Mask Mandate, click here.