MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade County is easing its COVID-19 regulations beginning Friday amid the continued decrease in positive cases, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced.
The mayor confirmed in a news release that the county’s COVID response plan would transition from “crisis mode to safety mode.”
“I’m proud to share that we’ve been on a steady decline and our positivity average is now 5%, in addition to a significant decrease in hospitalizations,” Levine Cava said in a statement. “This extraordinary news is a direct result of our community having the highest vaccination rate in the state and above the national average - and because of everyone who wore masks and took the proven steps to help stop the spread.
“This enormous sacrifice from our community has made this moment possible and because of that, we can now enter a new phase on how we view and treat this pandemic. To finally turn the page on this crisis, and in consultation with our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Peter Paige, today, I am updating our County’s COVID guidelines.”
The following updates will be effective immediately:
- Masks: The use of face masks will no longer be required in county buildings. Masks are still required at the airport, seaport and on all public transportation, per federal guidelines.
- Hospital Reporting: Hospitals are no longer required to submit daily reporting of COVID patients. The numbers of patients have decreased significantly and, fortunately, during the last wave our hospitals did not face a critical surge in critical patients.
- Employee Testing: Non-bargaining county employees will no longer be required to do weekly COVID-19 tests.
The mayor on Friday also outlined “Our BEST Plan,” which aims to guide the public in having a proactive response to virus:
B - Booster Shots: The science is clear: Three doses of the vaccine are enough to protect most people from serious illness and death for a long time. We will focus on getting our community fully vaccinated, and boosted, while ensuring everyone has access to the shot.
E – Education: We will work closely with our Miami-Dade Public School system to protect our children’s education, so that they can remain safe in classrooms and have access to the vaccine, as eligibility expands.
S - Stay home if sick: Miami-Dade County will continue to urge everyone to stay home if they are sick, and we will call on businesses to support their workers staying home when ill to help prevent the spread.
T - Test when exposed or symptomatic: Ensuring testing is as accessible and convenient as possible for all our residents and visitors will remain a top priority, including testing our wastewater and sequencing test samples to help monitor for new variants in order to stay ahead of the curve.
“Together, we learned so much in the last two years and it’s time to take that knowledge - rooted in science and data - and use it to be more proactive and adaptive against this evolving pandemic,” Levine Cava said. “The COVID-19 vaccine remains the single best tool we have to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our entire community from serious illness, hospitalization, or worse. I strongly encourage our community to get the booster shot if you haven’t already.”