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Miami-Dade is cracking down on businesses not following social-distancing guidelines

Effective tonight, businesses not in compliance will be shut down and fined.

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It’s no secret that coronavirus cases are on the rise across the county. On Friday, June 19, Florida’s Department of Health confirmed 3,822 additional cases of COVID-19, setting another record high since the state went into lockdown. Now, this afternoon Mayor Giménez announced that Miami-Dade will be cracking down on businesses not complying with the county’s social-distancing guidelines.

He’ll be signing a new emergency order tonight that would hold businesses accountable for making sure that folks are wearing masks, occupancy is at 50 percent and people are keeping the proper distance from one another. The decision follows a series of inspections conducted by county officials that found 19 establishments were not following the rules. “We’re going to nip this in the bud and be stricter,” said the mayor during Friday’s Zoom conference. “We’re going to take a pause on reopenings and really focus on enforcement.” The mayor also reminded listeners that the county’s safer-at-home order was still in place, so people over the age of 60 and those at risk should do their best to shelter in place.

Police will have the discretionary power to shut down businesses found in violation. Once that happens, owners will have to file an affidavit with the county in order to be allowed to reopen. Penalties will be stricter under the new ordinance too, which escalates the violation to a second-degree misdemeanor and requires violators to pay a $500 fine and face up to 180 days in jail. "The order also allows owners to escort violators out because we’re going to hold the businesses responsible," said Giménez.

Municipalities will be allowed to enforce their own set of rules in addition to the county. According to the mayor, the league of cities will be holding a conference on Monday to share more details. Father’s Day was the impetus for Giménez expediting his announcement as Mother’s Day resulted in one of the county’s biggest spikes of the last few months. If you’re seeing family this weekend, the mayor is urging citizens to hold their celebrations outdoors and, of course, to always wear a mask.

 

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