The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise in Miami-Dade and some locals are fed up by the negligent behavior causing them to climb. One, in particular, is the person behind the new Instagram account @Covid_305, who, according to their bio, is “exposing business not following coronavirus guidelines here in Miami.” The anonymous account launched on Friday, June 19, and has already chronicled dozens of violations at restaurants, rooftop bars and event spaces across the county.
The individual running it assures it’s well-intentioned vigilantism even if some people may not agree. “People think I just want to shut down all these businesses and that’s not the case,” they said to us via direct message. Covid_305 even went as far as to temporarily replace its feed with a mission statement to make their motivations clear: “I didn’t make this page to shut down businesses. I made it to bring awareness we have a problem here in Miami that isn’t being addressed and swept under the rug. The businesses I expose - I do it so they can shape up and follow the proper guidelines.”
Submissions are featured on the account’s saved stories for now. Over the weekend, large crowds of people not wearing masks were captured at Astra in Wynwood and Swan in the Design District, where City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was also spotted. (Representatives for the mayor have since released a statement that reads, in part, “The Mayor had dinner at a table with three other individuals in compliance with city and county policy.”) Both Swan and Astra, as well as El Secreto in Little Havana, were shut down by the county but were allowed to reopen.
Under Miami-Dade’s latest emergency order, businesses found not in compliance would be allowed to reopen once owners sign and file an affidavit with the county. Further violations are subject to a $500 fine or up to 180 days in jail. Stricter guidelines mean the onus is on businesses owners to enforce the rules. Employees are allowed to escort people not wearing masks or congregating in crowded spaces. Plus, in addition to calling them out on the ‘gram, citizens can report violations by calling 305-4-POLICE.
Covid_305 is not all bad news either. The account is asking folks to submit videos and photos of establishments doing the right thing, whether it’s cooks wearing the proper face coverings or dining rooms with distanced tables. Sadly, nice content is outnumbered by footage of Miamians out in public and totally disregarding the government guidelines. Lest you’re wishing for a summer spent indoors, we suggest you follow the rules.
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