MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced a couple of new tools in the county’s efforts to tamp down on the spread of COVID-19.
Gimenez said the county is launching a new contact tracing app called “Combat COVID MDC.”
The app is in English, Creole, and Spanish.
“It uses Bluetooth connection to anonymously notify users that they have been near another person who has downloaded the app and has self-reported being positive for COVID-19. If the app shows potential exposure, isolate and get tested right away, because even if you feel fine, you can be spreading the virus to your loved ones and those at high risk of getting severely ill. If you do test positive, the app lets you discreetly alert others to get tested without disclosing your identity. You can download the free app for iPhones from the Apple store or you can get it from the Google Store for Android,” he said.
Gimenez stressed that no GPS or location data is tracked and the information is encrypted.
“So there’s absolutely no reason to fear that big government is tracking your every move,” he said.
Also, the county has new mobile testing vans.
After meeting with medical professionals, Gimenez said they plan to move forward with staggered openings of some businesses beginning this Friday.
“Based on our conversations with the doctors, I have decided that we can stagger some openings. I will be signing an order to allow the opening of, by this Friday, certain indoor spaces if they are ready. Again, I am not ordering them to open, but if they can open, they can open. This will apply to movie theaters, bowling alleys, concert halls, convention spaces, banquet halls, and certain indoor amusement venues,” he said.
Gimenez said they will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity and must follow the county’s guidelines for mask use, social distancing, and must have special HVAC to bring more fresh air into the spaces.
As for bars and other entertainment venues, the mayor said they will meet with medical experts and business owners next week to discuss what is doable.
“The goal is to allow those bars to have tables. Again, those bars that have tables and the ability to to be able to operate under the same rules that guide restaurants, which means no live music, correct ventilation, and all those other public health measurements and requirements in the new normal guide that is keeping us safe. What we can’t have is people hanging out at bar counters. That’s not allowed in restaurants either. By the way, restaurants that have bars, those bars are closed,” said Gimenez. “There’s no date yet to open the bars but we’re working hard to see what we can be done in a safe manner.”
The countywide curfew will remain from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The mayor said the police will continue to strictly enforce the curfew and all the other rules they have in place.
“All the doctors agree that the curfew has helped tremendously to tamp down the spread,” said Gimenez.