MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the number of COVID-19 cases, coronavirus related hospitalizations, and positivity rate continues to decline in Miami-Dade, Mayor Carlos Gimenez has announced some loosening of restrictions.
Gimenez said on Tuesday he had a conference call with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and several doctors with the Centers for Disease Control including Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx.
“We discussed moving the counties curfew to 11 o’clock. The doctors suggested that we do it starting next Monday (September 14th), which would be exactly two weeks since we allowed interior dining at restaurants with limited capacity at 50 percent. This morning, I also consulted with the county’s medical experts and they agreed that, if we continued on this downward trajectory, that we should be able to extend the curfew to 11 o’clock on Monday, and also allow some more outdoor activities under strict guidelines,” said Gimenez.
The mayor said the current 10 p.m. curfew will remain in place until then.
The only exception will be Thursday night and only for those attending the Miami Hurricanes game at the Hard Rock Stadium. Since the game will end after the curfew, there is a way to get out of a citation.
“If you’re going to the game, keep your ticket with you in case you get stopped by police when you’re heading home. You will not receive a curfew violation as long as you have your game ticket,” said Gimenez.
Also starting next Monday, September 14, the county will allow more outdoor activities under strict guidelines.
“This includes opening up Zoo Miami and other outdoor spaces, like Jungle Island. However, people must continue to wear masks and social distance. Most of the indoor spaces at the zoo, Jungle Island, and other types of amusements will remain closed. Playgrounds at these sites will also remain closed. Miami-Dade parks will be open until 10 o’clock for sports and there will be lighting. Baseball and softball will be allowed under strict rules and include wearing a facial covering for the catcher,” said the mayor.
Rental bikes, scooters, and mopeds companies will be allowed to open for business. But those micro-mobility companies should have docking stations for their bikes to be returned and they must supply sanitizing wipes so that users can clean the bike before and after the ride. They also must clean the bikes between rentals.
Tour boats and charter vessels will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity.
Fearing a spike in cases after the Labor Day holiday, the mayor also urged anyone who got together with friends or extended family to get tested.
“You don’t have to have symptoms. We have more free testing sites than ever before and most people are getting their test results in three days or less,” he said. “It’s time to do this to avoid another spike.”
Gimenez said it’s important to keep the infection rate low so they can continue to open up the economy and get people back to their jobs.
“It’s up to all of us to continue to follow the rules of wearing facial coverings and social distancing. To tamp down the spread, we want to make sure that we continue to limit the spread of the virus before we move on to any other openings. So you can’t let down your guard the county will continue to enforce all the new normal rules. We will hit you with a $100 fine if you’re not wearing a mask and businesses can get fined up to $500 and risk getting shut down,” he said.
As of Tuesday, the county had issued citations to 396 individuals and 612 businesses. About 140 of those businesses have been closed until they make the fixes necessary to reopen.