This Florida county is mandating masks in its facilities

Residents strongly recommended to wear masks in large crowds

Miami-Dade County will enforce mask mandate, curfew to curb spread of COVID-19

MIAMI – Following the newest CDC guidance, Miami-Dade County is requiring masks to be worn by employees and visitors inside all county facilities — vaccinated or not — and residents are strongly recommended to wear masks in large crowds or enclosed spaces, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Wednesday.

The mayor didn’t announce any mandates for businesses or restaurants. A state law signed in May gives Gov. Ron DeSantis the power to invalidate local emergency measures put in place during the pandemic, including mask mandates and limitations on business operations.

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Levine Cava noted that Miami-Dade’s COVID-19 positivity rate has jumped over 10%, according to reporting from WPLG in Miami. About 75% of the county’s eligible population (12 and older) has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, Levine Cava said, “but all those who are unvaccinated are at extreme risk.”

“We have come too far,” she added. “We can not turn back now. Our economy is just starting to rebound.”

Masks continue to be required while riding public transit and at the airport, per federal guidelines.

County hospitals will also need to submit more frequent reports on their capacity.

Levine Cava made another plea for the community to get vaccinated. “It is the solution,” she said, a message that was then echoed by Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez and County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, who himself battled a case of the Delta variant.

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Miami-Dade County reported 11,104 new COVID-19 cases last week, the most in a state that is driving up the national numbers.

“Florida is one of the states that has the highest rate,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. “It accounts for about 20% of covid cases in the country.”

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tweaked its guidance, calling for even vaccinated people to return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant is fueling infection surges.

That includes South Florida.

“We have seen a sharp increase in the number of infections and the number of people ending up in hospitals,” said Dr. Samer Fahmy, of Boca Raton Regional Hospital. “So while masking is not perfect, it is an effective way to bend that curve.”

Local education leaders are discussing their possible policies on masks as the school year nears.

“I’m personally concerned about people, our students our staff,” said Broward School Board Chair Rosalind Osgood.

About the Authors:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.