Miami-Dade County leaders stood solemn-faced at a press conference today in the afternoon to mandate mask-wearing in the midst of soaring COVID-19 cases and the looming Delta variant.
The mandate, which has already gone into effect, is for both fully-vaccinated and unvaccinated people to wear masks indoors at all county facilities. Those facilities include recreational centers, transit stations, offices, and libraries.
Businesses and restaurants are not required to enforce mask-wearing under the mandate but Mayor Daniella Levine Cava strongly encouraged it. Emergency orders that impact the operation of businesses are limited by Florida Law.
Levine Cava is also reinstating hospital requirements to release data on the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19, ventilator usage and bed capacity. A previous emergency order that required hospitals to release daily reports was removed two months ago when numbers dropped as more people received the vaccines.
“When the healthcare system is overwhelmed, that is extremely dangerous for all of us,” said Levine Cava at the press conference surrounded by elected officials from various parts of the county.
Through the order, government officials are enforcing social distancing and working with local leaders to increase vaccination rate to address the county’s high positivity rate of more than 10%.
As of last week, more than 526,897 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded among residents in the county, according to reports released by Levine Cava’s office.
Leaders are convening with university presidents to get students and faculty vaccinated by the start of the semester.
More mobile vaccine units and testing sites are popping up across the county to push for an increase in vaccination though the county has the highest vaccination rate in the state.
“We also strongly encourage people to wear a mask in all public settings and even outdoors, especially when in large crowds and around people that you don’t know to be vaccinated,” said Levine Cava.