Miami, the area of Florida hit hardest by the Chinese coronavirus, is doubling down on its mask order, reportedly deploying a team of dedicated police officers to enforce the requirements.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez announced the updated mask order on July 1, requiring masks “in all public spaces inside and outdoors throughout Miami-Dade County.” The order essentially expanded on his April mask order, requiring coverings to be worn outdoors “with few exceptions.”
Penalties for non-compliance include up to $500 in fines or jail time.
City officials are now looking to ramp up enforcement, reportedly dedicating a team of 39 police officers to back the mandate, according to the Sun-Sentinel. The first three offenses will come with a fine of $50, $100, and $500 depending on if it was a first, second, or third violation. After that, the individual can face jail time.
Miami-Dade has been hit hardest by the virus, comprising roughly 24 percent of Florida’s total cases, 25 percent of the state’s overall coronavirus-related fatalities, and 22 percent of total hospitalizations. A Wednesday morning snapshot from the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration showed that 2,011 are hospitalized in Miami-Dade with the “primary diagnosis” of the novel coronavirus, of 9,530 statewide.
While there are several reports of individual Miami-area hospitals running out of adult ICU beds, adult bed capacity across the county showed 18.52 percent availability, with the availability of adult ICU beds standing at 13.54 percent as of Wednesday morning.
Florida reported 9,785 additional cases of the virus on Wednesday, bringing the cumulative total to 379,619. The state has reported 5,345 related fatalities, bringing the mortality rate to 1.4 percent.