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Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Concerned About Enforcement At Broward Beaches And Gyms

Al Diaz
Miami Herald
Head coach Milena Maestre sanitizes surfaces at CrossFit Increase at Bruce Zone in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

Reopening continues across South Florida.

The latest places include beaches, hotels and gyms in Broward County this week.

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WLRN’s Alexander Gonzalez spoke with Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Sabrina Javellana about meeting the county's requirements and enforcement.

ALEXANDER GONZALEZ: How is the city of Hallandale Beach dealing with the reopening of beaches?

SABRINA JAVELLANA: Personally, I would like to see us hold off a little bit. I can't speak for my colleagues. I know Miami-Dade County is waiting until next week. And our county, we always said we're gonna follow what Miami-Dade does. And I don't understand why we're opening up one week before them. One extra week wouldn't hurt folks. The thing we've heard most from folks is that they want to get outside. So we've heard them, and despite having our apprehension about reopening too early, we feel comfortable with the guidelines that the county has set.

Is that enforcement falling on city staff?

That is falling on our city staff. We have our lifeguards on the beach. They're gonna be there from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. as usual, sunrise to sunset. We also have our parks and recreation staff, who have been monitoring the parks over the last couple of months since they've been closed.

We won't be able to enforce these guidelines forever. The county is going to have to figure that out. I know Miami-Dade County is hiring additional folks to help with social distancing in their parks and their beaches. I'm sure you saw Miramar was considering furloughing folks. A lot of cities have furloughed their part-time employees. We'e facing extreme budgetary shortfalls due to loss of sales tax revenue and revenue from facility rentals. That's the area where I worry about — how long are we going to be able to have employees out there in mass, making sure everyone's inclined, because it won't be able to be forever.

Gyms have reopened in Broward, as well. Hallandale Beach is requiring an inspection before gyms can reopen. What prompted that?

There are so many gyms, fitness studios, dance studios throughout Broward County. I don't know how county is going to be able to enforce that. In Hallandale Beach, we want to be as thorough as possible to maintain compliance with the requirements of the emergency order by Broward County. So we're going to be having our city code compliance division determine if these different businesses, if they meet the criteria established by Broward County for resuming operations. And if they pass this inspection, they receive approval from the city to reopen.

And then it is the responsibility of the business, after that point, to maintain their compliance. But we want to make sure that they're ready to open because we don't want to set them up to fail. And we want to make sure our residents who are eager to go back to these facilities are doing so in a safe manner where they're really following all the precautions.

What does that inspection entail specifically? What sorts of things is the city going to be looking for before they give that business the OK to reopen?

There won't be any additional requirements that we set. It will be all the ones that Broward County has outlined in their memo.

They know how many people they can have in there — 50 percent occupancy. They're going to have disposable wipes and cleaning materials available for the patrons everywhere. They're going to have distancing markers. They're going to have their equipment spaced out. They're going to have their fitness and aquatics classes participants reduced. They have to have COVID signage all over.

It's a pretty lengthy list of requirements. We want to make sure they're meeting all of the county requirements, so everyone has a safe place to work out.