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The latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak in South Florida. This page ended its updates as of August 2020. Head here for additional stories on COVID-19 and the pandemic.

Miami-Dade’s Largest Cities To Require Masks In Public As COVID-19 Numbers Spike

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Matias J. Ocner
/
Miami Herald
City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez speaks during a COVID-19 press conference outside of Miami City Hall in Coconut Grove, Florida on Monday, June 22, 2020. A total of 15 Miami-Dade mayors gathered to announce stricter enforcement of COVID-19 rules.

The COVID-19 crisis in Miami-Dade is taking a bad turn as the number of confirmed infections and hospitalizations swell, prompting government leaders from City Hall to Tallahassee to urge the use of face masks and plead for people to practice social distancing.

Days after the state’s top health official quietly issued a health advisory recommending people wear masks in public, some of Miami-Dade’s largest cities on Monday announced plans to require face masks in public almost all the time, meaning violators risk being charged with a misdemeanor. Mayors acknowledged the measure won’t be easy to enforce.

Several more cities pledged to beef up enforcement of existing rules meant to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in a partially reopened economy, where people can go to the beach, restaurants, hair salons, shopping malls and strip clubs under the county’s “New Normal” guidelines.

Even as local commerce remains in first gear, infection and hospitalization rates are surging. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Miami-Dade hit a record high Monday, and the number of people in intensive care units is on the rise.

The alarming figures underscore a renewed urgency to get residents to strictly adhere to social distancing rules, capacity restrictions and mask requirements while reigniting commerce to keep an ailing economy above water.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.