Miami will once again shut down restaurants, gyms and short-term vacation rentals as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the Florida city continue to rise, officials announced Monday.
Officials in the Sunshine State’s hardest-hit county said restaurants can stay open for takeout and delivery but must shutter on Wednesday and a county-wide curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. will remain in effect until further notice.
“I am continuing to roll back business openings as we continue to see a spike in the percent of positive COVID-19 tests and an uptick in hospitalizations,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement announcing the second shutdown.
“We want to ensure that our hospitals continue to have the staffing necessary to save lives.”
On Monday, the Florida Department of Health announced 47 new deaths and 6,300 new virus cases. While more people are being tested, the rate of positive cases has surged to more than 18 percent, which is four times higher than what it was a month ago, WESH reported.
Nearly 3,800 people have now died from the virus in the state, nearly a third of them from Miami-Dade, the outlet said.
On May 18, Gimenez allowed parts of the city to reopen and for a few weeks, new cases remained stagnant.
But following Memorial Day weekend, cases surged once again and hospital beds began filling up throughout June, the Miami Herald reported.
The county’s intensive care unit beds are now approaching capacity, according to the outlet.
Restaurant staff wearing protective face masks at the News Cafe in Miami Beach, Florida.AP
Gimenez pointed to the number of young people socializing without masks or social distancing — as well as protests sparked by the police-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“We are still tracking the spike in the number of cases involving 18- to 34-year-olds that began in mid-June, which the County’s medical experts say was caused by a number of factors, including young people going to congested places — indoors and outside — without taking precautions such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing,” Gimenez said.
“Contributing to the positives in that age group, the doctors have told me, were graduation parties, gatherings at restaurants that turned into packed parties in violation of the rules and street protests where people could not maintain social distancing and where not everyone was wearing facial coverings,” the mayor continued.
“We can tamp down the spread if everyone follows the rules, wears masks and stays at least six feet apart from others. I am counting on you, our 2.8 million residents, to stop the spread so that we can get back to opening our economy.”