MIAMI, FL — With the number of new coronavirus cases in the Miami area continuing to spike, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez warned businesses Wednesday they must continue to enforce mask rules and observe social distancing guidelines or risk being shut down.
"We’re seeing some people getting a little too comfortable about not wearing masks when they go to stores, or restaurants and not following social distancing rules," the mayor said in a video.
Miami-Dade reported a total of 23,273 cases as of Wednesday with 3,546 hospitalizations and 850 deaths. The median age of patients in the county is 48 with about half being men and the other half women.
"Rest assured if you’re a business owner, and decide that it is not your problem, we’re going to make it your problem because our education campaign is now over," Gimenez warned. "Businesses that are not abiding by the rules will be shut down by Miami-Dade Police."
Gimenez said police have found "very high compliance" during thousands of checks since the county began reopening in May.
"Our goal is to continue to open up our economy and to do so safely," the mayor said. "Now its up to you, to us our residents and businesses to follow the rules and protect yourself or others."
The mayor said officials anticipated there would be more cases once businesses began to reopen, however, officials did not anticipate the widespread protests over the past three weeks.
"We continue to see an uptick in the number of positive COVID-19 cases for Miami-Dade County as well as a slight uptick in hospitalizations," Gimenez said.
Watch the mayor's video below:
The mayor said he does not believe the protesters themselves will experience severe symptoms because they tend to be on the younger end of the age spectrum.
"I worry about their parents and grandparents because they are the most susceptible from getting ill from the virus," Gimenez said.
The mayor reminded residents that he has not lifted his safer-at-home order and he encouraged people over 60 and people with medical conditions like an autoimmune disease or respiratory condition to remain indoors as much as possible.
Finally, the mayor asked county residents to call 305-4-POLICE to report people or businesses that are not following social distancing requirements or mask rules when required to do so.
"Do not let your guard down. You must wear masks if you are going out, especially if you are indoors. You must practice social distancing of at least 6 feet. It’s especially important inside buildings," Gimenez said. "You also should be washing your hands frequently, and not touching your face. If you are not going to take personal responsibility, we certainly are going to call you out for it because lives are at stake here."