WHEREAS, section 252.38(3)(a), Florida Statutes, gives political subdivisions the authority to declare and enact a State of Local Emergency for a period of up to seven days, thereby waiving the procedures and formalities otherwise required of the political subdivision by law; and
WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, the Governor of Florida issued Executive Order No. 20-51, directing the State Health Officer and Surgeon General to declare a Public Health Emergency due to the discovery of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Florida; and
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, the Governor of Florida issued Executive Order No. 20-52, declaring a State of Emergency for the State of Florida related to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, the County Mayor declared a Local State of Emergency for all of Miami-Dade County related to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 is transmitted by infected persons expelling respiratory droplets containing virus particles when they breathe, talk, cough, sneeze, or raise their voice, which are then ingested or inhaled by persons around them; and
WHEREAS, many persons infected by COVID-19 are contagious while they are asymptomatic, and can therefore spread the disease unwittingly; and
WHEREAS, masks and other facial coverings are a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the facial covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice; and
WHEREAS, currently, since March, more than 170,000 County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 3,000 have died of the disease; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 poses a health risk to Miami-Dade County residents, particularly elderly residents and those who are immunosuppressed or otherwise have high-risk medical conditions; and
WHEREAS, the long-term effects of COVID-19 on persons who recover are currently unknown; and
WHEREAS, the CDC continues to recommend that persons wear facial coverings, including masks and other facial coverings, in situations where it is difficult to attain social distancing, in order to help control the spread of COVID-19, as described at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html; and
WHEREAS, these CDC recommendations, and the findings they are based on, are incorporated herein by reference; and
WHEREAS, on June 20, 2020, Dr. Scott Rivkees, the State Surgeon General, issued a Public Health Advisory recommending that “all individuals in Florida should wear facial coverings in all settings where social distancing is not possible”; and
WHEREAS, medical experts and epidemiologists at the University of Miami, Florida International University, Jackson Health System, and with the White House Coronavirus Task Force have provided recommendations to the County indicating that wearing of masks and other facial coverings is an effective method of reducing the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community; and
WHEREAS, on April 9, 2020, Miami-Dade County issued Emergency Order 20-20, which required persons inside buildings to wear facial coverings consistent with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines; and
WHEREAS, on July 2, 2020, Emergency Order 20-20 was amended to require persons to wear masks while in public areas such as streets, parks, stores, and businesses, subject to certain exceptions; and
WHEREAS, the medical experts consulted by the County believe that this Amendment mandating more widespread mask use was critical in flattening the curve of infection in July and August; and
WHEREAS, widespread, consistent usage of masks and other facial coverings will help the County to avoid future business closures, provide confidence to business customers and tourists, and help limit economic harm to the community; and
WHEREAS, wearing masks and other facial coverings is a more cost-effective means of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic than are business closures, quarantines, or other solutions; and
WHEREAS, masks and other facial coverings are now required by many private businesses of their customers such as airlines, Walt Disney World, Publix, Target, and Wal-Mart; and
WHEREAS, social distancing is not always an effective substitute for the use of facial coverings; and
WHEREAS, in a dense metropolitan and suburban area such as Miami-Dade County, it is difficult to guarantee that social distancing can be consistently achieved in day-to-day activities given the myriad and unexpected ways that persons can encounter each other; and
WHEREAS, persons may be unable to judge their distance from each other, and that distance can rapidly change through normal movements, placing persons in sudden inadvertent risk, even if persons are attempting in good faith to maintain six feet of separation; and
WHEREAS, persons should not be taking their facial covering off and on repeatedly based on their subjective understanding of the social distancing they are then experiencing, as taking facial coverings on and off repeatedly creates a risk of contaminating the mask and spreading virus; and
WHEREAS, there are some situations where social distancing is able to be physically guaranteed, such as situations where physical barriers may separate individuals or prevent individuals from moving closer to one another; and
WHEREAS, risks of transmission are lower outdoors than indoors, due to greater air flow and circulation outdoors; and
WHEREAS, if social distancing is guaranteed by a physical barrier while a person is outdoors, it is not be necessary to wear a mask for the duration a person is stationary behind such barrier; and
WHEREAS, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-244 on September 25, 2020 declaring the State of Florida to be in Phase 3; and
WHEREAS, section 8b-7(2)(o) of the Code of Miami-Dade County authorizes the County Mayor to issue any order as may be necessary for the protection of human life and health; and
WHEREAS, section 252.46, Florida Statutes, authorizes the County to issue emergency orders as necessary to protect life and health; and
WHEREAS, medical experts consulted by the County, including medical experts on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, caution that another wave of COVID-19 infections is likely in the fall; and
WHEREAS, continued use of facial coverings can minimize such waves, help ensure that the County can continue to open for business, and help County residents’ lives return to normal,
THEREFORE, as County Mayor of Miami-Dade County, I hereby order:
A. Emergency Order 20-20, as amended, is replaced in its entirety by the following:
1. All persons throughout Miami-Dade County shall wear a mask or other facial covering when in public, except as set forth in paragraph (3) below.
2. A mask or other facial covering shall comply with the recommendations of the CDC, as such recommendations may change from time to time. The current CDC guidelines recommend wearing a mask or facial covering which snugly covers the face and mouth, whether store bought or homemade, which is secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and which is able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or losing shape. Examples of compliant homemade masks and other facial coverings may be found at:
Persons should not utilize N95 rated masks, as those are critical supplies for health care workers, police, fire, emergency management, or other persons engaged in life/safety activities. Persons wearing facial coverings should review the CDC and Florida Department of Health guidelines regarding safely applying, removing, and cleaning such coverings, which are found at:
3. Masks and other facial coverings shall not be required:
i) at or inside a private residence;
ii) inside a private automobile;
iii) at or inside any religious institution, without limitation;
iv) inside a hotel, motel, or commercial lodging establishment guest room, or inside any apartment;
v) of children under the age of two years;
vi) of persons who cannot wear a mask or facial covering due to an existing medical condition;
vii) of an individual who is hearing impaired or an individual who is communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired;
viii) where federal or state safety or health regulations prohibit the wearing of facial coverings;
ix) of persons actively engaged in strenuous physical activity outdoors if social and physical distancing can be guaranteed or participating in organized sports as defined by Emergency Order 29-20, as amended; facial coverings must be put on by athletes and other individuals standing on the sidelines of sports competitions;
x) of persons swimming or engaged in other activities which may cause the facial covering to become wet;
xi) while persons are actively eating, drinking, or smoking;
xii) while a person is receiving services which require access to that person’s nose or mouth; and
xiii) if a person is (1) stationary, (2) outdoors, and (3) a fixed physical barrier, marker, or obstruction exists to ensure a separation of not less than 10 feet between the stationary individual and all other persons.
4. This order does not change or alter any social or physical distancing requirements imposed in any other emergency order.
5. The provisions of this order shall serve as minimum standards. Municipalities may impose more stringent standards within their jurisdictions, as permitted by law.
6. This order shall be effective as of 12:01am, Tuesday, October 6, 2020.
7. This order shall expire upon the expiration of the existing Miami-Dade County State of Local Emergency, except that if such State of Local Emergency is extended, this order shall also be deemed to extend for the duration of such extension. This order may be cancelled earlier by action of the County Mayor.
B. This order shall be provided to all appropriate media consistent with the requirements of section 8B-7(2)(n) of the Code of Miami-Dade County.