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Statement from Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez

Mayor Gimenez releases update on how Miami-Dade County is handling the health threat and economic impact of COVID-19

MIAMI ( March 15, 2020 )

As our community continues to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, I want to continue to stress that the most effective way to beat this virus is by our own personal behavior and by following the recommendations of medical experts. This is our best line of defense, whether you are a senior citizen at higher risk of getting ill from this virus or a student on spring break who may have caught the virus but has no symptoms. This means that young people must also take personal responsibility, because they can spread the virus to their elderly loved ones without knowing they are carriers.

We are all in this together, and we must be smart and follow the health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health, so that we can slow the spread of COVID-19 and get back to business as usual.

Therefore, I have decided to order that, starting Monday, all bars and clubs in Miami-Dade County close their doors by 11 p.m. each evening. Restaurants must close their dining rooms by 11 p.m., but restaurant kitchens may remain open for takeout and delivery. I encourage people to use food delivery services whenever possible, and restaurant managers may want to consider having some of their servers become delivery drivers when appropriate, so that these workers’ income is not severely impacted.

In addition, I am ordering all bars, clubs, restaurants and movie theaters in Miami-Dade County to cut their capacity by 50 percent, up to a maximum of 250 patrons at a time, regardless of original capacity. This will facilitate the practice of “social distancing,” which is defined as leaving about six feet of space between persons. We want to ensure that people are not packed into these venues.

However, this is a fluid situation, and things change by the minute. The CDC has now updated its recommendation to limit event size to fewer than 50 people. I will be reviewing this new guideline and act accordingly.

On another note, for the time being, more and more people will be working from their residences or have elderly parents or children at home. There seems to be some panic setting in about food supplies in the long term. I want to assure everyone that the food chain is operating without problems. Pharmacies, food stores and gas stations will remain open.