Florida’s COVID numbers continue to spike.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Monday that dining rooms will close for a second time effective Wednesday.
Restaurants will once again be limited to off-premises only. Other closures include ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues, gyms and fitness centers, and short-term rentals. Office buildings, retail stores, and grooming services will stay open for the moment.
The 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. countywide curfew instituted prior to the Fourth of July will remain in place except for essential workers and those with religious obligations.
The mayor did not announce how long in-restaurant dining will be suspended.
“We want to ensure that our hospitals continue to have the staffing necessary to save lives,” Gimenez said in a statement.
Florida, which is in danger of becoming the country’s new epicenter, has reported more than 10,000 daily cases in three of the past five days. The state reported a record-high on Saturday with over 11,400 cases. Florida has reported more than 200,000 COVID cases, third-most behind New York and California. Miami-Dade alone has reported more than 50,000 cases.
Gimenez said the county is tracking a spike in cases involving 18 to 34-year-olds, which started in mid-June. County officials said many factors have caused the sudden increase, including the age group going to congested areas without wearing masks and social distancing, like graduation parties, gatherings at restaurants that turned into packed parties, and protests.
“We can tamp down the spread if everyone follows the rules, wears masks, and stays at least 6 feet apart from others,” Gimenez said. “I am counting on you, our 2.8 million residents, to stop the spread so that we can get back to opening our economy.”
Miami is the latest in a growing number of metropolitan areas that are rolling back reopening plans. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has already suspended the on-premises sale of alcohol throughout the state.
On July 1, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of dining rooms in 19 counties for at least three weeks, including Los Angeles. The order also applies to wineries and tasting rooms, breweries and bars, family entertainment centers, movie theaters, zoos and museums, and cardrooms. The affected counties represent 72 percent of California’s population.
That same day, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York will delay the reopening of dining rooms, which was expected to start Monday.
On June 26, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said restaurants must reduce capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent and that all bars must close.
In the U.S., more than 2.9 million cases have been reported, and more than 130,000 people have died.