NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County parks will have a soft opening on Wednesday, according Commissioner Sally Heyman, but Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says not so fast.
Heyman, who was taking part in a food distribution event at Greynolds Park Friday morning, told CBS4’s Joan Murray up to 95 Miami-Dade Parks will begin opening next week, along with golf courses and marinas, in accordance with social distancing guidelines and other limitations.
“People can come to open spaces and start enjoying themselves again,” said Heyman.
A soft opening means you will be allowed to walk in the park, but the big pavilions are not going to be open. You can’t have parties, large groups of people cannot congregate, and you must continue to keep that six-foot social distance requirement.
“So a park that’s great like Greynolds Park, it will have a golf course that is open, but there’s no parts so that people can recreate and use our facilities without congregating,” said Heyman. “The large pavilions they will be closed. But the rest of them, their trails, the tot lots and other areas, the castle, the boathouse, things like that in different parks, Tamiami with the running track, Tropical with the ballparks, where people can come into our open spaces adhere to the restrictions of what is a fatal pandemic virus, but allows them to start enjoying it again.”
School resource officers as well as other law enforcement will be patrolling the parks to make sure regulations are being enforced.
“If it works well, they’ll stay open, if not, they’ll be shutdown.”
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says he has the final world on when County parks will reopen and he does not have an exact date.
He says he is hiring at least 400 people who lost their jobs by the coronavirus outbreak to help enforce social distancing rules.
“The first thing we have to do is make sure that we have the enforcement personnel in place in those spaces so that when people start coming to those spaces, our measures are enforced,” Gimenez said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
While Mayor Gimenez said there is no exact day when parks may open, he does say it’ll be on a weekday and not a weekend, in order to avoid a rush of people.
Earlier this week, a Miami-Dade task force began to lay out plans for the County’s ‘New Normal Initiative’ which included Miami-Dade Parks, marinas, and golf courses.
If you want individual information about the park in your area, call 311.
Broward County is watching Miami-Dade to the south and Palm Beach County to the north in making preparations for a soft reopening.
There were more talks with the mayors of Broward on Friday.
Broward Mayor Dale Holness told CBS4, “We have not yet decided, however, I believe it will happen within days.”
No date has been set for a Broward soft reopening of parks, marinas, golf courses and beaches.
Restaurants, movie theaters, and hair salons will be the final phase of a re-start but no date is mentioned.
Gary and Carol Asker who live in Broward think any reopening should be delayed.
“I would say at least until June first,” said Gary Asker.
Carol Asker who is a nurse says her hours have been cut with no elective surgeries happening.
But she also believes we shouldn’t rush reopening.
“If we wait a while longer maybe there won’t be a resurgence of cases,” she says.
Both expressed frustration there hasn’t been any unified effort to test everyone for the virus in Florida.
Testing is seen as a key to successfully reopening the economy.