MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Dade County’s road to reopening pushes forward next week with beaches set to open back up on Monday, June 1.
The opening would come exactly two weeks after the county entered Phase 1 reopening of non-essential businesses.READ MORE: Weekend Forecast: Typical Summer Pattern Continues
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Jimenez joined CBS4’s Eliott Rodriguez and Lauren Pastrana to discuss the reopening of beaches and more.
Q: How have the reopening has gone so far in Miami Dade?
A: They’ve gone very well. Our police department, our inspectors go out every day, do over 3,000 inspections a day. And they’re telling me that for the vast majority of the people, a vast majority of the businesses, are complying with the rules and the regulations that are meant to keep us safe. So that’s really good news.
Q: Mayor, we saw some large scale violations of social distancing in different parts of the country over the Memorial Day weekend, including Daytona Beach. What will Miami-Dade Do if that happens here? What sort of enforcement? Will there be for people and for businesses who don’t follow the rules?
A: Well, look, just like we did with Phase 1, which was the opening of the open spaces, our parks, etc. We hired 400 additional personnel to enforce the rules. It’s critically important that we enforce the rules. So we plan on hiring additional personnel and we open the beaches next week to help not only in county facilities, but also in in cities also in enforcing the new rules on the beaches. And we expect also that those hotels, which should be opening around the same time, will help us with the enforcement. It’s critical that we enforce these rules so that we don’t get those images and so that we don’t have to take other steps in order to you know, close them again, that’s the last thing we want to do. And the people that you know, for the most part, what you tell them, ‘Hey, look, you got to do this and that.’ And most of them comply. If you don’t comply, you’ll be asked to leave the beach, but we don’t think it’ll get to that. For the last two months, you know, just simply reminding people what they have to do. By and large, most people have complied.READ MORE: Tracking The Tropics: Tropical Storm Peter Forms
Q: Mayor, you just said the last thing you want to do is close things all over again. But is the county ready to reimpose stricter guidelines if things do get out of control?
A: Yeah, if they do we see the numbers of COVID-19 infections going up to a certain level. If we see that our hospital capacity is diminishing, that we have more people going to the hospital, then yeah, we can always, you know, take back and start to tighten up again. But that’s not what we want to do. We feel that if you just follow the rules that are in place and the rules that will be in place, that we can keep the level of contagion down and we can have this great capacity that we have with our hospital system and then open up more and more the county as time goes by.
Q: What is the next step in getting back to normal? What will it take to enter the next phase?
A: Well, we’re already looking at how we can open up our summer camps. That’s another group that’s working on regulations right now and rules. We want to target date of June 8 to open up summer camps and sports camps, but only certain sports… high contact sports are not going to be allowed. You can do individual drills, but you won’t be able to participate. And so you know, that’s we’re taking a very measured, very calculated, you know, approach to this. We have our medical experts with us, you know, all along with us every step of the way to make sure that what we’re doing is safe. And we keep an eye on those metrics that we that we look at hospital, you know, the capacity of a hospital system ventilators all that everything looks good right now. And as we open up more and more things, we keep on looking at those metrics, and they continue to improve, then we can go ahead and open more and more in this county.
Q: Tourism, hospitality, the event industry obviously have taken a very big hit here in South Florida, a major part of our economy. But now Gov. Ron DeSantis says Republicans and Democrats should consider moving their conventions to Florida, and specifically said Miami could handle it. What’s your reaction to that?MORE NEWS: New Daily Virus Cases In Florida Lowest Since July
A: We’ll look at the Republican National Committee wants to change venues and come down to Miami or the state of Florida. We certainly look at it. Miami, Miami Beach in Miami-Dade County put in a bid for the Democrat National Convention and they chose to go to Milwaukee. So yeah, we could handle such a, you know, event. And with the proper precautions, you know, can be can be done in a safe manner, but it won’t be easy. But because of the planning, these things usually take about a year to plan but you know, we can do it and, and so they that’s what they want to do. We’ll be certainly happy to look at it and then put our recommendations and our requirements in and move forward with the convention, whether it be the Democrats or Republicans.