MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez believes it’s time for “tough love” when it comes to public health.

The mayor said the county is stepping up enforcement against people who are not following social distancing and other rules.

Business owners are trying to make up for time loss during the shutdown. Restrictions have been eased for restaurants and stores have been allowed to open.

But now South Florida is seeing an increase in cases and hospitalizations.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said he may know why.

“They seem to be coming from indoors, mostly. I wish we had more information from the Department of Health for contact tracing so we can know exactly where they were coming from,” he said. “But it does seem to be from younger people, clearly, and from indoor locations.”

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Gimenez doesn’t want business owners turning the other cheek to rule breakers.

“This is tough love time with respect to our public health,” he said.

Gimenez plans to crackdown on all business owners who have employees and customers breaking the rules to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“People are getting way too comfortable about not wearing masks when they go to stores or restaurants and also not following social distancing rules even when they’re outside,” Gimenez said.

The mayor’s office said police and code enforcement are checking businesses every day, and some have been given warnings.

The county said there have repeat offenders. They’ve been shutdown but allowed to open the following day after fixing the problems.

Now, the mayor plans to issue an order that if a business is shutdown, the owner must submit a plan for the county to approve in order to reopen.

“Just because we are getting a little stir crazy to the new normal does not mean we can start breaking the rules. So in Miami-Dade, the education period is over. No more warnings,” Gimenez said.

Gimenez’s office said the county is not only looking at business owners.

“We are also going to start cracking down on vacation properties that are turning their weekly rentals into party homes,” Gimenez said.

As for Mayor Gelber in Miami Beach, he wants people who are out and about to protect themselves.

He said it’s not only for yourself but others as well.

“The more virus you put in the community is going to hurt someone you know who is older. If you have a mother or father or a grandparent or friends who are older, the more virus that’s in the community, the more of a danger it is. So, you really have to think about that,” Gelber said.

Ty Russell

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