BROWARD COUNTY (CBSMiami) – Broward County could be next to announce a rollback on reopenings amid a spike in coronavirus cases across South Florida.
“I’m broken hearted. It’s sad that we are here. It’s very difficult for us to restrict people’s livelihood,” said Broward County Mayor Dale Holness.
Mayor Holness made a sobering announcement Monday evening. After a three-hour conference call with health officials and with 29 of the 31 mayors in Broward, he says there is a consensus to start rolling back on reopenings because of rising COVID-19 cases.
“We’re seeing a tremendous increase in the number of people testing positive and it’s not just because we’re doing more tests. It’s because there are more people out there spreading the virus.”
Some of the likely areas to be affected will be gyms, restaurants, vacation rentals and even beaches. However, he says, mayors were split on how to handle restaurant closures.
Over the weekend, a number of them were fined and shut down for violating safety protocols. Holness says the number of complaints from residents and code enforcement is far too high.
“Based on the dashboard we’ve set up, the 311 number, 51 percent of the complaints we get from the community are for restaurants not following the guidelines,” he said. “And if we have to shut restaurants down, we might even look at increasing the fine.”
Broward county saw more than 600 new cases reported Monday. There is also growing concern over the impact the spike is having on the health care system.
“Memorial seems to have not a lot of capacity left in terms of their ability to serve more. They’re getting a good influx from Miami. They still have some room. Broward health is not as badly impacted,” he explained. “Plantation Hospital is now diverting emergency calls to other hospitals so it is a serious situation. “
Broward’s decision to rollback reopenings could come Tuesday or Wednesday.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued an Executive Order Monday to shutdown dining room restaurant service once again along with gyms and other indoor venues.
Miami-Dade’s new restrictions begin Wednesday and limits restaurants to takeout and delivery service, and closes gyms, banquet halls and short-term vacation rentals like those available on Airbnb.