By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is revising his Emergency Order once again and will not shutdown gyms and fitness studios as originally announced on Monday.

In a Tweet Monday, Gimenez wrote, “I had a very productive virtual meeting just now with our medical experts and the County’s Wellness Group. We arrived at a compromise to keep gyms & fitness studios open. All doing activities inside must wear a mask or do strenuous training outside staying 10 feet apart w/outmask.”

Gimenez’ emergency order originally called for gyms to close again, along with restaurant indoor dining, ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues and short-term rentals.

All restaurants in the county will close Thursday for inside dining. Outdoor dining, take-out, and delivery will continue.

The Mayor is rolling back the reopenings due to a spike in positive COVID-19 cases and uptick in hospitalizations.

These closings will be effective Wednesday, July 8, 2020.

“This the best way to keep us from contaminating each other and it’s a good compromise with gym owners,” said Mayor Gimenez.

“I’m happy we can stay open. It’s a blessing,” said gym owner Gabriel Vorona.

A relieved Vorona, owner of Stunna’s Gym in South Miami, says he has always been careful.

“In my gym, we have stations set up where you are always 6 feet away from each other, and with the gym you have a cleaning and spraying station and customers walk out through the back door and we do everything we can.”

“Nobody says it’s the restaurants’ fault. It’s the nature of the business that makes it like it is because you have to take the mask off indoors,” said Mayor Gimenez.

“We know that the virus spreads from me to you by my breath, so we want to make sure to keep your masks on in the interior of restaurants it’s impossible to keep it on because you have to take it off to eat.”

But these are tough times for those like Giancarlo Giannelli of Kendall, the owner of eatery Mr. and Mrs. Bunn.

“As soon as you get everything paid everything is shut down,” said Giannelli.

“I think I am going to close a few days and see what’s going on.”

“To be honest there is not a lot of money in this. Our margins in restaurants are extremely low,” said restaurant owner, Jeffrey McInnis.

McInnis, featured in past reports on CBS4’s Taste of the Town, is the owner of three restaurants.

“Sure there are some bad apples, but instead of going after the bad apples you are going after the whole bunch. And with my business my employes wear masks 100 percent of the time. They do wear gloves and we keep social distance and we space our reservations out. We do a great job of it and for restaurants like us we are on the verge of bankruptcy and we can not support this.”

Meanwhile, Governor Ron DeSantis said, “I don’t think there is any other state in this country that has done what we have done to protect the vulnerable as in the state of Florida and this is another step in that direction.”

CBS4 asked Mayor Gimenez how long the new restrictions would last for Miami-Dade restaurants. He said until the rate of those testing positive for the coronavirus drops to 5 percent in the county, down from its current 20 percent. He says he is following World Health Organization guidelines.

Miami-Dade beaches reopened Tuesday morning after being shut down for the 4th of July weekend in an effort to curb the rising number of cases in South Florida.

Gimenez says the beaches will stay open for now but if social distancing is not practiced, he will have no choice but to close them again.

“We want to ensure that our hospitals continue to have the staffing necessary to save lives,” said Gimenez in a statement.

Various outdoor activities will remain open including condominium and hotel pools with strict social distancing and masks rules, as well as summer camps and child daycare centers with strict capacity limits, requiring masks and social distancing of at least 6 feet.

Office buildings, retail stores and grooming services will remain open for now.

The 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Countywide curfew will remain in force with exceptions for essential workers and for people who have a religious obligation.

The spike in COVID-19 cases, which involves 18- to 34-year-olds, began in mid-June. County medical experts say it is being caused by a number of factors, including young people going to congested places, indoors and outside, without taking precautions such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Contributing to the positives in that age group, doctors say, were graduation parties, gatherings at restaurants that turned into packed parties in violation of the rules and street protests where people could not maintain social distancing and where not everyone was wearing facial coverings.

“We can tamp down the spread if everyone follows the rules, wears masks and stays at least six feet apart from others. I am counting on you, our 2.8 million residents, to stop the spread so that we can get back to opening our economy,” said Gimenez.

You can report violations by calling 305-4-POLICE. And if you don’t have to go out, remember, you are safer at home.

Peter D'Oench

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