MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For the most part, it appeared businesses, residents and visitors followed county rules on Labor Day, using caution to prevent another surge in coronavirus infections. But an infectious disease specialist says we won’t know for sure until about two weeks from now.
The pandemic did not spoil labor day for thousands who headed to out to South Florida beaches.
Plenty of people out on South Beach.
“It’s different because you have to be cautious,” said resident Nia Llyod. “But everyone is respecting their space – I can respect that.”
And there was also Fun in Fort Lauderdale Beach, despite having to observe the rules for COVID-19.
“I think it’s great. Everybody’s spaced out. Everyone’s having a good time. It’s been awesome,” said Jane King.
However, this weekend was one of the first challenges of the fall.
Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease specialist, said this weekend was crucial because as our COVID positivity rate was trending down in Miami-Dade and Broward County.
It spiked concerned for many epidemiologists, especially as South Florida cases jumped following Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
“If people have not behaved this weekend, then about two weeks from now we will start seeing a surge in cases, which could potentially mean that we will have to walk back on some of the openings we have done and perhaps not allow phase to phase classes to begin,” explained Marty.
But most importantly, Dr. Marty said, Labor Day sets the tone for the upcoming fall with flu season approaching.
“The combination of COVID and influenza is just very bad,” she said.
But what did go on this weekend was a heavy police presence to enforce regulations.
“Our officers know what safety restrictions are in place. They are not writing citations. They are simply reminding everyone that those things are place and please be mindful,” said Sgt. DeAnna Greenlaw with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
Miami-Dade police said between Friday and Sunday, officers issued close to 41 civil citations to people not wearing masks.
City inspectors have been out too.
“You can see the tables are being wiped down right after everyone’s done eating and using the tables themselves. That’s a phenomenal thing,” said Fort Lauderdale code compliance officer Manny Garcia.
And with the upcoming holidays, medical experts and officials are hoping we stay vigilant.
“As we all corporate, we can actually get this virus out of our community,” said Marty.