By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he’s looking at further easing up restrictions at some venues, including bars, as soon as the end of the week.

At a special Miami-Dade Commission meeting about the coronavirus, Gimenez said it’s tied to the dropping positivity rate for testing and hospitalizations.

“Today’s positivity rate was 4.95%. Yesterday, it was 4.18%, and the 14-day average was 5.4%,” he said. “This is the first time that we have had less than 500 people hospitalized.”

It’s a timely development one day after South Florida bar owners protested not being allowed to reopen along with the rest of the state.

“It may be a matter of certain bars staying open with restrictions like restaurants where there could be dining at tables,” he said.

Gyms, salons and restaurants as of Monday were allowed to open at 50% capacity.

But Gimenez notes that now is not the time to let your guard down.

“Continue to practice social distancing and wash your hands and keep an eye on young people,” he said.

The mayor said authorities are dealing with a recent spike in cases at the University of Miami while looking ahead to Miami-Dade County Public Schools reopening.

Gimenez said he’s working with medical experts, who he will meet with on Wednesday, to improve contact tracing.

The curfew in Miami-Dade is now 11 p.m. instead of 10, which he said will help restaurants.

But the mayor cautions that homes are the top place where people get infected with the coronavirus.

Peter D'Oench

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