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Miami closing beaches 4th of July weekend

Miami announced it is closing down its beaches ahead of Fourth of July weekend following a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state of Florida.
Miami-Dade, Broward beaches closing July 3 due to coronavirus pandemic
Miami-Dade, Broward beaches closing July 3 due to coronavirus pandemic(WPLG)
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 7:25 PM EDT
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MIAMI (WVLT/CBS) - Miami announced it is closing down its beaches ahead of Fourth of July weekend following a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state of Florida.

“After consulting with our county’s public health experts, I will be signing an emergency order on Saturday to close all beaches in Miami-Dade County starting Friday, July 3, and ending Tuesday, July 7,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement late Friday night.

CBS reported Gimenez pointed to the significance of closing the beaches as more young people test positive and hospitalizations rises.

"I have decided that the only prudent thing to do to tamp down this recent uptick is to crack down on recreational activities that put our overall community at higher risk," Gimenez said.

The county may extend the closure if pandemic conditions do not improve and if people refuse to wear masks and follow social distancing protocols.

"I have been seeing too many businesses and people ignoring these lifesaving rules," Gimenez said. "If people are not going to be responsible and protect themselves and others from this pandemic, then the government is forced to step in and restore common sense to save lives."

The order bans gatherings of more than 50 people and closes all parks. Gimenez added that fireworks shows should be watched from home or from a parked vehicle. CBS reported that Miami police will be out to patrol establishments and will close them if they are not adhering to social distancing rules and capacity limits.

Those who violate the policies could be subject to a second-degree criminal penalty of up to $500 and 180 days in jail.

"After all the success we have had tamping down the COVID-19 curve, we cannot turn back and overload our hospitals, putting our doctors and nurses at greater risk with more emergency room cases," Gimenez said. "Everyone must do their part and follow the rules. All cities should be enforcing the County's orders."

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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