Broward to join Miami-Dade in closing beaches for 4th of July weekend
MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Due to the surge in new coronavirus cases, Broward will join Miami-Dade County in ordering the shutdown of beaches for the 4th of July weekend.
After looking at busy North Beach on a weekend before a holiday, there’s concern many families may go to Broward for July 4th.
As a result, Mayor Dale Holness told CBS4 that Broward County beaches will be closed from July 3rd to the 5th because of the recent rise of COVID-19 cases.
He said restaurants on the beaches will still be open.
The order will come down Monday at a press conference at the pier in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
Fort Lauderdale isn’t waiting until Monday.
“Fort Lauderdale beach will be closed. The sand will be closed for tourists, for visitors, for locals,” said Mayor Dean Trantalis said.
Mayors from other cities like Hallandale beach and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea were at Sunday’s press conference.
They pleaded for responsible behavior over some residents screaming in opposition, saying the beach is the right place to practice social distance.
“You should stay at home. Celebrate with your families. Be grateful for the wonderful America that we have. We’re all in this together now,” said Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper.
Trantalis’ concern of overcrowding is not a risk they’re willing to take, especially with a surge in cases.
On Saturday, CBS4 spoke with one couple that decided to step on the sand for the first time since Miami-Dade beaches reopened.
“Going to go on the beach for a couple of hours and that’s it,” the beachgoer said.
They joined others on a packed North Beach in Miami Beach.
But starting July 3rd, and possibly ending Tuesday, July 7th, beaches will be closed in the county.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said it could be extended if numbers don’t improve and if more sick people go to the hospital.
“We cannot turn back and overload our hospitals. We are putting our doctors and nurses at greater risk with more emergency room cases. Everyone must do their part and follow the rules,” Gimenez said.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez knows people like to get together on the holiday.
Suarez and other leaders are encouraging families to stay home or in their cars for any fireworks.
For Miami, despite there being a mask mandate, the mayor says all options are still on the table.
“We have a meeting on Monday with the department of health, our epidemiologist and statisticians where we typically make some decisions if we have to make changes,” Suarez said.
The positivity rate is still hovering above the goal line.
In Saturday’s daily dashboard for Miami-Dade County, there were two red flags. That means there was no downward trajectory and the average positivity rate was 15%.
The goal is to get it below 10%.
“Unfortunately, too many young people, ages 18 to 34, are not following the rules and they are jeopardizing everyone’s health,” Gimenez said.
The county now has what’s called “surge” teams in place to visit hot spots.
The mayor tweeted pictures of the team in action on Saturday.
CBSMiami will be checking in with Palm Beach and Naples to see if they’re concerned with any additional families heading to their beaches if Broward joins Miami-Dade’s closure.
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