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Business Coming Back To South Beach, But Growing Concerns Over Spike In COVID Cases

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Driving around the South Beach portion of Miami Beach, there's a sense that business is coming back. Shops are open, people are at restaurants and tourists are there. The county believes there are rules in place to prevent a spike but now the focus is on enforcement.

People soaked up the sun on South Beach Sunday, with some wearing face coverings on while walking to and from the beach.

"I've been seeing people approaching the beach, on the walk to the beach, wearing their masks and keeping their distance," said Miami Beach resident Tommy Strangie.

But some were not. That's despite Miami Beach having a face mask rule for those who are not around people you live with and if you can't social distance.

The number of COVID-19 cases is once again increasing.

Over the last two days in Miami-Dade, the percentage of positive cases compared to negative ones made it to 13.2%.

At the start of last week, the county saw about 9% of samples tested came back positive.

That's not scaring away visitors.

"It's Father's Day weekend. My wife treated me to a trip. As you can see, it's not as busy as it should be," said Baltimore resident Shawn Harvell.

Broward is also seeing an increase.

Over the last two days, the percentage of positive cases hovered above 9.5%.

This weekend, Miami-Dade started a crackdown.

Shops and restaurants are being closed if they're not following "The New Normal" rules.

On Saturday, the county mayor's office announced three Miami restaurants were ordered to close – one in Little Havana, one in Wynwood and the last was in the Design District.

On Sunday, Swan in the Design District had a crew for a deep cleaning.

With the tougher enforcement rules, each place needs county leadership approval to reopen.

One man said maybe the rules have to be tougher for numbers to go down.

"The important problem is I see the people don't use or wear masks when you're in restaurants or outside in the chairs, and that is the problem," said Miami Beach resident Merguin Heredia.

Data, so far, doesn't pinpoint exactly where we are seeing a spike in cases. But local leaders suspect most are coming from crowded restaurants.

Miami-Dade is working to do more research but it needs more contact tracers from the state.

Larkin Hospital said it has partnered with the state to help out and the hospital is currently looking for volunteers to become contact tracers.

As for Miami Beach resident Strangie, he has some advice on how to end this uptick in cases.

"Respect one another's space, wear a mask and wash your hands," he said.

It's unclear if more business were closed Saturday.

County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said leaders from several Miami-Dade cities will hold a news conference this week, most likely Monday, about enforcement.

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