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Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez: 'We Will Continue To Wear Masks, Continue To Issue Citations'

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez held a virtual press conference on Tuesday afternoon to announce that local measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will remain in place.

"We have to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing. We will continue to issue citations for those not wearing masks. It is a public safety measure," said Gimenez.

"No loud music at bars, people should be able to talk to each other without raising their voices," added Gimenez.

"The 11 p.m. curfew remains in place."

"We are not out of the woods yet."

"We cannot collect fines, but we can issue fines. The county will collect once the governor's order expires."

He also said, "Police and code enforcement will be out and around to make sure businesses are following local rules."

Here is the text of his press conference:

"I met with our local medical experts and also had a conference call with a White House doctors to go over our next steps as we continue to open up our economy."

"As you know, Gov. DeSantis issued a statewide order on Friday opening all businesses statewide. However, local governments can continue to have public health regulations to make sure all businesses are opening as safely as possible."

"Over the weekend, I held virtual meetings to go over the governor's order. We are working together to have similar rules as much as possible."

"The good news is our positivity rate and hospitalizations remain low. Just because we can open up open up more businesses doesn't mean that we can relax public health rules that have gotten us to this better place during this pandemic."

"We have to continue to wear masks in public places indoors and out of physical distance of at least six feet from others. Practice good hygiene and wash your hands often."

"So, here's what we're going to do on civil citations, enforcement will continue countywide. And let me explain how this applies to the governor's order to suspend payment of civil citations for individuals."

"We cannot collect the hundred dollar fine for people who are not wearing masks who are jammed together or not distance at six feet. I can understand the governor's thinking which of people aren't working and not getting any income, they won't be able to pay the fines. At the same time, we have a public health mission to make sure COVID-19 doesn't start to spread again as more businesses are open and more people are out and about. So we will continue to issue civil violations for individuals not follow the public health rules. And when the governor's orders ends and the suspension of payments ends, the county will pursue collection sometime in the future."

"This is not to get money for the county. This is a public safety measure."

"We're continuing to county fines because people who aren't wearing mass or crowded together at bars or restaurants or anywhere else we find them it can be exposing each other the virus and we do not want them. We do not want to see another spike. And we don't want to overwhelm our hospitals, which would be a disaster for our community."

"Now on the order of guiding restaurants and bars, which I signed on Saturday, state allows counties to continue to set rules and capacity limits. So long as there's a minimum of 50% capacity for restaurants, bars and entertainment establishments. And any business with a food service license. Those businesses can go up to 100% capacity. They can raise their floorspace to achieve the physical distance between tables. Counties $500 fine."

"So, we'll citations for businesses that do not uphold the new normal rules at their establishments remain in place. We can collect those fines and close those businesses. And we will and they violate the rules. policing code enforcement will be aggressively monitoring businesses. Now we'll be meeting with mayor's in the league of cities so that we can coordinate enforcement. Also, the second-degree misdemeanor for violations remains in place, which means a fine of up to $500 and up to 180 days in jail for those owners of businesses that ignore the emergency orders."

"Public Health rules remain. And that means bars can't have people crowd around their counters still need to have physical distance as close to six feet apart as possible, can have people drinking and eating while walking around and they must be seated at a table or at a bar counter to eat and drink. Even on the dance floor clubs, we are requiring masks at the noise and the noise level again, the noise level music, etc."

"Those rules remain in place. This means no loud music or loud TV and sports bars and restaurants. The decibel level, excuse me has to be low enough that people can speak to one another without yelling."

"All the medical experts say the virus travels in the air and we want to avoid that as much as possible. Now for sports and parks. I'll be signing an order that lists some requirements for parks, commercial sports establishments and organized sports and the rules are in keeping with the governor's orders."

"Those who are not actively playing and any spectators must continue to wear mass and be a part at least six feet. So relaxing the mask order for strenuous activities under organized sports. Let me stress that pickup games are still not allowed without masks."

"Also, Miami Dade County Parks will not be opening up kiddy playgrounds at this time. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks to our positivity rates but in keeping with the governor's order, we will allow private businesses that cater to children's activities to have their playgrounds open with daily cleaning of their playground equipment, and other new normal rules to be as safe as possible."

"Now on protecting our seniors who are at high risk of getting severely ill from the virus, the governor's order opens all businesses, which means a privately run adult daycare centers can be open, but they will have to abide by the county's rules for mass and distancing, and all other rules on air quality for their establishments."

"Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp is working with state officials to ensure that those private providers know all the safety rules and follow them to protect our seniors. And finally, on the curfew, we will continue the 11 o'clock to 6 am county-wide curfew."

"I realized folks are excited that the Heat are going to the finals I know I am but extending the curfew at this time as more risk just as bars and restaurants are expanding. So let's celebrate by watching the heat and Lakers on our TV at home."

"Remember, they're playing in the bubble, precisely because it's keeping those players safe. It's that virtual watch parties, let's enjoy this time in a safe way. So the message today is clear. We're not out of the woods yet. We all have to be socially responsible."

"Wearing a mask is a sign of respect to protect your loved ones, your friends, our community. Anything less, you're rolling the dice and that could lead to a very dangerous situation."

"We're now entering flu season in our hospitals cannot be overwhelmed as they were after the Memorial Day weekend where we eventually spiked to over 20% positivity rate. And young people started to get very sick. We're focusing on protecting our seniors in our underserved minority communities. Because we know they are much higher risk of getting severely ill, you know, the public service campaign underway and our search teams continue to operate."

"Get the word out as hotspots appear. We're really pushing testing now that all businesses are able to open. The free testing sites are open and the lines are short. So go get tested even if you do not have symptoms because you may be spreading the virus and not even know about it."

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez also spoke Tuesday. He said people still can't let their guard down.

"I have expressed my concerns that this could send the wrong message that COVID-19 is no longer a threat in our communities," he said. "Having spoken with Dr. Birx from the coronavirus task force today, she expressed deep concern and I share those concerns."

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