Miami Putting Literal ‘Mask Police’ on City Streets to Enforce COVID Precautions
As the second wave of coronavirus continues to rain down upon the United States, municipalities around the nation are grappling with just how best to encourage their people to be cautious and safe. This has led to more than a few locales mandating, (or attempting to mandate), the use of face masks in public.
The idea is simple: Face masks reduce the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the amount of travel that our respiratory droplets can do. This isn’t really up for debate, and even Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who is suing the City of Atlanta for mandating masks, is encouraging people to don them.
Kemp’s concerns, which have been echoing throughout the nation, is that there needn’t be a legal mandate to do the right thing, as it vilifies otherwise good Americans.
In Miami, Florida, however, they are going about things a different way.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez announced the updated mask order on July 1, requiring masks “in all public spaces inside and outdoors throughout Miami-Dade County.” The order essentially expanded on his April mask order, requiring coverings to be worn outdoors “with few exceptions.”
Penalties for non-compliance include up to $500 in fines or jail time.
City officials are now looking to ramp up enforcement, reportedly dedicating a team of 39 police officers to back the mandate, according to the Sun-Sentinel. The first three offenses will come with a fine of $50, $100, and $500 depending on if it was a first, second, or third violation. After that, the individual can face jail time.
Miami-Dade has been hit hardest by the virus, comprising roughly 24 percent of Florida’s total cases, 25 percent of the state’s overall coronavirus-related fatalities, and 22 percent of total hospitalizations. A Wednesday morning snapshot from the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration showed that 2,011 are hospitalized in Miami-Dade with the “primary diagnosis” of the novel coronavirus, of 9,530 statewide.
Florida’s surging coronavirus numbers have created a troublesome situation for the tourism-dependent state economy, especially now that several sports leagues are amassed in Orlando to utilize the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.
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