Miami-Dade County will impose a countywide mask mandate as it deals with a COVID-19 spike, Mayor Carlos Gimenez said, adopting the kind of sweeping rule on face covering that he had previously called not needed in outdoor spaces where it’s easy to stay away from others.
Gimenez’s office released a statement late Wednesday afternoon announcing a planned order mandating facial coverings in public, an expansion of existing county rules and a step Miami and other cities took last week as the current COVID spike was worsening.
Gimenez had called the county’s rules adequate since they require masks indoors and in locations where social distancing isn’t possible. But the Gimenez’s statement said he changed positions after meeting with hospital executives and the state’s top hospital administrator. In making the change to mirror existing city rules, Gimenez tied the switch to surging COVID cases that are filling up more hospital beds.