Miami Backtracks on Reopening

'It is a hard blow,' restaurant owner says as coronavirus cases jump
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2020 6:00 PM CDT
Miami Backtracks on Reopening
Lines of cars wait at a drive-through coronavirus testing site, on Sunday in Miami Gardens, Florida.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

As coronavirus cases multiply in the area, Miami-Dade County has decided it's not ready for a full reopening after all. An executive order by Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez again closes gyms and prohibits in-restaurant dining, per the New York Times. "I am continuing to roll back business openings," Gimenez said in a statement, "as we continue to see a spike in the percent of positive COVID-19 tests and an uptick in hospitalizations." To discourage graduation parties, his order also applies to party venues, all effective Wednesday. Last week, the mayor shut casinos, strip clubs and movie theaters, per the Herald. Restaurants had been allowed to open their dining rooms on May 18 after being closed for two months. Miami-Dade accounts for almost one-fourth of all the coronavirus cases reported in Florida and logged 6,700 new cases over the three-day weekend.

"It is a hard blow," said a woman who owns a restaurant in Coral Gables with her husband. "Now we are not going to have a livelihood." Another restaurateur announced his reopening Monday morning, just as an email arrived announcing the official decision to only permit carryout. "I'm a fiery, feisty fighter, but right now I feel beaten down," he said. "I feel like my soul has been sucked out of my body." Short-term vacation rentals will be shut down, but pools, daycare and summer camps can operate under restrictions. The mayor, who expressed concern that hospitals will reach capacity, said he's keeping the overnight curfew put in place for the holiday weekend. The county provides a number of hotel rooms for people to self-isolate, but officials said only a few people took them up on the offer. Beaches reopen Tuesday, but if the rules aren't followed, "I will be forced to close the beaches again," Gimenez said. (More coronavirus stories.)

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