Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez told “America’s News HQ” on Sunday that he decided to close beaches in the county for the July 4 weekend — l
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez told “America’s News HQ” on Sunday that he decided to close beaches in the county for the July 4 weekend — less than a month after reopening — because he’s “very concerned” about the recent surge in coronavirus cases.
“It was a tough decision, but I had to make it,” Giménez said. “I did not want to overcrowd the beaches with young people, and we’ve seen a tremendous spike in positive cases from young people and that’s very concerning.”
Miami-Dade County announced its beaches would close from July 3 through July 7.
Giménez told “America’s News HQ” that parks will be closing at 8 p.m. and “there will be no fireworks coming out of parks.”
He continued, “You can watch fireworks from your car or your house, but we’re not going to have throngs of people.”
He also said public pools and hotel pools will be closed during the holiday weekend as well because otherwise, “we’ll see throngs of people in pools.”
He added, “We’ve always had our bars closed here in Miami-Dade County, we never opened them up.”
According to Giménez, “All of those are steps that I’ve taken in order to start to tamp down the infection rate here in Miami-Dade County, especially among young people because there has been a tremendous spike among young people.”
As of Sunday, his state has reported over 141,000 coronavirus cases and 3,400 deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health.
In Miami-Dade County, over 33,000 coronavirus cases have been reported, with more than 950 deaths.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday that he agreed with Giménez’s decision to close the beaches for the holiday weekend.
He said “mass congregation” was an “issue” during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We know that our beaches, particularly during holiday weekends, are areas of mass congregation. So, while it may be true that it’s more dangerous inside than it is to be outside, it’s more dangerous to be in places where there are mass congregations than it is to be in places where there aren’t,” Suarez said. “I think that’s what the county mayor was trying to do. I think he made the right decision.”
Giménez pointed out that there was an increase of younger people contracting COVID-19 and warned it could pose a “big problem” for people with underlying medical conditions. He pointed out another “problem,” that they could “get infected and carry it home to parents or their grandparents and then for the parents and grandparents, this disease… is very, very dangerous.”
FLORIDA BANS ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AT BARS AS CORONAVIRUS CASES RISE AMONG YOUNGER DEMOGRAPHICS IN THE STATE
He added, “We have seen a spike in hospitalizations also. It’s gone consistently up and younger people are going to the hospital too, so they are not invulnerable to this.”
Giménez also said, “We need to practice social distancing. We need to put our masks on when we’re inside. Outside, if you can’t maintain six feet social distance, put your mask on, wash your hands, sanitize your hands, don’t put your hands on your face, and if we just take those simple measures, then we can start reducing the infection rate here in Miami-Dade.”
He stressed that “I can’t get it under control myself” and said that “all of us have to bring it under control” by practicing those guidelines.
Broward County joined Miami-Dade in closing beaches for the Fourth of July weekend, the Sun-Sentinel reported, adding that Palm Beach County likely will follow suit.
Broward County reportedly planned to close its beaches from July 3 through July 5.
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Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner told the Sun-Sentinel on Sunday it would be “highly irresponsible” to keep beaches open there “in light of the closure of the beaches in Broward and Miami-Dade counties for the Fourth of July weekend.”
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran, Heather Lacy and Eric Shawn contributed to this report.