MIAMI, Fla. - South Florida is once again trying to curb a massive wave of coronavirus cases.
Miami-Dade County has remained one of the state's hardest-hit by the pandemic and as cases skyrocket in the sunshine state, the county's government is taking steps to try and keep things from getting worse.
Miami-Dade announced Thursday it is bringing back the 10 p.m. - 6 a.m. countywide curfew starting Friday, July 3 until further notice.
The county is also telling entertainment venues like movie theaters, non-tribal casinos, concert halls, and bowling alleys -- which were just recently allowed to reopen after the first COVID-19-related closures -- to close back down.
Miami-Dade also said people will have to wear masks while sitting at tables in restaurants if they are not actively eating or drinking.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a press release Thursday hospitals are seeing an increase in patients, most of which are 18-to 34-year-olds "who are getting extremely sick." The mayor also said hospitals are starting to have staffing shortages.
"I met with our medical experts this afternoon to discuss what other steps we can take to stop the spread of virus infection and ensure that our hospitals have sufficient capacity. At this time, we have plenty of beds, but some hospitals are experiencing staffing shortages," Gimenez said.
Exceptions for the curfew include essential workers like first responders, hospital workers, food delivery services and journalists.
An 11-year-old boy in Miami-Dade County became the youngest known patient to die from complications due to COVID-19, the Florida Department of Health announced Thursday.
Miami-Dade County Police are going to check thousands of businesses to make sure they are following maks and capacity rules over the July 4th weekend. Business owners who are not in compliance face criminal fines of up to $500 and 180 days in jail.
"I do not want to go back to closing all but essential businesses, but the only way to avoid that is for everyone to take COVID-19 seriously. That means every generation - every one of us, no exceptions," Gimenez said.
This story was reported from Tampa, Florida.
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