- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 27, 2020

Beaches in southern Florida will be closed during the Fourth of July weekend under an emergency order set to be signed Saturday amid a statewide spike in confirmed novel coronavirus cases.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said he was closing all beaches from Friday, July 3 to Tuesday, July 7, effectively making them off-limits throughout the holiday weekend.

Mr. Gimenez, a Republican, said he made his decision after consulting with county health experts as the state sees a surge in cases of COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes.

“As we continue to see more COVID-19 positive test results among young adults and rising hospitalizations, I have decided that the only prudent thing to do to tamp down this recent uptick is to crack down on recreational activities that put our overall community at higher risk,” Mr. Gimenez said in a statement.

Mr. Gimenez also encouraged people to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks when in public and staying at least six feet away from others when possible, and he said the closures could be extended if people do not heed his advice and the outbreak worsens.

“I have been seeing too many businesses and people ignoring these lifesaving rules. If people are not going to be responsible and protect themselves and others from this pandemic, then the government is forced to step in and restore common sense to save lives,” Mr. Gimenez added.

Mr. Gimenez announced the emergency measure in a statement Friday as the Florida Department of Health reported 8,942 new cases of COVID-19, setting a state record for the most new infections confirmed within a single day. The previous record of 5,511 cases was set earlier in the week on Wednesday.

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