The city of Miami is issuing an emergency order requiring workers and customers at many essential businesses to wear masks.
The move by Miami follows a Saturday order in Miami Beach making similar changes. That Miami Beach order went into effect Tuesday.
Joey Flechas of the Miami Herald highlighted Miami’s new emergency order on Twitter. That order requires masks for all employees in “grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, retail food facilities, and restaurants.” Customers of those establishments are also mandated to wear masks, as are “persons providing delivery services” from those outlets.
But as in Miami Beach, Miami city officials will not require individuals to wear medical-grade masks, which are still in short supply and are being prioritized for members of the medical community.
Instead, a “mask” is defined under the Miami order as “a form of covering of the nose and mouth and shall include a face mask, homemade mask, or other cloth covering, such as a scarf, bandana, handkerchief or other similar cloth covering.”
Miami’s emergency order goes further than Miami Beach’s, as it requires construction workers to wear masks as well.
Essential businesses not covered under those above provisions are still “strongly encouraged” to require the use of masks.
The move comes after the federal government has shifted its stance on the mask issue. Early on in the outbreak, federal officials recommended healthy people should now wear masks, arguing they would not help slow the spread of the virus without being properly fitted. Surgeon General Jerome Adams also argued masks encourage people to touch their face to readjust those masks, which can also help spread the virus.
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending healthy individuals wear non-medical-grade masks.
As of Wednesday morning, Miami has the most confirmed coronavirus cases of any city in the state, with 3,235. That accounts for more than 60% of the total cases inside Miami-Dade County.