Miami-Dade County has followed up on increasingly aggressive face mask orders by cities within the county, establishing a countywide order of its own which is now in effect.
That county order mandates those in public must wear masks when they are not able to properly socially distance.
“Persons working in or visiting grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, construction sites, public transit vehicles, vehicles for hire, and locations where social distancing measures are not possible shall wear facial coverings as defined by the CDC,” the new order reads.
That order went into effect Thursday night at 11:59 p.m. It does not require individuals to wear medical-grade masks, which are still in short supply and are being prioritized for members of the medical community.
“A facial covering includes any covering which snugly covers the face and mouth, whether store bought or homemade, and which is secured with ties or ear loops,” the order continues.
“Persons should not utilize N95 rated masks, as those are critical supplies for health care workers, police, fire, emergency management, or other persons engaged in life/safety activities. Persons who wear masks should review the CBC and Florida Department of Health guidelines regarding safely applying, removing, and cleaning masks.”
The new order does not apply to children under two years of age or people with chronic breathing conditions which may be exacerbated by a face covering. Municipalities within the county are also explicitly permitted to approve more stringent requirements.
The move comes as two of the county’s biggest municipalities had already moved to require face masks inside several essential businesses.
Last week, Miami Beach approved an order requiring “all employees and customers of grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants” to wear those masks. On Wednesday, the city of Miami followed up with a similar order.
The moves comes as Miami-Dade County continues to lead the state in confirmed coronavirus cases. As of Thursday evening, the county had 5,842 of the state 16,826 total cases.