Broward County officials approved a new emergency order establishing an 11 p.m. curfew beginning Friday. The curfew will also run from 11 p.m.-5 a.m.
The order limits private gatherings to no more than 10 people, effective immediately.
County Administrator Bertha Henry‘s order cites reports showing “a significant amount of COVID-19 transmission is resulting from social gatherings at residential or other properties, street parties, neighborhood gatherings, and other gatherings and settings.”
Adult intensive care unit beds are at around 87% capacity as of Friday. A release from the county announcing the new order notes hospitals are “are either at or are exceeding their bed capacity.”
The curfew does have exceptions for first responders, media or government employees, transportation drivers and utility service personnel.
Those traveling to or from work are also given exceptions, as are those seeking medical care and passengers returning home from an airport or seaport. Individuals may also walk their pets within 250 feet of their residences.
The county is also barring short term-rentals “that are not actively managed by on-site owners or on-site management companies with staffing or security on site 24 hours a day.” That provision is aimed at preventing private parties and goes into effect for check-ins between July 20 and Aug. 20.
Restaurant patrons are also banned from ordering food or drinks at a bar counter. Those attending a gym will also be required to wear face masks at all times, even while exercising.
The share of COVID-19 tests coming back positive in the region has shown encouraging trends over the past week. Numbers in South Florida still remain dangerously high, though have for now stopped rising.
Broward joins Miami-Dade County in establishing a curfew to combat the virus’s spread. Miami-Dade established a 10 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew earlier this month.
On Friday, the city of Miami Beach announced it’s moving its curfew up to 8 p.m. for South Beach beginning Saturday.
Hospitals in Miami-Dade County are also pushing 90% capacity as of Friday.