MIAMI – As coronavirus cases proceed to soar, 2 Florida mayors are announcing disguise and vaccine mandates and defying the politician who is firmly opposed to immoderate pandemic restrictions.
Masks volition again beryllium required astatine indoor region facilities successful Florida’s populous Miami-Dade pursuing caller national guidance recommending that adjacent radical vaccinated against COVID-19 should deterioration facial coverings.
And successful Orange County, location to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, the politician went a measurement further and announced each 4,200 nonunion region employees volition beryllium required to get their archetypal coronavirus vaccine changeable by the extremity of August, and the 2nd changeable by the extremity of September.
Disney World announced connected its website Wednesday evening that opening July 30, look coverings volition beryllium required for each guests ages 2 and up portion indoors and successful Disney buses, monorail and Disney Skyliner, careless of vaccination status. This includes upon entering and passim each attractions. Face coverings stay optional successful outdoor communal areas.
“We privation to support our region and taxable parks unfastened for business,” Mayor Jerry Demings said astatine a quality league Wednesday. “By instituting these measures, we privation everyone to know, successful Orange County, Florida, we instrumentality the coronavirus seriously.”
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said her determination is simply a effect to the surge successful caller cases and hospitalizations. The mayors didn’t denote immoderate mandates for businesses but pleaded with them to assistance get their employees vaccinated and urged them to again instrumentality the usage of masks.
“We person each travel excessively far. We person each sacrificed excessively overmuch successful this past astir twelvemonth and a half. We cannot crook backmost now,” Levine Cava said.
A authorities instrumentality signed successful May gives Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis the powerfulness to invalidate section exigency measures enactment successful spot during the pandemic, including disguise mandates and limitations connected concern operations. It besides bans immoderate concern oregon authorities entity from requiring impervious of vaccination. The governor’s bureau did not instantly respond to a petition for remark connected the caller section mandates.
For the much than 3,000 unionized workers successful Orange County, Demings said officials were negotiating a akin vaccine request arsenic nonunion employees. Some tin beryllium exempt for spiritual oregon wellness reasons, but others who neglect to comply volition look disciplinary action, Demings said.
The delta variant of the coronavirus is causing corruption surges crossed the U.S., with Florida accounting for a 5th of the nation’s caller cases past week, much than immoderate different state, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitals person seen admissions soar with the immense bulk of the patients unvaccinated.
On Tuesday, the CDC changed people connected immoderate masking guidelines and recommended that adjacent vaccinated radical should deterioration masks indoors successful areas of precocious transmission. Officials cited caller accusation revealing the variant’s quality to dispersed among vaccinated people.
All 67 of Florida’s counties are considered areas of precocious transmission, meaning they person much than 100 caller cases per 100,000 radical successful the past 7 days.
DeSantis has remained staunchly opposed to restrictions, disguise mandates and vaccine passports, a stance cardinal to his reelection campaign. He was defiant Wednesday arsenic helium criticized the caller CDC guidance during a Salt Lake City gathering of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a radical that pushes blimpish policies successful Republican-controlled authorities legislatures.
“I deliberation it’s precise important we say, unequivocally, ‘No to lockdowns, nary to schoolhouse closures, nary to restrictions, nary to mandates,’” helium said.
Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is moving to situation DeSantis successful 2022, suggested that section governments get originative astir measures and vaccine campaigns.
“Local governments are handcuffed close present astir what they tin do,” Fried said astatine a quality league Wednesday anterior to the announcement of the 2 mayors. “We are stuck successful a concern that each we tin beryllium doing is giving accusation retired there, encouraging radical to bash what’s close for their communities.”
Earlier this week, DeSantis hinted astatine a measure to reason disguise mandates successful schools, a determination that is inactive up to schoolhouse districts. The CDC connected Tuesday besides recommended indoor masks for each teachers and students nationwide, careless of vaccination status. DeSantis predicted lawmakers would clasp a peculiar league to code the issue, saying “our Legislature feels powerfully astir it.”
School committee members successful Broward County held a peculiar gathering Wednesday to sermon mask-wearing, a time aft astir 2 twelve disguise opponents disrupted the gathering successful screaming matches and burned masks extracurricular the building. Board members agreed to proceed requiring masks for astatine slightest the opening of the schoolhouse year, making it the archetypal territory successful the authorities to bash so. Miami-Dade schoolhouse officials person said they're reconsidering their disguise argumentation pursuing the caller CDC recommendations, but nary determination has been made.
Vivian Hug, a Navy veteran, brought her twins with her arsenic she addressed committee members, saying she was bushed of giving up “freedoms successful the sanction of safety.”
“Please halt the insanity. You person already done harm to these kids having to deterioration masks,” she said earlier putting her girl up to the microphone. The young miss complained that she can't respire erstwhile she wears a disguise and gets headaches from them.
To date, Florida has confirmed astir 2.5 cardinal coronavirus cases. More than 38,000 radical person died.
Associated Press writers Kelli Kennedy successful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Lindsay Whitehurst successful Salt Lake City contributed to this report.
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