MIAMI — More Florida beaches will be closing again to avoid further spread of the new coronavirus as officials try to tamp down on large gatherings amid a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference Sunday in Pensacola that interactions among young people are driving the surge. Meanwhile in Broward County, home to Fort Lauderdale, authorities said they would be closing beaches during the busy Fourth of July weekend following the decision of Miami-Dade County to close theirs between July 3 and July 7.
The Florida Department of Health reported on Sunday more than 8,500 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 29 deaths in a day. New hospitalizations are also ticking upward, although not as dramatically as the new cases.
State officials on Friday announced a ban on alcohol consumption at bars, and DeSantis explained Sunday there was “widespread non-compliance.” Several restaurants were shut down over the weekend in Broward County for not following rules restricting capacity and mandating the use of masks.
“It has invariably been because they packed so many people in and created a type of environment that we are trying to avoid,” DeSantis said. “Caution was thrown to the wind and so we are where we are.”