UPDATE #66 - COVID-19 January 8, 2021 (5:00 PM)
Bal Harbour Village continues to monitor the data and information relative to COVID-19 to provide our residents with the most up-to-date information. Our decisions and efforts continue to be measured, driven by the best available recommended medical advice and guidance, and in conjunction with Miami-Dade County, the Florida Department of Health, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Over the past several weeks, the positive cases in Miami-Dade County continue to climb. In Bal Harbour Village, the total number of reported positive cases as of January 7, 2021 is 234. Medical experts expect a spike over the next few weeks leading into the early months of the new year.
There are several things that you can do to help protect yourself, your loved ones and our community from COVID-19, including:
- Wear a facial covering, especially when in public and in common areas;
- Keep a safe social distance from others;
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly;
- Avoid confined and crowded places;
- Get tested if you have symptoms or have come into close contact with someone who is sick or has tested positive. For a list of current testing sites, visit: COVID-19 Testing Site Finder (miamidade.gov)
The Covid-19 vaccine is now available to individuals who meet the criteria. Miami-Dade County is coordinating closely with hospital and healthcare partners, the Florida Department of Health, and private partners to vaccinate members of our community against the coronavirus (COVID-19) as quickly and efficiently as possible.
According to Florida State guidelines, the top priority for vaccination – following long-term care residents and staff and frontline healthcare workers – are individuals age 65 and older. Miami-Dade will be opening a limited number of COVID-19 vaccine appointments for seniors 65+ according to state vaccine guidelines. Check the Miami-Dade County Website (www.miamidade.gov/vaccine) for information and appointments.
Miami-Dade County is working in partnership with Baptist Health South Florida and the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade to make additional vaccination sites available through the County’s scheduling tool. All vaccination sites are by appointment only and walk-ups will not be accepted. Details can be found on the County’s website.
Details about getting the vaccine at various other locations in South Florida can be found below:
- Jackson Health System – Plans to begin scheduling appointments for seniors as early as January 4, 2021.Appointments are scheduled at their website: https://jacksonhealth.org/keeping-you-safe/
- Mount Sinai Medical Center – visit their website for details: https://www.msmc.com/coronavirus-update/
- Florida Department of Health in Broward County – visit their website for details: https://browardcovidvaccine.com/
- Baptist Health – visit their website for details: https://bapth.lt/3hVzVQ6
Miami-Dade County Emergency Orders
The following County Emergency Orders are still in effect:
Masks and Facial Coverings
Amendment 1 to Emergency Order 2020 requires that all persons throughout Miami-Dade County to wear a mask, or other facial covering, at all times when in public or public spaces, including common areas in residential and commercial buildings. Masks, and other facial coverings, shall not be required:
- inside a person’s private residence or home;
- inside a private automobile;
- at, or inside, any religious institution, without limitation;
- inside a hotel, motel, or commercial lodging establishment guest room, or inside any apartment/condominium unit;
- for children under the age of two years;
- due to a medical condition;
- of an individual who is hearing impaired or an individual who is communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired;
- where safety or health regulations prohibit the wearing of facial coverings;
- of persons actively engaged in strenuous physical activity, either inside or outdoors (please note: Amendment No. 2 To Miami-Dade County Emergency Order No. 26-20 requires that masks/face coverings must be worn in gyms and fitness centers regardless of activity level);
- of persons swimming or engaged in other activities which may cause the facial covering to become wet;
- while persons are actively eating, drinking, or smoking; and, while a person is receiving services, which require access to that person’s nose or mouth.
Miami-Dade County’s countywide curfew remains in place from 12:00 Midnight to 6:00 a.m. daily in an effort to curtail late-night activities that facilitate the spread of the virus. Violators will be cited with a second-degree criminal misdemeanor that sets a maximum $500 fine and/or 180 days in jail. Per the Governor’s Order suspending all fines and penalties applied to individuals for violating the County’s COVID-19 public health orders, Miami-Dade County will continue to issue civil citations for individuals not wearing masks and will process fines and penalties, and collect on these fines when the State Order expires and allows the County to do so.
In conformance with the Governor of Florida’s Executive Order Number 20-244, this County Order authorizes every retail and commercial establishment and any other establishment or facility in the County to open provided that each such establishment complies with specific capacity, social distancing and other requirements, including the applicable activity-specific requirements in the New Normal Handbook, as amended; the facial covering requirements in Emergency Order 20-20, as amended; and the entry of County or municipal personnel onto the establishment’s property for the sole purpose of inspection for compliance with this order. Specific to restaurants and other food service establishments, this order permits a minimum occupancy of 50 percent, without limitation, and states that these establishments shall be allowed to operate at up to 100 percent capacity if the restaurant: (1) ensures six feet of distance between tables; (2) ensures that no more than six persons (or ten persons if in the same household) sit at a table; and (3) ensures that persons not actively eating or drinking are wearing masks.
In summary, this most recent County Order requires the following:
MASKS & DISTANCING
At minimum, everyone should wear a mask in public places, and all businesses should ensure masks are worn by patrons and employees and the public at all times, and that work areas and showrooms are set up to promote physical distancing of at least 6 feet.
RESTAURANTS, BARS & CLUBS
In keeping with the Governor’s Order, the County’s 50 percent capacity limits for restaurants will remain in place as a minimum, with the expansion of more than 50% capacity allowed for restaurants and other venues that can accommodate more tables while also keeping a 6-foot separation between tables. Restaurants can reach 100 percent capacity by including outdoor table service where practicable. The maximum seating per table indoors or outside continues - no more than six people per table or up to ten from the same household. For restaurants and bars that do not have sufficient floor space for tables to reach the 50 percent capacity minimum, they will be allowed to set tables closer together to reach the 50 percent minimum. Bars with only counter service will be allowed to reach 50 percent capacity with seating that is separated at the bar as far as possible between parties being served to reach a minimum of 50 percent capacity. Clubs that include dancing must require that masks be worn on the dance floor. Eating and drinking will be allowed only at tables.
CURFEW & FINES
Miami-Dade County’s countywide curfew is in place from 12:00 Midnight to 6:00 a.m. daily (with hours adjusted for the New Year’s Eve holiday) in an effort to curtail late-night activities that facilitate the spread of the virus. Violators will be cited with a second-degree criminal misdemeanor that sets a maximum $500 fine and/or 180 days in jail. Per the Governor’s Order suspending all fines and penalties applied to individuals for violating the County’s COVID-19 public health orders, Miami-Dade County will continue to issue civil citations for individuals not wearing masks and will process fines and penalties, and collect on these fines when the State Order expires and allows the County to do so.
Please review the County’s revised New Normal Guidebook for the updated rules as they pertain to particular businesses. All businesses, including essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies and construction companies, must continue to comply with the County safety rules as outlined in the updated Guide to help to continue to prevent the spread of the virus.
Miami-Dade County Contract Tracing App
On September, 16, 2020, Miami-Dade County formally launched its new contact-tracing app called “CombatCOVID MDC.” Available in English, Creole and Spanish, this new app will help keep the County’s community healthy while also building trust so that local businesses can continue to re-open. Palm Beach County is also using the same app, and Broward is considering implementing it, so there will be synergy throughout South Florida. This secure app requires no personal information. And no GPS or location data is tracked. All information is encrypted to meet security protocols.
The app incorporates Bluetooth connections to anonymously notify users if they have been near another person who has downloaded the app and has self-reported being positive for COVID-19. If the app indicated potential exposure, users are urged to isolate and get tested immediately, because even people who feel fine can spread the virus to loved ones and those at high risk of getting severely ill. If a user does test positive, the app discretely alerts others to get tested without ever disclosing the identity of the app user. The free CombatCOVID MDC app can be downloaded from the Apple Store for iPhone use, and the Google Store for androids. It operates in the cellphone’s background, so users just need to be sure that they do not swipe it off when closing other applications. It needs to remain open in the background to continue working. This app complements contact tracing conducted by the Florida Department of Health, whose contact tracers are reaching out by phone to those who test positive in order to help them protect others.
Bal Harbour Village Frequently Asked Questions
For our updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s), please visit: https://bit.ly/3q4PkAO