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Coronavirus Florida: Miami-Dade mayor orders all businesses to close that are not ‘essential’

The order included exemptions for grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and other businesses considered vital to daily life.

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Nail salons, golf courses, offices, trampoline parks, casinos and social clubs were among the countless gathering spots ordered to close Thursday night by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez in a mass shutdown except for “essential” services during the coronavirus crisis.

The order signed at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and released later in the morning with a video address contains a string of business categories allowed to remain open. They include construction sites, engineering firms, pet-supply stores, pool and landscaping services, and childcare if administered to groups of 10 or fewer.

The order also included exemptions for grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and other businesses considered vital to daily life. That includes all government buildings, coin laundries, healthcare providers, taxi operations, and carryout and delivery services from restaurants.

“I know it must be frustrating to have more closures every day,” Gimenez said in the video in his Miami home, where he’s self-isolating over possible COVID-19 exposure from last week. “But it is necessary.”

It’s the latest decree by Gimenez under emergency powers. While they started modestly Monday, when he ordered restaurants to reduce capacity and close early Monday to start a week that included robust St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and a bustling Spring Break scene on South Beach.

Gimenez’s order switched to restaurants ordered to close Tuesday, followed by caps on crowds at county parks Wednesday. On Thursday, it escalated again, with Gimenez ordering all parks across Miami-Dade to close to all visitors, starting at 9 a.m.. He imposed the same closing time on beaches.

On the casino front, Gimenez noted his authority does not extend to the Miccosukee casino, which sits on tribal lands within county lines. The mayor said he has “reached out” to the casino and urged elderly people to stay away it it continues to stay open. “I am asking our senior citizens to take personal responsibility and stay away from large gatherings, whether it’s at a casino or any other activity,” he said.

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