Miami Lakes orders customers at businesses to cover their faces
Thursday, April 9, 2020
Businesses in Miami Lakes that are allowed to be open during the coronavirus pandemic were ordered on April 7 to outfit employees in protective gear.
On April 9, Town Manager Edward Pidermann announced another order that mandates face coverings for customers who patronize supermarkets, drug stores and restaurants.
The new rule requiring both employees and customers to wear face coverings becomes effective on Monday, April 13. Businesses and anyone visiting them from that day going forward will be expected to comply with the new order, Pidermann said.
Also under the latest order, Pidermann said face coverings will be required for all businesses that have 10 or more people inside.
The goal is to slow the spread of COVID-19.
"It's not [only] to protect you, but all of those around us," Pidermann said. "We all have to do our part."
Miami Lakes had 29 cases of the virus Thursday, according to the state.
Earlier in the day, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr. said officials were concerned because there were 795 cases of the virus in the northwest section of the county that includes the town as well as Palm Springs North, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Miami Springs and parts of
"We need to heed the warnings," Bovo said on Facebook. He said the numbers may be due to additional testing, but noted that the curve was not flattening.
Staff at restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations in town are required to wear masks or face coverings while serving customers, Pidermann said last week.
The coverings can be a bandana, handkerchief, homemade mask or scarf, according to the previous order, and must conceal the nose and mouth.
Hialeah, where many Miami Lakers have ties, had 700 cases on April 9.
Efrain Cardenas, manager of Cancun Grill Mexican restaurant in town, said his team was already in compliance went the order for restaurants went into effect.
“We support the town’s mandate,” Cardenas said. “For the past two weeks, our employees have been wearing masks and gloves.”
During a virtual council meeting held April 2 via the internet, Councilman Josh Dieguez proposed the order for business employees following an experience he said he had while shopping at a drug store.
“I went to pick up some Tylenol and as I was waiting in line, the cashier was wearing a face mask, a gentleman, but it was worn under his nose,” Dieguez said. “It was not properly worn, and he was [serving] a lady in her 70s.”
Dieguez said doctors and scientists who are working to control the outbreak have indicated the fastest way to spread the virus is by coughing and sneezing when other people are in close proximity.
“The droplets coming out of people’s mouths, sometimes they linger in the air a little bit,” Dieguez said. “Having some protective covering may not be foolproof, but at least it’s something that would reduce the spread of the virus.”