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Employees and visitors are now required to wear a facial covering at Broward County facilities, regardless of their vaccination status.
County officials released a statement Thursday reinstating the mask mandate, citing the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as the rise of the highly contagious Delta variant.
“According to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), and the CDC’s newest data, the Delta variant is more contagious and more dangerous than previous variants. Getting vaccinated will help stop the deadly spread,” Broward’s statement read. “Infections are occurring in a small portion of people who are fully vaccinated, however, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the new variant can spread the virus to others who are not vaccinated and have no protection.”
The county also announced it is opening up another testing site Monday, Aug. 2, at the South Regional Health Center. The site will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointment is necessary.
Meanwhile, people who lined up for a COVID-19 test Thursday in Fort Lauderdale saw wait times of up to two hours as case numbers have risen.
At Mills Pond Park, city officials are cautioning people who want a test to come prepared with a full tank of gas, air conditioning, water, snacks and necessary medication during high-demand times.
Miami-Dade County issued a similar mandate Wednesday, despite a state law limiting local pandemic mandates. A state law signed in May gives Gov. Ron DeSantis the power to invalidate local emergency measures put in place during the pandemic, including mask mandates and limitations on business operations.