Q&A of the Day – Part 2: Mask mandates in South Florida - the impact for businesses
Bottom Line: The masks mandates in force by Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties are part of the current business operation code. Despite Governor DeSantis’s order preventing individuals from currently being fined for mask violations, the same isn’t true for businesses. Businesses can be fined or even shuttered for not mandating masks inside their businesses. There have been a few high-profile examples, like The Wharf in Fort Lauderdale, which was shut down in November and most recently Mar-a-Lago's New Year’s Eve party which resulted in a warning. Beyond those high-profile examples, regular enforcement action has been taken against violating businesses. What isn’t widely discussed are the COVID-19 business violation trackers. Broward and Palm Beach Counties maintain a regularly updated dashboards, a la the COVID-19 dashboards. They track complaints, violations and resolutions. Here’s the break down as of Monday.
- Broward: 8,055 investigated complaints, 2,369 citations issued, 154 currently pending
- Palm Beach County: 10,329 total complaints, 882 citations, 26 business closures
As you can tell there’s a lot happening daily regarding business violations. We’re talking about 30 or so businesses investigated for potential violations daily during the pandemic with numerous citations issued daily. It’s interesting to note that Broward, despite have fewer reported business violations, has been far more likely to cite businesses than Palm Beach County. Whether you agree or disagree with the mandates, it’s evident that the mask mandates and related COVID policies in South Florida are being taken seriously and enforced daily for individuals and especially businesses.
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