COVID-19 Emergency Orders Extended through April 23 in Miami Beach

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

COVID-19 Emergency Orders Extended through April 23 in Miami Beach:

Further restrictions to control activity on Lincoln Road

Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales has extended the City’s State of Emergency declaration and the Safer-at-Home Emergency order along with emergency measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through April 23. 

New: An amendment to the order requires restaurants on Lincoln Road that have remained open for takeout and delivery to close their entrances fronting Lincoln Road to the public. Delivery, pick-up or takeout services may only be conducted through the restaurants’ rear or side-facing entrances.

Since the Stay-at-Home order went into effect, residents and businesses have reported an increase in homeless and criminal activity on the pedestrian mall. Two weeks ago, the City began closing the street from Washington Avenue to Alton Road between 9 pm and 5 am. Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said at the time that the new restrictions followed “an uptick in criminal activity in the area, to include a burglary. There have also been instances where fecal matter was smeared along the windows of businesses, possibly by homeless individuals.” The City placed temporary fencing up to limit access overnight.

After photos were published on social media of people bathing in Lincoln Road's water features, there was some consideration of potentially closing the street completely while the State of Emergency is in effect according to a discussion on this week’s call between members of the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District (BID) that also included City representatives. During the call, property owners learned the restaurants could stay open with modified access points should the mall be closed but they asked that the street closure option not be the first choice.

Though the modified access points are in effect, the City has not indicated it plans to close Lincoln Road completely. Instead, the street’s water features were fenced off to prevent their use (photo above).

In response to a request for comment, a City spokeswoman noted there are portable toilets and wash stations throughout the city that are accessible to the homeless including facilities at 5th Street and Ocean Drive, 21st Street and the beach, Flamingo Park, Maurice Gibb Park, 36th Street and the beach, and 75th Street and the beach.

The emergency measures were first put into place on March 12. At the time, the City Commission gave Morales the authority to extend the measures in seven-day increments through April 23. 

At this week’s Commission meeting, Morales is expected to be given the authority to implement three additional seven-day extensions through May 14. The next City Commission meeting is scheduled for May 13 at which time the measures will be considered again. Meanwhile, on Thursday, New York and several other east coast states extended their closures of non-essential businesses through May 15.
The declarations and full list of restrictions can be found here.

Photo: Jhon Cornejo

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