The number of COVID-19 cases has begun to decrease in Broward County.
In response to this good news, the County has issued an emergency order effective immediately which reduces some business restrictions. But county officials warn these restrictions could return if numbers rise because of noncompliance.
Restaurants can now serve customers on-premises until 11PM, extending closing hours by one hour. Billiard tables and similar games must remain closed. The sale of off-site (to-go) alcohol by restaurants and food establishments is prohibited between 11PM and 5AM. Take-out and delivery of food is still permitted between 11PM and 5AM.
Open containers of alcohol are prohibited between 11PM and 5AM in all areas open to the general public.
Life will not get easier for bar owners and their patrons. Bars, pubs, breweries, billiard halls and clubs, and cocktail lounges which derive more than 50% of gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages must remain closed.
Broward leaders are encouraging people to remain cautions especially as the Labor Day weekend approaches and visitors from around the nation visit. They are asking residents to stay home when possible, not participate in large parties or social gatherings of more than 10 people, continue to wash hands frequently, wear face coverings and practice social distancing, all of which are mandated under current Emergency Orders.
Mayor Holness said, “We have worked together in this war against COVID-19. Our fight is to protect our health, to save lives and to maintain our economy. The people of Broward County have responded in a positive way and have been very supportive of our efforts. We are now able to extend the opening of restaurants for another hour. If we continue on this trend and we can get below 5% positivity rate for a sustained period of time, we may be able to remove more restrictions.”
Residents are reminded that while the numbers have started heading downward, they are still not where they need to be and now is not the time to became careless. “We are working hard to bring the positivity rate down in Broward County so that schools, businesses and the economy can reopen safely,” said County Administrator Bertha Henry, “but we can’t do it alone. Everyone must do their part to help bring the numbers down during this public health, economic and social crisis.”