Sunday, August 1

Crowds in Miami during pandemic; there are 100 detainees

(CNN) — About 100 people were arrested and two police officers were injured over the weekend as crowds gathered in Miami Beach, Florida, for spring break, city authorities said.

Miami Beach police arrested 30 people Saturday night after uncontrolled crowds Friday night left two Miami Beach police officers injured in the hospital, the police department said in a post on Twitter.

The incident on Friday night involved a large crowd that was “disorderly and surrounding policemen,” said another tweet. Miami Beach police tweeted that they used pepper balls to disperse the group.

WPLGCNN affiliate reported that Miami Beach police officers are working 12-hour shifts.

The roughly 100 arrests over the weekend included some for the seizures of weapons and drugs, Miami Beach city spokeswoman Veronica Payssé told CNN on Sunday.

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Spring Break During a Pandemic

Payssé said that the problems are typical for the crowds of spring break each year, but that the covid-19 protocols make the task of keeping an eye on crowds twice as difficult.

The state of Florida does not allow local jurisdictions to fine people for violating mask wear orders, and the city can only offer free masks in the hope that people will wear them, Payssé said.

Florida is a popular spring break destination and some of its beaches are packed.

“We’re seeing too much activity on spring break,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told CNN on Saturday morning. “We have a problem with too many people coming here, we have a problem with too many people coming here to get out of control.”

“We are concerned,” said the mayor. “It is very challenging.”

‘A bit crazy’

Further north, in Clearwater Beach, Pinellas County, some beachgoers were trying to account for the pandemic, he reported. WFTS, CNN affiliate.

Jamin Stuhr, visiting from Iowa, said he understood how people could forget about COVID-19, but he and his friends were trying to take it into account.

“It’s really important to keep everyone safe, especially those most prone to getting it and getting very sick,” he told WFTS. The group said they wore masks on the street and stayed with their own group.

Local resident Tanya Landry told WFTS that she installed her chair to ensure social distancing on the beach and avoid crowds.

“A little bit during the start of spring break here it got a little crazy, the bars got a little crazy, very crowded, people without masks, but we tend to stay away from that,” he said.

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The Florida Department of Health (FLDH) reported 1,973,109 cases of covid-19 on Saturday, an increase of 5,167 cases since Friday.

Cases in Florida have risen over the past five days after seeing a decline in the previous days, data from the FLDH panel shows.

The state health department’s website shows that the majority of the new cases were from Miami-Dade and Broward counties, with more than 677 new cases reported in each county.

CNN’s Hollie Silverman and Amanda Watts contributed to this report.

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