States cracking down on large gatherings during Labor Day weekend

U.S. & World

MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — As Labor Day Weekend kicks off, it’s already getting busy at beaches and parks across the nation. Governors from coast to coast were warning Americans to mask up and socially distance.

“People forget we are battling an invisible enemy and people let their guard down,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said.

Officials are worried there could be a COVID-19 spike similar to what happened after other holidays.

“It happened after Mother’s Day weekend. And after Memorial Day. And after July 4th where we saw upticks in COVID-19 cases,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown said.

In Miami-Dade County, Florida, one big focus this holiday weekend is stopping house parties. Epidemiologists in South Florida suspect the spread of COVID-19 is happening in people’s homes.

“Above all, do not have house parties. This weekend Miami-Dade has a multi-phase plan to crack down on those who violate the rules,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.

House parties during the pandemic have been a problem across the country. Cell phone videos have captured packed parties from Chicago to Kansas City and all the way to Miami.

Florida resident Benny Diaz lives next to a Miami house where large parties were held.

“Parties were pretty big. Anywhere from 100 to 150 people. No masks, they were in the streets, up and down the streets here,” Diaz said.

In Miami, Mayor Francis Suarez says parties with more than ten people are not allowed. He says they’ll focus on noise complaints and ensuring people abide by the 10pm curfew.

“You don’t want to have a party of 50 people together. That is just a recipe for disaster and contagion. The odds are someone in fifty people have the virus,” Mayor Gimenez said.

Gimenez says Labor Day Weekend gatherings should be small, socially distant, and outdoors.

If there is a spike, epidemiologists say it will take about two weeks for the spike to be reflected in COVID numbers.

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