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UPDATED: Local Cases Continue to Increase; City of Miami Mandates Face Masks

According to the Department of Health, there are 15,698 total cases of COVID-19 in Florida as of Wednesday evening.

At least 323 Florida residents have died from COVID-19.

Current Positive Cases in Florida

Palm Beach County: 1,224 cases

-69 deaths

-621 men, 591 women

-225 hospitalizations

Broward County: 2,365 cases

-60 deaths

-1,291 men, 1,056 women

-330 hospitalizations

Miami-Dade County: 5,461 cases

-50 deaths

-2,870 men, 2,520 women

-387 hospitalizations

South Florida is considered the epicenter of the outbreak in the state.

Gov. DeSantis announced Wednesday that the Miami Beach Convention Center is being converted into a field hospital to treat coronavirus patients.

Hours later, Palm Beach County officials said they are also planning to turn the South Florida Fairgrounds into a field hospital if they is a surge in COVID-19 patients locally.

Additionally, the City of Miami issued a mandate on Wednesday for all of its residents to wear face masks when they are at grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, construction sites, convenience stories, and retail food facilities, or are involved with food delivery services.

“We’re looking at all the things we can do as a city to protect our residents,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said. “We understand that all masks are not completely available, so there is all kinds of different ways that [people] can comply with the order by going online and using things that are readily available in people’s homes.”

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said a county-wide order will be discussed.

“I will say, though, that I’ve seen a lot of compliance with our recommendation that everybody wear a facial covering when they’re inside a confined space,” Gimenez added.

Aventura, Cutler Bay, Homestead, Key West, Miami Beach, Miramar, Oakland Park, and Plantation are also among the South Florida municipalities that have issued their own face mask mandates in recent days and weeks.