Village Manager Steve Williamson ended the mask mandate for Key Biscayne government facilities on Friday, saying a steady improvement in several COVID-19 metrics warranted the change, which had been in place since August.
Instead of a mandate, Williamson says the policy will be one of encouraging facial coverings.
The manager’s new policy, however, still allows for specific mask requirements for certain locations and events, if necessary. “These measures will be clearly communicated to the public and posted at the facilities and events requiring specific safety procedures,” his memo states.
Williamson said the island’s overall fully-vaccinated percentage remains over 83%, and noted the expansion of testing within the Village as being factors in his decision.
Miami-Dade County’s overall numbers have also improved — the seven-day average positivity rate is now at 2% with corresponding decreases in cases. However, the County is still listed by the Centers for Disease Control as being at a “very high” risk for unvaccinated people.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.