Miami Mayor Francis Suarez at a briefing about the coronavirus outbreak on July 23 2020.

  • Miami's mayor told people that wearing face masks at home could reduce the coronavirus spread among families.
  • Francis Suarez said homes and families had become the largest sources of coronavirus infections, and that people should adjust their behavior as a result.
  • He recommended that people consider, "particularly if they have a multigenerational household, wearing masks indoors, at times, with their multigenerational residents and also respecting social distance when they're at home."
  • Likewise, the mayor of Miami-Dade county suggested that people think about social distancing when they're at home with their families.
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The mayor of Miami, Florida, has encouraged residents to wear masks at home to reduce the coronavirus spread within families.

Francis Suarez said on Thursday that the number of new daily coronavirus cases in Miami has been getting lower. However, infections between people living in one home was still a cause for concern.

Suarez said cases within households are the largest category of coronavirus outbreak sources in the city and contagion between family members is the most common way for the virus to spread.

He said that the city' needs to adapt its messaging to focus on the danger of different generations living in one house.

"Our messaging has always been, if you're outside or if you're indoors you need to wear a mask and you need to socially distance."

But now, he said: "I would tell our residents - and this is voluntary, this is not something that we can mandate - that they should consider, particularly if they have a multigenerational household, wearing masks indoors, at times, with their multigenerational residents and also respecting social distance when they're at home," he said.

"Because again we're seeing the largest centre of spread being our house."

People at Cocoa Beach, Florida, get their temperature checked on July 4, 2020.

Florida has become a new epicenter for the virus and is one of the worst-hit states in the US. It has recorded more than 380,000 coronavirus cases, and more than 5,500 deaths.

Suarez said that orders to wear masks outside the home have helped reduce the virus spread in the city: "The mask in public rule is working: we went from a high point of 125 new cases a day. we are now at 20 new cases a day."

The "curve is flattening," he said.

Suarez's suggestion came the same day that Carlos Gimenez, the mayor of Miami-Dade County, who echoed the request that people socially distance when at home with their families.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez gives a press conference about the coronavirus outbreak on July 23, 2020.

"Something that I want to stress to is that, even inside the house, even inside your home, because we have such a high level of positivity rate here in Miami-Date, you also need to start thinking about keeping your distance from your loved ones for a while," he told a press conference on Thursday.

"Yes, I know it's a sacrifice, but so because, again, just because it's your son or your daughter or your cousin, or your father, doesn't mean they don't have Covid."

Miami-Dade has become one of the hardest-hit counties in the US. Data from John Hopkins University shows it has recorded the fourth-highest number of cases of any county across the country, at more than 92,000.

Gimenez said that if everyone in the county wears masks, keeps their distance from each other, and washes their hands, "That's all we need to do. And if we do that, we can drive this contagion down, and then we can get back to reopening up spaces."

Gimenez said wearing a mask is a "sign of respect" for others, given that anyone can carry and spread the virus without showing any symptoms.

"We're not asking you to do stuff which is impossible," he said.

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