100 arrested as spring break crowds hit Miami Beach despite the pandemic

About 100 people have been arrested and two police officers injured as spring break crowds gathered in Florida’s Miami Beach over the weekend, the city says.

Miami Beach Police arrested 30 people Saturday night, following Friday night’s unruly crowds that resulted in two Miami Beach police officers being sent to the hospital with injuries, the police department said in a post on Twitter.
Friday night’s incident involved a large crowd who were “disorderly and surrounding officers,” another tweet said. Miami Beach police tweeted that they used pepper balls to disperse the group.
      CNN affiliate WPLG reported that Miami Beach police officers are working 12-hour shifts.
        The weekend’s approximately 100 arrests included some for the seizure of weapons and drugs, city of Miami Beach spokeswoman Veronica Payssé told CNN on Sunday.

          Spring break during a pandemic

          Payssé said the issues are typical for each year’s spring break crowds, but that Covid-19 protocols made the task of policing the crowds twice as hard.
          The state of Florida does not allow local jurisdictions to fine people for violating mask orders, and the city can only offer free masks in hopes that people wear them, she said.
          Florida is a popular spring break destination, and some of its beaches have been packed.
          “We’re seeing too much spring break activity,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told CNN Saturday morning. “We’ve got a problem with too many people coming here, we’ve got a problem with too many people coming here to let loose.”
          “We are concerned,” the mayor said. “It’s very challenging.”
          The Florida Department of Health reported a total of 1,973,109 Covid-19 cases Saturday, an increase of 5,167 cases since Friday.
            Cases in Florida have been on an uptick for the last five days after seeing a decline in the previous days, data from the FLDH dashboard shows.
            The state’s health department website shows that a majority of the new cases were from Miami-Dade and Broward counties, with more than 677 new cases reported in each county.

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