Opa-locka to impose curfew this week

The city of Opa-locka plans to institute a citywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. this week due to concerns over the coronavirus, according to city officials.

According to Vice Mayor Chris Davis, the commission recently received an email from the city manager stating that they will soon be updating the state of emergency declaration to include the curfew’s effective date.

The city previously declared a state of emergency on March 13, urging residents to stay safe by practicing social distancing, washing their hands frequently and regularly disinfecting commonly used surfaces.

“Sometime this week they are going to update the emergency declaration but for now we’ve been monitoring all of the recommendations made by the county and the Center for Disease Control, like social distancing,” said Davis.

Many cities in Miami-Dade County, including, Miami, Miami Gardens, Homestead, North Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles Beach and Sweetwater have already imposed curfews.

“We basically mirror what Miami-Dade County does … If the county elects to institute a curfew than at that point we may soon follow,” said Police Chief James Dobson.

The police department has also been taking steps to minimize contraction by distributing gloves, hand sanitizers and N95 masks to the force. They have also been told to exercise caution when making contact with the public for the safety of both the citizens and officers.

“City Hall is basically closed — we have our employees working but it’s closed to the public to limit contact,” said Dobson.

Many schools and places of work have shifted to a completely online solution, but for many, this transition has not gone smoothly.

“It’s aggravating,” said Shenique Fox, a mother who has had to acclimate to the sudden changes. “I have five kids so if their home, I’m home.”

Francisco Diaz is a journalism major at Florida International University. He aspires to become a technical writer and a gaming journalist.