UPDATED, March 30, 9:30 p.m.: Miami-Dade suspended the county’s building code functions in unincorporated areas, including plan review, permitting, inspections and completions, as more employees have tested positive for Covid-19. The city of Miami followed the county on Monday, announcing it was suspending building inspections for existing properties effective Tuesday.
The county closed its permitting and inspection center temporarily earlier this month after learning an employee tested positive for coronavirus, and conducted a deep cleaning of the building at 11805 Southwest 26th Street.
A spokesperson for the county said Monday that four employees have now tested positive for the virus, which has killed at least 63 people in Florida, according to the state’s health department.
The building operations shutdown order, signed by Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Saturday, refers to construction projects on county-owned land in cities within Miami-Dade, in addition to all unincorporated areas. That includes the Kendall area, and parts of west and south Miami-Dade.
The building code functions also include the issuance of temporary and final certificates of occupancy.
In lieu of the county’s suspension of certain building department services, a licensed or registered architect or engineer who has no financial interest in the project could perform an inspection, according to the order. Once inspection services resume, the county will provide final inspections.
In the city of Miami, inspections will continue for new and existing construction projects that are currently unoccupied. Reviews will also continue for plans submitted electronically, including with the city’s building, planning, zoning, rights-of-way, and utilities reviews.
Construction is still allowed and considered an essential business, according to the county. Gimenez issued an emergency order on Friday to alert people of the six-feet spacing required between individuals at construction sites and other essential businesses.
On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a unified “safer-at-home” policy for Southeast Florida that will be in effect until mid-May — keeping non-essential businesses closed until then. The order urges residents and visitors to stay home, allowing them to travel to essential businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies.