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West Orange Times & Observer Friday, Jun. 5, 2020 3 months ago

Florida begins Phase 2 of state’s reopening plan

A task force representing Florida's universities will present its plan June 23.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

The state of Florida is cautiously reopening, and Phase 2 of the plan began today, Friday, June 5.

Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Wednesday, June 3, to explain the details of this next phase.

All of these require responsible social distancing and sanitization protocols:

Restaurants can allow bar-top seating. Bars and pubs can operate at 50% capacity inside and full capacity outside, and patrons can only receive service if they are seated.

Retail establishments and gyms can operate at full capacity.

Personal services businesses, including tattoo parlors, acupuncture and massages establishments, and tanning salons, can operate while adhering to guidance from the Florida Department of Health.

Entertainment businesses, including auditoriums, concert halls, movie theaters, bowling alleys and arcades, can operate at 50% capacity.

Parimutuel facilities, including casinos and dog tracks, must submit a request to reopen to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and must include an endorsement from their county mayor.

DeSantis stressed the importance of people 65 and older or those with underlying conditions to continue avoiding exposure to COVID-19 as much as possible.

“If you give me 1,000 infections with people under 30, the clinical consequences of that is much less likely to be severe than if we had 100 infections age 75 and above. And so, it’s really, really important to avoid crowds and to limit exposure,” he said.

The governor still recommends avoiding groups of 50 or more people.

A task force has been developed to create a framework to reopen Florida’s state university campuses in the fall. The plans will be presented to the governor June 23.

“I think having our universities operating again is very, very important, and so we want to stress that we have confidence in their ability to come up with a good plan and move forward,” DeSantis said.

Three of Florida’s 67 counties have moved forward to Phase 2; Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties remain in Phase 1.

Amy Quesinberry is the community editor of the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She was born and raised in Winter Garden, grew up reading the community newspaper and has been employed there as a writer, photographer and editor since 1990....

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