Florida coronavirus cases reached 51,746 on Monday after reporting 879 new positives and 15 additional deaths in the state, the Florida Department of Health reported.
Miami-Dade has 17,041 cases and Broward 6,760, according to the new report. The two counties have the highest number of infected people in the state, where 2,252 people have already died from COVID-19.
In addition, Palm Beach County has 5,355 positive cases and Monroe 107. A total of 9,424 people have been hospitalized in the state during this outbreak, which does not mean that all are hospitalized at this time.
In the center of the state, Orange County has 1,831 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and Hillsborough, 1,939.
Deaths have been gradually reduced, but cases continue to increase at a rate higher than 500 daily and even last week, when all of Florida was out of confinement and in the process of economic revival, over 1,200 were exceeded in a single day.
On Saturday there were 676 new cases, on Friday 976, on Thursday 1,204, on Wednesday 527, on Tuesday 502 and on Monday 854.
The daily average of new cases in those seven days was 782.7.
Reopening in progress
Miami-Dade and Broward entered Monday in the first of three reopening phases decreed by Governor Ron DeSantis, while the other 65 Florida counties will enter the second.
The first allows non-essential businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, museums and libraries to be opened to a quarter of their capacity and the second to half their capacity, and now adds gyms.
These reliefs to confinement, all with restrictions that allow compliance with social distancing and prevent the spread of the virus with face masks, join the opening since April of parks, marinas and golf courses in most of Florida, as well as hairdressers and salons of beauty, last week.
These guidelines require, among others, maintaining a safe distance between people of 6 feet or 1.82 meters.
However, beaches continue to be closed in several cities in southeast Florida, where reopening is slower, especially in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
In the latter, even the cities of Miami, Miami Beach, Hialeah and Miami Gardens just started their first phase this Wednesday.
In these four cities, retail will be open at 25% capacity with social distancing measures.
Both Miami-Dade and Broward may not open bars, spas, gyms, cinemas, beaches, pools, or tattoo and massage stores.
In others like Palm Beach, north of Broward, this Saturday the restaurant and swimming pools of President Donald Trump’s private club Mar-a-Lago began operating, while the hotel and the main hall will remain closed.
Shopping malls join
Other signs of a return to normality have already opened some large shopping centers such as Dadeland, Sawgrass Mills, and this Wednesday the Dolphin Mall, although without the usual massive presence of tourists.
Tourism, the engine of Florida’s economy, is still “in limbo.”
The mall, located in Broward and one of the largest in South Florida, will take measures to maintain social distance and offer masks to consumers.
Churches reopen for masses
The Catholic Church took a first step toward mistrust when the Archdiocese of Miami announced today that Masses open to the public will resume from May 26 in Miami-Dade and Broward.
Starting Monday, Mass with the faithful can also be celebrated in the Florida Keys.
Free food to alleviate the crisis
With a paralyzed economy, the city of Miami and others in South Florida maintain daily the distribution of markets and hot meals. Nonprofits, state and local governments are working to help South Floridians deal with the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic with free food deliveries.
This Tuesday, for example, in Little Havana an initiative by a commissioner distributed 2,000 rations of the 12,000 that he hopes to deliver weekly until the end of the year, anticipating a slow recovery in tourism.
The distribution was made both for people on foot and for those who were in vehicles, such as Omar Zabaleta, who waited two hours.
“For me, this aid is very important because this is a difficult period we are experiencing,” said the Colombian, who lost his job as an airport security guard in March.
Cuban Dinora García, also a food beneficiary, assured that finding a job “is going to be a little difficult given the situation and the way the coronavirus has hit in Miami.”
The food was provided by El Cristo and El Rinconcito Mexicano restaurants, which will maintain this aid from Monday to Saturday in different areas of the city, and is part of an initiative organized by Miami Commissioner (Councilman) Joe Carollo.
Disney revealed that they are now ready to receive their customers in more than 40 of its stores as of May 20, 2020.