The state of Florida, which this Friday added almost 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 until reaching the 44,138 confirmed and the 1,917 deaths from the disease, the first of the three phases of reopening will expand on Monday 18, with gyms and more capacity in stores, Governor Ron DeSantis announced today.
With 21.48 million inhabitants and an economy based mainly on tourism, a sector paralyzed by COVID-19, Florida added 928 new cases and 42 more deaths than COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health.
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The governor’s announcement targets 65 of the 67 counties, excluding Miami-Dade and Broward, the two most affected by the pandemic.
At a press conference this Friday at the Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside Hospital Clinic in Jacksonville, about 550 kilometers north of Miami, the governor said gyms and fitness centers can resume operations on Monday as long as follow the guidelines set by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
These guidelines require maintaining a safe distance between people of six feet or 1.82 meters.
“If you’re in (a gym), make sure you practice social distancing and then sanitize machines and surfaces,” DeSantis said at the news conference with Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.
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Until now, gyms have been closed, with the exception of those found in hotels, fire stations and residential buildings, although restrictions apply in the latter.
Among the announced changes, restaurants, retail stores, museums and libraries will be allowed to increase their capacities to 50%, above the 25% initially allowed when Florida reopened on May 4.
This measure is in addition to another one signed by the governor last Saturday that allowed beauty salons and hairdressers to be opened in all counties that have entered phase one of reopening, which was added by Palm Beach this week.
BROWARD AND MIAMI-DADE WILL PARTIALLY OPEN THIS MONDAY
However, two southeastern counties, Miami-Dade and Broward, which account for half the cases and deaths due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, will not be able to reopen the gyms on Monday 18, although some non-essential businesses such as coffee shops and stores will be able to reopen .
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Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez answered questions to citizens on Friday on social media before the reopening, which has raised questions because not all stores will open the same day.
The cities of Miami-Dade will begin their reopening of Phase One on Monday, except for Hialeah, Miami, Miami Beach, and Miami Gardens and Doral, which will do so two days later.
In these five cities, retail will be open at 25% capacity with social distancing measures.
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In Miami-Dade and Broward (southeast Florida) there are currently 14,742 and 6,057 cases, respectively, of COVID-19, a disease that has caused 535 deaths in the first and 267 in the second county.
The Miami-Dade Mayor’s Office has produced a guide to “the new normal” with all the instructions and specifications for this phase that is beginning, which is identified with the color yellow.
Giménez recalled today that, as in Broward, bars, spas, gyms, cinemas, beaches, swimming pools, tattoo and massage stores will not be able to open yet.