Florida will start to reopen May 4, but for now Miami-Dade and two other counties won't be included

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced measures to reopen certain businesses throughout much of the state, not including Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Posted: Apr 30, 2020 2:20 PM
Updated: Apr 30, 2020 2:20 PM

Florida will reopen certain businesses throughout much of the state on Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

"We will get Florida back on its feet by using an approach that is safe, smart, and step by step," DeSantis said on Wednesday.

DeSantis said restaurants and retail spaces could let customers inside, but only at 25% capacity, and people must adhere to social distancing guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Restaurants can offer outdoor seating if tables are 6 feet apart.

"Outdoor transmission, as far as we've seen, has been more difficult than the indoor climate controlled transition," the governor said, adding that medical officials recommended the outdoor seating change.

Movie theaters can't reopen yet.

"I just think it's practically difficult to do the social distancing," the governor said. "Indoor environments I think are more likely for transmission, so even though you could have done that on phase one, I think prudence dictates that we go a little slow on that."

Bars, fitness centers and places that offer personal services, likes hair styling, also will open later.

People can schedule non-urgent surgeries again, he said, though it depends on a hospital's ability to handle surges in cases and availability of protective equipment.

Schools will continue to hold online classes, he said.

DeSantis said the new measures he announced would not include three of the counties hit hardest by coronavirus. They are Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, which account for about 6.2 million of Florida's residents, according to US Census data.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez agreed with the governor. He said he wasn't sure when his city could join the rest of the state.

"We have to discuss it with some of the experts, the epidemiologists as well as the Surgeon General, who we hope to speak with tomorrow, to get a clearer picture," he told CNN's Erin Burnett.

DeSantis said that Florida's Phase 1 reopening will put emphasis on walk-up and drive-up testing, with a total of 11 state-supported walk-up sites in the state. DeSantis said about 6,300 walk-up tests have been administered in the first two weeks.

"These walk-up sites are really important, and we want to be able to spot trends in some of the underserved communities," he said.

Governor lauds his actions to keep case count down

The governor on Tuesday lauded the state's success in tackling the outbreak. He slammed the media for its prediction -- which he said was "wrong" -- that Florida's hospital system would be overwhelmed with almost a half million or more Covid-19 hospitalizations.

During his joint press conference at the White House with President Donald Trump, DeSantis accused some states of issuing "the most draconian orders" and reeled off a list of states he felt Florida had outperformed in its handling of the outbreak.

"Everyone in the media was saying Florida was going to be like New York or Italy, and that has not happened," he said. "We had a tailored and measured approach that not only helped our numbers be way below what anybody predicted, but also did less damage to our state going forward."

DeSantis largely credits Florida's reportedly low infection numbers to his own office's swift action, which included issuing a safer-at-home order that went into effect April 3.

Critics hammered DeSantis for his alleged inaction before the order was issued. The governor has said he decided to take action April 1 after noticing Trump's change of demeanor during a news conference the previous day. Trump urged Americans to prepare "for the hard days that lie ahead" during that appearance.

The governor's office provided CNN with graphs and charts that it said show how Florida fared better than several states in metrics such as hospitalization, intensive care admissions and per capita deaths. CNN has not independently confirmed the data.

Experts have told CNN that local officials wield the real power to protect residents in a pandemic, and in Florida's case, several jurisdictions made moves before the state -- with some acting well before DeSantis issued his statewide order.

Some local actions included:

  • Miami asked the Ultra and Calle Ocho music festivals in early March to cancel their gatherings, which they did.
  • Miami, Miami Beach and Orange County issued stay-at-home or equivalent orders 10 days before the state's safer-at-home order took effect.
  • The Florida Keys and Key Biscayne closed themselves off to outside visitors in March.
  • Coconut Creek, Coral Gables, Delray Beach, Hallandale Beach, Homestead, Key Biscayne, Miami Gardens and Sweetwater instituted curfews in late March.
  • Aventura, Bal Harbour, Boca Raton, Broward County, Cooper City, Coral Gables, Delray Beach, Doral, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Miramar, Oakland Park, Palm Beach County, Parkland, Pembroke Pines, Pompano Beach, Sunny Isles Beach, Weston and Wilton Manors issued some form of stay-at-home, safer-at-home or shelter-in-place directive in March.

DeSantis also took credit for protecting the state's older population, pointing to Florida suspending visitation and mandating staff screenings at long-term care facilities, as well as the mobile response team deployed to conduct testing at the facilities.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the state had at least 33,000 cases, more than 1,200 of them fatal, according Johns Hopkins University.

About 30% of the fatalities are linked to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, according to Florida Department of Health data.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49063

Reported Deaths: 2732
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11760689
Lake5276246
Elkhart340255
Allen2835133
St. Joseph200169
Cass16429
Hamilton1608101
Hendricks1425100
Johnson1296118
Porter76738
Tippecanoe7359
Clark66844
Madison66764
Bartholomew59145
Vanderburgh5876
LaPorte58326
Howard58058
Kosciusko5624
Marshall5016
Noble48528
LaGrange4779
Jackson4733
Boone45443
Delaware45252
Hancock45236
Shelby43125
Floyd38444
Morgan32731
Monroe30928
Montgomery29720
Grant29626
Clinton2902
Dubois2886
Henry28216
White26610
Decatur25432
Lawrence24825
Dearborn23823
Vigo2388
Warrick22729
Harrison21622
Greene19032
Miami1862
Jennings17712
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess14817
Wayne1436
Orange13623
Perry1359
Steuben1302
Franklin1268
Ripley1247
Jasper1232
Wabash1142
Carroll1102
Fayette1037
Newton9910
Gibson982
Whitley975
Starke943
Randolph804
Huntington782
Jefferson762
Wells751
Fulton721
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Owen501
Adams491
Benton480
Posey450
Sullivan451
Spencer441
Brown421
Blackford392
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton311
Switzerland280
Parke240
Martin220
Ohio180
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 60181

Reported Deaths: 2991
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10879439
Cuyahoga8277383
Hamilton6287206
Lucas2836303
Marion273639
Summit2241207
Pickaway220541
Montgomery220131
Mahoning1861239
Butler167447
Columbiana130960
Stark1156113
Lorain106468
Trumbull99774
Warren89525
Clark7809
Delaware61715
Fairfield60517
Tuscarawas58510
Belmont55522
Medina54332
Lake52920
Licking52012
Miami47531
Portage46159
Wood45251
Ashtabula43744
Clermont4317
Geauga41443
Wayne36552
Richland3515
Allen32841
Mercer2909
Greene2879
Darke25326
Erie25022
Holmes2453
Huron2282
Madison2029
Ottawa16024
Washington14020
Sandusky13814
Crawford1365
Putnam13215
Ross1323
Coshocton1302
Hardin12312
Morrow1181
Auglaize1074
Jefferson922
Union921
Monroe8917
Muskingum891
Hancock831
Preble801
Athens791
Hocking798
Guernsey763
Lawrence740
Williams722
Shelby704
Clinton680
Logan651
Fulton630
Ashland621
Carroll603
Wyandot605
Brown591
Scioto540
Defiance533
Knox531
Fayette480
Highland461
Champaign441
Van Wert420
Perry371
Seneca352
Henry320
Jackson260
Paulding260
Adams241
Pike240
Vinton222
Gallia201
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
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