Florida's Complete Phase 1 Reopening Happens As COVID-19 Cases Rise
Restaurants and retail stores can reopen today in Florida's largest counties Miami Dade County and Broward County. Those two counties waited longer than the rest of Florida but now they move ahead allowing non essential businesses to operate. Npr's Greg Allen can do a little bit of shopping if he feels like in Miami Either Greg I steve. How're you doing? Okay what's open? What's not well know in Florida here two weeks ago. The governor allowed non-essential businesses statewide reopen. But as you say Miami Dade in Broward County's waited a little longer while they worked on detailed guidelines in Miami Dade the guidelines are one hundred and seventy five pages of information that tell businesses what they can and where they can't do. The businesses re opening day include things like restaurants retail stores malls and personal services. Things like barbershops beauty salons I believe. Tattoo Parlors also will be open today. Okay gyms remained closed for now in Miami Dade and Broward County. Although the governor said they can't open elsewhere in the state also nightclubs movie theaters and hotels will be closed and beaches will be shut down for for the time being here in Miami Dade and Broward counties elsewhere in Florida. The rules are little looser. In most other counties gyms beaches will be open again and in Orlando Disney is beginning to reopen. Its shopping district there. Disney springs today. no word though and when the. Shah theme parks sells might consider reopening. Okay so yes to shopping yesterday. Tattoos to a day at the beach Little Bit of change here but the state at the same time has been seeing an increase in cases. How does that match up with the idea of reopening rights? Really still not really exactly clear. What's going on Florida's a very big state with many rural counties where there are still fewer few cases at all but over the last several days. There's been an increase in cases in several metropolitan areas in Florida Central Florida and South Florida. The in Orlando for example for example. There's generally not been a lot of cases there but about a week. After the county opened nonessential businesses. The number of infections there has climbed back to where it was a month ago. And just you're talking about a few dozen a day but still that's concerning we've seen a rise of cases in some counties even before they opened up again and that was that was the case in Palm Beach County over the weekend we saw. Yahu News reported that the Department of Homeland Security Identified Palm Beach County as a hot spot for one nineteen with a seventy one percent increase in new cases compared with the previous week and the numbers are are higher than what the states reporting. But it's clear the case Syrup and it began before the county there reopened on May Eleventh. Okay so maybe the reopening is not the cause of the increase but is the increased causing people to rethink the reopening right. What all along that officials have said they're going to watch the cases very closely and I think they think they can isolate them through contact tracing and testing you know at this point but they say they will react as necessary. State local officials say the decision. To begin reopening is data driven and cases had been trending downward until this recent upswing. And we're not seeing every part of the state. Mostly you're seeing in places like Miami Palm Beach County Jacksonville. Few other areas officials say that they've increased testing. That's one reason for the new cases but the confident hospitals have plenty of capacity. You know the beds and ventilators available to handle any new cases as the state reopens. Here's the mayor of miami-dade County Carlos Jimenez but if we follow the rules that are established that are laid out in this plan. Then we shouldn't see a spike or any increases in infection because following these rules will keep us saying and the rules. You're in all the ones that requires social distancing and employees and customers and all these businesses will all be wearing masks. Okay Greg thanks very much. You're welcome that's NPR's Greg Allen in Miami.