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

Posted: April 29, 2020 at 9:41 pm

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"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. The governor said it wouldn't be prudent, and it would be difficult to maintain social distancing. 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.

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.

"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.

Some local actions included:

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.

CNN's Erica Henry contributed to this report.

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

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April 29th, 2020 at 9:41 pm

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