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DeSantis Begins Process Of Reopening Florida, Including Restaurants On Limited Basis

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his plans to lift his stay-at-home orders and begin the process of reopening Florida.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his plans to lift his stay-at-home orders and begin the process of reopening Florida.

Governor Ron DeSantis says plans to reopen the state of Florida will begin next week.

During a Wednesday afternoon news conference, DeSantis announced that starting Monday, restaurants and retail locations will be able to reopen to customers, at about 25 percent capacity.

Elective surgeries also can resume statewide.

It’s been several weeks since DeSantis issued shutdown orders across the state, severely limiting business and other activities.

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But he says other restrictions will be lifted not by a certain date, but based on data about the number of positive cases of COVID-19.

He says the data will be buoyed by more coronavirus tests being made available. DeSantis announced that new drive-up and walk-up testing are being opened across the state.

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“So these walk-up sites are really important and we want to be able to spot trends in some of the underserved communities because one, maybe you could isolate it, and two, obviously be able to provide the appropriate medical care,” DeSantis said.

He added that not all things will resume as normal next week. Florida schools will continue to use distance learning. And long-term care facilities also remain off limits to visitors.

Bars, gyms and services such as hair salons also will remain closed.

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Mary Shedden is editor of Health News Florida. Her assignment since arriving at WUSF in 2013: distill policy and science so it makes sense on a personal level.
Mary Shedden
Mary Shedden is news director at WUSF Public Media, where she oversees a team of reporters covering 13 counties on Florida’s west coast.