Ron DeSantis press conference

Gov. Ron DeSantis with Mayor Lenny Curry at Little Talbot State Park. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis is holding two news conferences Friday to give Floridians an update on the state’s response the coronavirus pandemic.

The first press briefing began Friday, May 1, at 11 a.m. at Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville.

The second news conference with Congressman Matt Gaetz and Florida National Guard Adjutant General James Eifert will be held at 2 p.m. at the University of West Florida in Pensacola.

DeSantis’ appearances come as the Re-Open Florida Task Force released its three-phased plan to reopen the state.

Phase 1 will roll out on Monday, May 5, for much of Florida with the exception of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

PHASE 1

“Phase 1 should begin based on the benchmarks provided for in the Roadmap for Re-Opening which includes a downward trajectory of the syndromic and epidemiology criteria while maintaining adequate health care capacity,” the report stated.

In Phase 1, people are encouraged to not gather in groups larger than 10 and employers should continue teleworking and screen employees for symptoms of COVID-19 if they have to report to work.

Vulnerable populations, including the elderly and people were underlying health conditions, should stay at home during Phase 1, the report stated.

The task force calls for bars, nightclubs and businesses “that derive at least 50 percent of sales from alcohol” to remain closed.

Restaurants, gyms and fitness centers would be allowed to operate at up to 50 percent of its building’s capacity.

“Large spectator sporting events should use strict social distancing guidelines and limit occupancy of venues to 25 percent of building capacity,” the report stated.

Theme parks will remain closed.

PHASE 2

“Phase 2 will begin after the successful conclusion of Phase 1, which includes a downward trajectory of the syndromic and epidemiology criteria while maintaining adequate health care capacity,” the report stated. “This will occur when there is no evidence of a rebound or resurgence of COVID-19 cases and satisfies the benchmarks outlined in this Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. plan.”

Many of the same precautions are encouraged during Phase 2, however people will be allowed to resume non-essential travel. Businesses are urged to minimize non-essential travel, however, and must adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel.

Bars and nightclubs will be allowed to operate at 50 percent of the building capacity, while restaurants will be allowed to operate at no more than 75 percent of its building’s capacity.

Gyms and fitness centers will also be allowed to operate at up to 75 percent of its building’s capacity.

“Theme parks may consider re-opening with capacity limits, strict social distancing and proper measures to clean and disinfect,” the report stated.

PHASE 3

In Phase 3, vulnerable populations are encouraged to limit their time spent in crowded spaces.

Employers may call employees back to work, but teleworking may be considered for vulnerable populations, the report stated.

All non-essential travel may resume in Phase 3, but people must adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel, according to the report.

Personal services businesses, such as salons and barber shops, may operate under full capacity in Phase 3 but should consider taking certain preventative measures, including “removing all unnecessary, frequent-touch items such as magazines, newspapers, service menus and any other unnecessary paper products and décor from customer service areas,” the report stated.

Bars and nightclubs will be allowed to operate at 50 percent of the building capacity, while restaurants will be allowed to operate at no more than 75 percent of its building’s capacity.

Gyms and fitness centers will also be allowed to operate at up to 75 percent of its building’s capacity.

“Theme parks may consider re-opening with capacity limits, strict social distancing and proper measures to clean and disinfect,” the report stated.

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