STATEWIDE — Florida enters phase one of the plan to reopen the state on Monday, but what does that mean?
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Retail stores, restaurants, museums and libraries can reopen but they must operate at 25 percent capacity, with restaurants also making sure that all people are a minimum of 6 feet apart. Florida's state parks will be a part of the phase reopening as visitors will experience limited hours, capacity and services.
Charter Communications has temporarily opened its live stream free to the public. You can watch Spectrum News via our live stream on your desktop or laptop without a subscription by visiting our website and clicking “Watch Live” in the upper right. Charter also is temporarily offering free broadband and wifi access for 60 days to teachers and families with K-12 or college students. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. The company also will open more than half a million wifi hotspots across the country.
Bars, gyms and personal services like hair dressers will remain closed.
Schools will continue distance learning through the end of the school year. And visitors are still banned from senior living facilities.
Elective surgeries resume on Monday as part of phase one of the reopen Florida plan.
Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Daytona Beach on Sunday speaking with doctors about their preparations at Halifax Health. DeSantis say doctors have enough personal protective equipments (PPE) to go through with this phase. The hospital says they are taking precautions ahead of the surgeries.
“Make sure everyone will be treated safely, everyone is being screened at certain check points several days before surgery. … When they come in the building, we have visitation guidelines; it stays as safe as it is now,” said Dr. Robert Feezor of Halifax Health.
The hospital has what they call Scrubbed and Ready steps that include social distancing, disinfecting and hand washing.
Some Orlando Malls Reopen
After more than a month of being closed, many malls throughout Central Florida have reopened on Monday.
Simon made an announcement that its Orlando malls will reopen on Monday:
- Florida Mall
- Orlando International Premium Outlets
- Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets
- Orlando Outlet Marketplace
"The health, safety and well-being of those we serve will always be our highest priority, and we have developed a thorough and detailed set of protocols highlighting the exceptional measures we’ve implemented to safeguard shoppers, retailers and employees as we reopen,” said John Rulli, president of Simon, in the news release.
These new safety protocols listed in the news release include:
- Enhanced sanitization and disinfecting using the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approved products with an emphasis on high-traffic locations such as dining areas, restrooms, escalators, stairs, directories, trash bins and door knobs.
- Shopper safeguards that include making available protective masks, sanitizing wipes and temperature testing at entrances or property offices, as well as the encouragement of pre-visit health screenings to ensure shoppers stay home if they have exhibited COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms within 72 hours.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be deployed throughout the properties.
- Signage promoting CDC guidelines for maintaining personal hygiene will be prominently displayed throughout the properties.
- Pre-emptive employee health screening to ensure that employees do not arrive at work within 72 hours of exhibiting COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms.
- Employee safety protections including implementing the CDC’s COVID-19 frequent hand-washing protocols, and offering personal protective equipment in addition to other CDC recommended practices.
- Promotion and enforcement of social distancing practices, including occupancy limitations, furniture and restroom spacing, closure of play areas and strollers, as well as coordinated traffic flow with traffic signage and distance markers.
Carnival Cruise Line Plans to Restart North American Cruises in August
Meanwhile, Carnival Cruise Line plans to restart North American cruises again August 1, with two of eight ships sailing out of Port Canaveral, the company says.
The cruise line says all of its North American cruises scheduled between June 27 and July 31 are canceled. Starting August 1, the Carnival Breeze and Carnival Elation will resume cruises again out of Port Canaveral.
Six other Carnival ships will also resume cruises on that date: The Horizon, Magic, and Sensation will sail out of Miami; and the Dream, Freedom, and Vista out of Galveston, Texas. All other North American and Australian cruises are canceled through August 31.
Anyone impacted by the cancellations are being notified by email and being offered future credit or a refund, the company said.
What Phase Two May Look Like
Phase two will not begin until the state continues to see fewer cases, has ample capacity at hospitals, testing continues to increase, and there is plenty of PPEs for front line workers.
Bars and nightclubs could open for the first time since getting shut down on April 3. They would just have to operate at 50 percent capacity.
Gyms could also open up at a 75 percent capacity. Then restaurants under these recommendations could also bump up capacity. Then things like salons and barbershops they could reopen with limitations.
DeSantis has not set a date for the second phase of the state's reopening, saying he wants to see how the first phase goes.
Also, when the statewide stay-at-home order expires, it is possible DeSantis could work with cities and counties to reinstate the restrictions if case counts remain high or increase.
Health experts have warned that reopening states or areas too soon could cause a second round of the coronavirus.
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