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Governor DeSantis announces Phase 2 starting June 5

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Governor DeSantis announced today that all counties in Florida except Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach may move to Phase 2 of his “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step” reopening plan on June 5.

During the presentation, he drew attention to some things we now know about COVID-19 (all statistics are from the state of Florida’s data): 1) There have been zero COVID-related fatalities ages 0-18. 2) 85% of all COVID-related fatalities have occurred in the age group of 65+. 3) There have been more COVID-related fatalities over the age of 90 than under the age of 65.

He underscored the state’s measures to protect residents in long-term care facilities, including restricting visitors and prohibiting hospitals from discharging COVID-positive residents back to a long-term care facility.

DeSantis said the number of COVID-positive ICU hospitalizations statewide is at 417, down 50% from April 12. 207 people are on ventilators, down 65% from April 12.

The 64 original Phase 1 counties (population approximately 15 million) have 196 people in ICU, down 45% from April 12, and 77 people on ventilators, down 70% from April 12.

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The original Phase 1 counties have 165.08 COVID cases per 100,000 (Alachua County has about 145).

The original Phase 1 counties have a COVID fatality rate of 7.48 per 100,000 (Alachua County has about 3 per 100,000).

All 67 counties in Florida entered Full Phase 1 on May 18, including 50% occupancy in restaurants, retail, and gyms.

The Phase 2 Executive Order applies to all counties in Florida except Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.

Restaurants may now allow bar-top seating with appropriate social distancing. Bars and pubs may operate at 50% capacity inside and full capacity outside. Patrons may only receive service if seated.

Retail establishments may operate at full capacity with responsible social distancing and sanitization protocols.

Gyms may operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing and frequent sanitation.

Entertainment businesses (including, but not limited to, movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, and arcades) may operate at 50% capacity with appropriate social distancing and sanitization protocols.

Personal services businesses (including, but not limited to, tattoo parlors, acupuncture establishments, tanning salons, and massage establishments) may operate while adhering to guidance from the Florida Department of Health.

Individuals over 65 or with underlying medical conditions are strongly encouraged to avoid crowds and take measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

All persons in Florida are encouraged to avoid congregating in groups larger than 50.

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