Re-Open Florida Task Force Issues Recommendations – Reopening Phase 1
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
At 5pm today, Governor DeSantis released the first phase of relaxing restrictions to re-open the state of Florida. The Governor’s “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery” which will begin on Monday, May 4, specifically excludes Florida’s hot-spot counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach from the initial phase of reopening. The Governor indicated that the phase 1 recommendations will apply to these South Florida counties “soon.” The plan and its recommendations emanate from some but not all of the Re-Open Florida Task Force’s recommendations and include:
- Schools remain in distance learning.
- Visits to senior living and assisted living facilities are prohibited.
- Elective surgeries can resume statewide if the hospital can support it with necessary PPE.
- Restaurants may offer outdoor seating, with six-foot spacing between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity (under CDC recommended guideline and if the local government allows).
- Retail establishments can operate at 25% of indoor capacity (under CDC guideline and if the local government allows).
- No changes for bars, gyms, and personal services such as hair dressers and movie theaters in phase 1.
- Recommending (not mandating) facemasks when working in a face-to-face business or where you cannot maintain a safe distance of six feet.
Florida’s Next Steps
Key metrics to consider as we move to next steps:
- The state maintains the health benchmarks of the “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan”
- Maintaining hospital bed capacity will be the #1 metric that drives future decisions
- Monitoring COVID-19 test positivity rate
The Governor noted that this does not need to take months, but will be assessed on a daily basis. It will be based in Florida’s health metrics and guided by medical authorities.
The Governor’s Executive Order for Phase 1 reopening has not been released yet, but we will send this to you with a copy of the Re-open Florida Task Force’s Report as soon as they become available, together with links to press coverage of the Governor’s Phase 1 reopening announcement.
Statement by Senate President Galvano on Governor DeSantis’ Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery, can be found here.
On April 20, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the formation of the Re-Open Florida Task Force’s Executive Committee which held its first teleconference meeting that afternoon. The Re-Open Florida Task Force consisted of three Industry Working Groups which reported directly to the Executive Committee each day during the week of April 20-24. These Industry Working Groups focused on a broad range of industries based upon their job-loss risk, i.e. High Risk, Medium Risk, and Low Risk – determined by an analysis done by the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
- The High Risk Industry Working Group focused on Accommodation, Food, Tourism, Construction, Real Estate, Recreation, Retail and Transportation and is headed by Dana Young, President & CEO, VISIT FLORIDA.
- The Medium Risk Industry Working Group focused on Administrative, Education, Information & Technology, Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities and Wholesale and is headed by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.
- The Low Risk Industry Working Group focused on Agriculture, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Management and Professional Services and is headed by Senate President Designate Wilton Simpson.
The Governor requested a report on short term recommendations from the task force by April 24 and staff of the Governor’s Office of Policy & Budget (OPB) continued to work on the report’s recommendations this past weekend.