It appears that Broward County could reopen on Monday, May 18.
Governor Ron DeSantis will make the final decision, but members of the County Commission expressed some optimism but also concern about the reopening.
The biggest concern among commissioners is that people will not follow precautions such as social distancing and that there could a be dramatic increase in coronavirus cases. County Administrator Bertha Henry offered a proposal on how to safely reopen the county for business.
The County Commission held a remote workshop on May 12 to discuss the reopening. Henry said she has spoken to DeSantis about reopening on May 18 and it appears that will be no problem.
Social distancing will remain in effect. Retail stores, hair salons and restaurants will be open to the public but only at 25 percent capacity. People will be expected to wear face masks while in public.
Beaches will remain closed for an indeterminate time.
During the meeting Commissioner Mark Bogen said he is concerned that too many people may believe the coronavirus problem has passed when in reality the virus is still in the community and cases could return if social distancing is not practiced and if people don’t wear masks while in public. He believes there would be a spike in the number of cases if people are not careful.
Commissioner Nan Rich also expressed concern that the County may be reopening too soon and that not enough precautions are begin taken. She is also concerned that virus remains in Broward.
Commissioner Lamar Fisher said he believes it is time to reopen Broward and that the beaches should be reopened. He believes that small businesses that practice caution should be allowed to reopen immediately.
Henry emphasized that people must continue to be very careful to prevent the virus from returning. She said that all County residents have a role to play that if people are not careful, the restrictions will return.
Most of the rest of Florida reopened on May 4 and Palm Beach County reopened on May 11. DeSantis wanted South Florida counties to reopen later because most of the coronavirus cases took place there.
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