Florida Took Hesitant First Step To Partially Reopen Amid Outbreak

Florida Took Hesitant First Step To Partially Reopen Amid Outbreak

ORLANDO (CBSMiami/AP) – Across the state, except in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, restaurants and shops opened at 25 percent capacity on Monday after being closed for weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. Business owners and customers reacted with emotions ranging from elation to trepidation. When longtime customer Ron Rogers walked through the doors of Shakers American Café in Orlando on Monday morning, waitress Jill Lawrence stood, brought her fingers to her mask-covered lips, and blew him a kiss. She then threw her arms around herself in a self-hug. “Hugs and kisses from far away,” Lawrence said. “You’re looking good, man!” Hand sanitizers were installed at the entrance and by the bathroom of the diner, which gets its name from the hundreds of colorful salt and pepper shakers that line shelves on its walls. Employees were wearing face masks and rubber gloves and had their temperature taken with a laser thermometer before their shift. Papers printed with “Table Closed” were taped to green-topped tables that weren’t being used because of social distancing guidelines. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said city officials would make it easier for businesses to operate under social distancing restrictions by allowing retail sales and outdoor restaurant seating in parking lots under farmers market-like tents. The city also will allow extra signage and banners for marketing, he said. As of Monday, Florida had nearly 37,000 coronavirus cases, with nearly 1,400 deaths from COVID-19. Cases peaked in early April. Drive-thru testing sites were set up around the state, but capacity has outstripped demand in recent weeks — even after access was extended to any adult who thinks they may have been exposed. Gov. Ron DeSantis has said the state meets White House criteria for a full Phase One reopening, but he wants to take limited steps to […]

Original Post miami.cbslocal.com

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