Gov. DeSantis and local leaders see a path to reopen Florida, from stores to amusement parks

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – How to get Floridians back to work and how to do that safely? Those are the questions Gov. Ron DeSantis and his task force to reopen Florida have been meeting about all day.

A master plan of recommendations to reopen the Sunshine State and get people back to work is still being finalized.

“We need to get the doctors to talk with some of the licensing boards of cosmetology, barber and all this stuff to figure out, okay, what’s the contact like? How can you reduce the contacts?” DeSantis said. “I think there’s a path forward with a lot of this stuff, but you’ve got to be smart about it. You’ve got to do it intelligently.”

The latest numbers are giving state leaders confidence that with continued social distancing measures and protocols, that can be done gradually and successfully.

“As of last night we were actually below 700 [people] in the ICU statewide, which is lower than I think it was in certainly a week, maybe two weeks,” DeSantis said. He also cited a drop in the percentage of people infected with COVID-19 in certain areas, including the hotspot of Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez is part of DeSantis’ task force.

“We’ve already started with [looking at] open spaces, and we have a specific set of guidelines of how we’re going to open spaces,” Giménez said. “All of it was done with medical experts guiding us 100% of the way.”

Also on the task force, Broward County Mayor Dale Holness wants to make sure everyone operates under a clear set of rules.

“Design some public service info advertising, so many of those who are not on this call can become aware of what these standards are going to be across the board,” Holness suggested.

Statewide testing continues, and health care officials say there are enough open beds and personnel should we get a resurgence of the virus.

And talks have gone beyond the open spaces that are being considered the first phase.

The CEO of Universal Orlando says theme parks are working on implementing more virtual lines, mobile ordering for food, temperature checks and capping daily visitors to ensure social distancing and make visitors feel safer.

Regarding retail and shopping, industry experts are designing rules to guide protocols to follow.

With schools already out for the year, state legislators are also concerned about children at home whose parents will go back to work.

The governor says he plans to be working around the clock and throughout the weekend and that decisions on these plans should be announced sooner than later.

ALSO SEE: Expert says rushing to reopen South Florida could result in rapid rise in coronavirus cases

DeSantis’ full press conference from Wednesday can be seen below:

Gov. DeSantis COVID-19 update - Wednesday

WATCH LIVE: Gov. Ron DeSantis provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida from the state capitol building in Tallahassee.

Posted by WPLG Local 10 on Wednesday, April 22, 2020