Broward County businesses, industries say things are slow, but better

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – For the past 14 days, Broward County’s positivity rate has stayed below 3% percent. Because of that, county leaders are considering relaxing some of coronavirus restrictions.

“We’re still watching to see where the trend goes. It’s been good to so far,” Broward County Mayor Dale Holness said during a press conference Saturday.

Holness said leaders must first wait to see how the reopening of schools will affect the spread of the virus. With schools reopening, Holness said there is possibility of a surge.

In fact, he cautioned that the medical experts are expecting it. But the question remains: How bad might the surge be?

Broward County still requires that everyone wear facial coverings in public and follow social distancing. And, while there is no curfew, restaurants must close by 11 p.m.

At Caffe Europa, a staple along Las Olas Boulevard, workers said business is so far, so good, but they said there is a void without the flood of tourists and the snowbirds so plentiful this time of year in South Florida. Tourism is so vital to the local economy.

Mario Brandimarte of Caffe Europa said that things are getting better.

“As we slowly learn to adapt to the pandemic. We hope that business can come out like it used to be before.”:

Also taking a big hit is the cruise ship industry. Because it’s at a standstill, Port Everglades is getting ahead in their construction projects. But cruising, a powerhouse to the local economy could soon be back, said an optimistic Jonathan Daniels, director of Port Everglades

“We are preparing, whether it’s the end of October or whether it moves into November ,for cruise returning at some point,” Daniels said.

It’s the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, that has the final say on when cruise ship operators can being sailing again.

The CDC’s No Sail Order for cruise ships, as of now, continues through October 31, 2020.

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local