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Plan is in place for Palm Beach County to move forward with Phase Two

Commissioners recommend schools reopening 3 to 4 weeks after move
Posted at 10:37 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 00:12:26-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.  — One after the other, people let Palm Beach County commissioners know Tuesday what they think of the county's COVID-19 response.

"If wearing a mask is to help from getting sick and I'm not wearing a mask, then where is the danger?" one man said.

Resients also let commissioners know what they thought of the plan to pursue Phase Two reopening.

"I believe that move should be slow, calculated and based on the successes off of other areas that have flattened their curve," Nina Boynton said.

In a 4-2 vote, commissioners agreed to send a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis requesting to make the move in five steps.

RELATED: Palm Beach County leaders vote to ask Gov. Ron DeSantis to allow county to enter Phase Two

Step one is to reopen certain indoor entertainment venues like bowling alleys and movie theaters with restrictions.

Step two involves a recommendation to the School District of Palm Beach County to open three to four weeks after the county moves to Phase Two.

Right now, the school district plans to open one week after the county enters Phase Two.

County Administrator Verdenia Baker said the commission's recommendation will give more time to address any potential issues.

"We believe that this plan and starting it off this way is probably more beneficial to the community," she said.

After a lengthy discussion and input, Commissioner Hal Valeche said he can't support the plan.

"I really don't see why we need to be giving recommendations and advice to the school board," he said. "We have enough of our own problems."

As for steps three through five, the third increment would allow for additional venues like comedy clubs and auditoriums to reopen down the road. That's before step four and the eventual easing of restrictions on places like skating centers and escape rooms.

As for the final step, reopening businesses like bars and nightclubs, that would need the governor's authorization.

According to the county, facial coverings will still be required in Phase Two, as well as social distancing.