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Palm Beach County commissioners 'ready to open businesses'

Mayor sends letter to DeSantis asking to join Phase 1
Posted at 5:18 PM, May 07, 2020

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County commissioners said Thursday they're "ready to open businesses" as Florida begins to gradually reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

That was the message to Gov. Ron DeSantis in a letter drafted two days after Palm Beach County commissioners voted to ask the governor to allow them to join the first phase of the state's plan to reopen.

"We are recommending you consider and grant our county the opportunity to reopen Phase 1 of your plan in a similar fashion to other counties of the state outside of South Florida," Mayor Dave Kerner wrote. "We would like to engage in discussions with you regarding the acceleration of this at the earliest possible date."

Palm Beach County letter to... by PeterBurke on Scribd

Kerner also said commissioners are holding a special meeting Friday to discuss reopening beaches throughout the county.

Under the governor's tiered plan to reopen, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, which have the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, are excluded.

DeSantis has said he is willing to work with the leaders of each county to determine when they should move forward.

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"It's not just flipping a switch," DeSantis said during a news conference Wednesday. "But I do believe that for Florida to be successful, we need our southern Florida communities to be successful."

Under the state's initial phase for reopening, which began Monday, restaurants and retail shops can operate at 25% capacity.