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Palm Beach County wants to enter Phase Two on Sept. 8, delay reopening of brick-and-mortar schools

Commissioners will vote on Tuesday to send reopening plan to Gov. Ron DeSantis
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Posted at 1:23 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 09:40:11-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County leaders will ask Gov. Ron DeSantis to allow the county to enter Phase Two of Florida's reopening plan starting Tuesday, Sept. 8, and also delay the reopening of brick-and-mortar schools by a couple weeks, newly released documents show.

Commissioners will vote Tuesday to send their Phase Two reopening strategy to DeSantis.

Under the proposal, Palm Beach County would enter Phase Two in increments starting on Sept. 8.

In the first increment, entertainment venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys, escape rooms, playhouses, skating and trampoline centers, and other venues would be allowed to reopen with reduced capacity.

Restaurants would continue offering 50% indoor seating capacity and full seating capacity outdoors.

Retail stores, gyms and fitness centers, museums and libraries, and certain personal services establishments would be allowed to operate at full capacity.

In a significant move, under the reopening plan, Palm Beach County would recommend that the School District of Palm Beach County consider reopening brick-and-mortar schools three to four weeks after the county enters Phase Two.

According to the school district's current reopening plan, "the District will offer the Brick and Mortar option one week after Palm Beach County moves into Phase 2 of recovery."

That means the newly released Palm Beach County Phase Two proposal would delay the reopening of brick-and-mortar schools by several weeks.

According to county documents, "the School District and the Department of Health-Palm Beach County should gather and analyze health metrics data to determine any public health impact of this step of re-opening."

Ultimately, the Palm Beach County School Board will determine when brick-and-mortar schools will reopen, the documents show.

A spokesperson for the School District of Palm Beach County released this statement about the county's reopening proposal:

"The Innovative Reopening Plan, approved by the Palm Beach County School Board and the Florida Department of Education, remains the same. The document calls for the reopening of campuses, and in-person instruction, one week after Palm Beach County moves from Phase 1 to Phase 2. At that time, parents will still have a choice whether to continue in distance learning or send their children back to in-person instruction."

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Back To School | Coronavirus

In the third increment of Phase Two, entertainment venues like auditoriums, bingo parlors, comedy clubs, and concert houses would be allowed to reopen around Monday, Oct. 19 at 50% capacity.

In the fourth increment, movie theaters, bowling alleys, escape rooms, playhouses, skating and trampoline centers, and other entertainment venues would be allowed to expand their capacity around Monday, Nov. 2.

In the fifth and final increment, all of the businesses listed above would be allowed to operate at full capacity. In addition, bars, arcades, billiard halls, hookah, cigar, and other smoking bars and lounges, nightclubs, establishments offering adult entertainment, and strip clubs would be allowed to reopen with reduced capacity.

On Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., Palm Beach County commissioners will vote on whether to send this Phase Two reopening strategy to DeSantis for his approval.

To read the Phase Two reopening plan, click here.