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Palm Beach County yet to enter Phase Two of Florida's reopening plan

Posted at 9:44 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 08:32:03-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.  — Wednesday will mark two months since the Treasure Coast and the majority of Florida entered Phase Two of the state's reopening plan, a step three South Florida counties have yet to reach.

Like many parents, Larisa Sito and her husband are juggling working full-time, taking care of their two daughters, and staying home as much as possible as the coronavirus crisis continues.

"For those that do need their business to open back up and their children to return to school, for those this has been catastrophic," Sito said.

This week, Sito wrote a letter to Palm Beach County Mayor, Dave Kerner, questioning when he will put in a request to the governor to allow Palm Beach County to enter into Phase Two. She says cases have been declining and many businesses still sit shuttered.

"There's a lot of people out there hurting, everyone from restaurants to attorneys are losing a lot of money. It's been very difficult for everybody in every social class," Sito said.

The state still hasn't given final approval, but students in Palm Beach County will begin the school year with distance learning.

RELATED: When will Palm Beach County be allowed to enter 'Phase Two' of Florida's reopening plan?

The governor said again Tuesday during a news conference, parents should have an option, but he prefers kids back in the classroom.

"I would rather have that opt-out available then deny all the kids the ability to get that in-class instruction," said Governor Ron Desantis.

The overall positivity rate in Palm Beach County is 13.03 percent as of Tuesday. The Health Department said hospitalizations have decreased slightly in the county, and the death rate continues to decrease.

"I do think that the virus is real and it is a real threat but I think right now by following the numbers that we are at a good place to go to Phase Two," Sito said.

Palm Beach County Commissioners had a meeting Tuesday morning, but they did not discuss Phase Two. County leaders have made it clear the cumulative positivity rate would need to drop below 10 percent before a request can be sent to the governor.