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Which areas of Palm Beach County will open up first and when?

Vice mayor says restart strategy being developed
Posted at 2:24 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 18:15:09-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The big question on most of our minds right now is when can we expect Florida to open back up and what will it look like?

Officials in Palm Beach County are currently working on a strategy in collaboration with the Department of Health.

But when will that be?

Palm Beach County leaders said last week that plans to reopen non-essential businesses will come in phases, but it won't happen until the county reaches its peak of cases.

Palm Beach County Vice Mayor Robert Weinroth is giving residents some insight into the county’s plans.

In a Facebook post this week, Weinroth said they have identified a recent downward trend in hospitalization and coronavirus cases, which support the county beginning to slowly reopen in a “measured and phased approach.”

WEB EXTRA: Vice mayor gives insight as Palm Beach County works on plan to reopen (11 minutes)

Weinroth said the county’s effort to flatten the curve have been working over the last 30 days.

“In the month, we have done that. We have seen a real result,” said Weinroth.

He said the next phase the next phase, known as Phase 2, would slowly reopen parts of the county where people can still maintain CDC guidelines.

“We have to do this with the idea that people have free will, and just because we open up a venue doesn’t mean you have to go,” said Weinroth.

He says the proposed strategy in Phase 2 begins with reviewing relaxing restrictions to the following locations:

1) Natural Areas and Parks

2) Boat Ramps, Marinas and other water activities

3) Golfing and Golf Courses

4) Beaches

The vice mayor said the county is developing work groups that are meeting this week to “finalize the proposed rules, regulations and enforcement associated with the partial reopening of these areas.”

On Thursday, Weinroth said an update will come from the county either Friday or early next week on when the public can see an actual plan for loosening some of the stay-at-home order restrictions.

A key model used by White House said social distancing measures should continue into May or June for much of the country. The model shows Florida should be among the last state to lift so-called “stay-at-home” orders.

"I think this is something that is best left at a local level," said Weiroth in regard to the model used by the White House.

Weinroth said it’s hard to lump all of Florida together with the difference in coronanvirus numbers from county-to-county.

He said Palm Beach County has been working closely with the health department and other experts on how to safely take action.

“It is not so easy just turning on a switch,” said Weinroth.