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Miami-Dade County targets May 18 partial reopening date

'We need to get the economy going again and do it as safely as possible,' mayor says
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Posted at 1:22 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 13:24:45-04

MIAMI — The county with the most coronavirus cases in Florida will begin to reopen later this month.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said during a virtual news conference Friday that May 18 is the target date to reopen.

"I've spoken to the governor and he is in agreement that Miami-Dade should move forward in opening up certain sectors of the economy with a target date, and I stress again, is a target date of May 18," Gimenez said.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are exempt from the state's tiered plan to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Phase One of Florida's reopening plan took effect Monday, allowing restaurants to reopen at 25% capacity.

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Miami-Dade County has more than 13,600 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Florida Department of Health data. Broward County is a distant second with more than 5,000 cases, followed by Palm Beach County with more than 3,000 cases.

The mayor insisted that Miami-Dade County is ready to reopen and believes a partial reopening on May 18 is necessary "so that people can get back to work."

"We need to get the economy going again and do it as safely as possible," he said.

Gimenez's message comes a day after Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis asking to be included in the initial phase of the state's reopening plan.

Broward County has not yet made a decision on when it will begin to reopen.