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Palm Beach County prepares to reopen Monday

Officials warn residents to stay vigilant about CDC guidelines
Posted at 7:04 PM, May 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-10 19:04:24-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLA. — On the eve of Palm Beach County preparing for the gradual shift to more relaxed rules and regulations amid the coronavirus outbreak, officials are stressing the importance of staying vigilant about following CDC guidelines.

On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis made the announcement to include Palm Beach County in the initial phase of Florida’s reopening plan on Monday, May 11.

Under the first phase restaurants and retail shops across Florida can operate at 25 percent capacity. However, large venues like movie theaters must remain closed, and students must continue distance learning until further notice.

"These are small steps, but they're not radical changes from what we've been doing," DeSantis said. "So I think it's smart to proceed methodically."

Barber shops, hair salons and nail salons can also reopen Monday "with enhanced safety protocols for all counties currently in Phase One."

“We’ve been talking about this for some time,” said Chris Bell, director of emergency management for the City of Delray Beach. “It’s important as we reopen businesses that people have social distancing in mind, continue to wear masks, and wash their hands. That’s what going to keep us safe as we get closer to what we had before.”

Since the announcement, salons and barber shop owners across the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast have been rigorously preparing to reopen after months of closures.

Miami-Dade and Broward counties are still excluded from all areas of Phase One, with the exception of elective surgeries.

"In order for Florida to come back, we need Palm Beach County in a leadership role," said DeSantis. "We believe that getting as many counties into Phase One is something we would want to do. But we want to do it safely, smartly, and it's going to be step-by-step."

The governor added that he consulted with Miami-Dade and Broward counties, but officials there both said they need more time before joining the Phase One guidelines.

"Our target for them, we'd like to see them move into Phase One on the 18th," DeSantis said.