On June 5, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis implemented Phase II of his statewide reopening plan concerning COVID-19.
Among the stipulations under phase II were that restaurants could operate at 50 percent capacity, with unlimited outdoor seating.
Bars are permitted to reopen under the same rules as restaurants, with the additional restriction of no bars tools.
Movie theaters, concert venues, arcades, and other entertainment businesses can operate at 50 percent capacity.
Tattoo shops and tanning and massage parlors can now open following safety guidelines from the Department of Health.
Gyms and other retail establishments were allowed to open, but follow Center for Disease Control rules.
On the News-Gazette Facebook page, we asked, “With COVID-19, do you believe Gov. Ron DeSantis was correct in implementing Phase II of his statewide re-opening plan? Yes, no and why?”
With more than 70 comments, you certainly made your voices heard. Here are just some of the responses:
•I agree with opening. We need to remember the protests probably had a part in the increased numbers. People are still free to stay home and businesses are free to close again if they choose.
•No, because people are putting their guard down and not thinking of others around them by not wearing a mask and following the guidelines. The system is not a trusted system & we all need to be more careful & respect our surroundings! Be safe and be well is the KEY!
•Absolutely! The shutdown has been ridiculous, and has destroyed more than any virus could.
·I'm not sure he's doing the right thing by moving forward with phase 2. With the sharp increase in positive results, plus the increase in deaths related to COVID, I think the reopening should be slowed down.
·I think we are opening too fast. Science takes a long time to give us reliable results to studies. We still aren't sure how safe our children are playing together let alone if it's time to try to send them back to school. I am a senior citizen and I am more worried about the children than myself.
•He should have never implemented Phase I. Florida had not met the recommended guidelines at that time. Now we're in Phase II and the number of infections are going through the roof. When asked about this, the governor white-washes it. Those supporting his decision will think differently when they themselves, or someone dear to them, comes down with the virus.
•Yes! The whole point of closing our world down was to SLOW the spread, not stop it. We have done just that. And despite numbers being up in confirmed cases, hospitalizations are down, which was the original intent. I support our Governor 100 percent!
•Yes, the virus is not as serious (to most people) as being presented. Also, in the absence of a vaccine, we must move toward her immunity. As long as our healthcare facilities are not overwhelmed, we should continue opening.
·We knew there'd be increased "cases" (i.e. positive tests) with increased testing and reopening. The numbers to watch are hospitalizations and deaths, and those numbers are not now concerning.
•Yes! Open everything! This is not only about financial devastation. People need to get out. Kids need to get out and see their friends. There are so many terrible things happening because of the quarantine. Things worse than getting sick and recovering! What is the fatality percentage again??? What is it for normally, young healthy people????
•As adults and caregivers, we need to implement a safety level that we each feel comfortable with. Sensationalism will not aide in the process. Doom and Gloom will not help in the process. The governor and all the politicians cannot help us in the process. Their job is to provide “accurate stats” via the health departments they oversee. Our job is to be prudent and respectful to others, particularly the elderly and the most vulnerable.
·Absolutely not. Here comes the beginning of the second wave!
•Absolutely correct! He should have done it sooner. The shutdown was to flatten the curve and allow hospitals and doctors time to prepare. It was never going to end the virus it was just delaying the inevitable.
•Of course he was right in opening the state to Phase 2. Are we to keep everything, and everyone, locked down until there is no more virus? A longer lockdown would kill more people than the virus. Look what’s happening to America these days. Riots, looting, protests, people being offended (oh the humanity of being offended). Idle people create more problems than solutions.
·YES!! The reason we are seeing more positive results is because testing is more readily available. We can't be held in limbo forever. We need to get back to work, back to worshiping, back to some normalcy!
•Not a good plan. Already businesses such as restaurants, bars and airports are seeing an uptick. If we had quarantined longer, we would be in better shape. I really don’t want Florida to be the poster child of what can go wrong.
No because people letting their guards down is possibly leading to the rise of the coronavirus.
•No....if numbers are trending up the last thing we should be doing is relaxing more. Period.
•Definitely. It doesn’t matter when we enter phase 2. Whenever a state reopens the numbers will go up. You will see this in every state. The important thing is to watch the ICU beds available. Based on the increased testing we are seeing, I am actually surprised by how low the positive percentages are.
We're setting records for new infections.
•I do believe that he went from 25 to 50 percent way too fast and then opened up more within a week or so later. Too many people congregating together too fast was a no-no. He was wrong.
•Think he should open up everything. The people are doing crazy things and they have viruses all the time and worry about testing but many people have cancer and other terrible things but don’t seem to care about that. Think politicians are the whole reason for this and the media broadcasts too much. Asked for my opinion well you know it.
•Some people will be satisfied only when everyone is terrified and everyone has to stay home and/or wear masks at all times! Many people are over it already!
•No! It’s hurtful to know this is implemented when numbers are showing a rise in COVID cases! Protecting my twin boys, myself, hubby, as well as others are most important to me. This isn’t easy! We need to be able to work and help our economy strive, but if people are sick, how can it be done???!!!