Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Fight over gyms erupts in Broward

By Kevin Gale

Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the OK for gyms to open in the state on Monday and so did Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis for his city

However, Broward County still wants them closed, which makes for a confusing start to phase one in Broward County.

Broward Vice Mayor Steve Geller told the Sun Sentinel the county could take the city to court.

Mall giant Simon announced it will reopen the following properties at 11 a.m. today: Coral Square, Dadeland Mall, The Falls, Florida Keys Outlet Marketplace, Miami International Mall, and Sawgrass Mills.

The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale said it would open at 11 a.m. as well.

Westfield Broward, which has a different owner, will re-open on Friday.

Restaurants in the region are generally opening at up to half capacity, but the mayors of Hialeah, Miami Beach and Miami said reopening of dining in at restaurants in their cities won’t happen until Wednesday, May 27, the Miami Herald reported. Miami, Hialeah, Miami Gardens and Miami Beach won’t reopen nonessential retail establishments until Wednesday, too.

The governor said last week that health metrics in counties around the state that have had a phase one opening have been encouraging. That’s affirmed by a state Department of Health website, which shows drops in ER visits for COVID-19 symptoms and a lower percentage of positive test results. For May 16, the state website shows one death, which is a contrast to 57 on May 4.

There was a spike to 1,200 new cases on May 16, the website shows, but the question is how much of that might be due to more widespread testing, which means more asymptomatic infectees are being discovered. The next few weeks will be crucial to show whether moving into phase one is happening without an alarming uptick in new cases and visits to ERs.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the Miami-Dade reopenings will include restaurants, warehouses, manufacturing, office buildings, and a specific list of small businesses.

“I want to make it abundantly clear that we’re not we’re not talking about opening all businesses yet,” he said. The closed list includes spas, bars, gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys, pools, tattoo shops and massage parlors. Public swimming pools and beaches will remain closed until May 26.

DeSantis gave the OK for Palm Beach County beaches to reopen.

Broward will have a similar approach, Mayor Dale Holness said. The one exception he mentioned was a plan to allow homeowners association or apartment complexes to have their gyms open with safety measures in place.

Henry’s order also says public pools and private club pools can open, with restrictions.

Gimenez described a color code similar to the travel advisory system to describe what’s happening. Red represented the biggest shutdown. Orange represented the reopening of parks, marinas and golf courses. The stage on Monday will be the yellow stage.

Miami-Dade county has a “New Normal” web page with details to help guide businesses and the public. There is a 184-page downloadable PDF that breaks down protocols for different businesses, such as office spaces, shopping centers, warehouses, retail, restaurants. There are also guidelines for arts and culture.





Kevin Gale
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