In the end of September Governor Ron Desantis announced that Florida was going to begin phase 3 of reopening the state. What does this mean for Florida residents? Phase 3 was to begin when there was no evidence of a rebound or resurgence of cases. In phase 3 restaurants are now able to reopen to full capacity with limited social distancing protocols. They are still expected to sanitize menus or provide single use menus. They should also continue to use proper sanitation practices. Gyms, state parks, public beaches, and large venues like movie theaters are also allowed to be opened to full capacity. Theme parks are allowed to return to normal operations with limited social distance protocols and large sporting events should consider reducing capacity with limited social distancing protocols. Businesses like salons, barber shops, and nail salons can operate at full capacity but it is recommended they follow certain measures to keep their employees and customers safe. These businesses should remove frequently touched items like magazines, newspapers, service menus, and other paper products and decor in service areas. They should also continue to frequently clean and disinfect working stations and equipment that come in contact with customers. In phase 3 vacation rentals are now able to continue normal procedures and non-essential travel can continue. Businesses are also expected to continue to take measures to ensure their employees do not enter the premises if they believe they are infected or show any symptoms of Covid-19.
When talking about the schools reopening Governor DeSantis believes “There’s no scientific basis at this point to not have in-person instruction.” He says that this virus is less dangerous for school-aged kids than the seasonal influenza. He also goes on to say that shutting down our schools can cause catastrophic damage to the development of our youth.
When asked how they felt about Florida reopening Nease students had different opinions. Katie Vaughn thinks it was a good thing to do, “I feel it’s a good idea as long as people follow protocol, social distance, and wear a mask. We have to keep living our lives, but we have to keep ourselves and others safe.” Another student Amelia Porter disagrees, “I think Florida reopening so soon was a bad idea. With the numbers going down I think we should have waited at least another month before reopening to ensure cases continued to go down. I also think the schools should be doing more regarding masks and making sure students wear them correctly while on school property.”