Is Florida Ready to Reopen?

Cities and counties across Florida are slowly entering the first phase of reopening many parks and beaches as the state tries to transition to a new normal in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

In Miami-Dade, Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced emergency orders that allow all parks, marinas and golf courses to reopen on Wednesday under specific health guidelines.

Miami Beach parks, boat ramps, golf courses and other facilities will open Wednesday as well. Face coverings must always be worn unless otherwise noted, social distancing must be observed, and there can't be gatherings of 10 or more people.

Broward County is also beginning a phased reopening of parks and other public open spaces this week, though social distancing guidelines remain in place and beaches and businesses will stay closed, officials announced.

On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said, for most people, the first phase of reopening will not be much different than what they are experiencing now with schools and nonessential businesses closed and people being encouraged to stay home.

The official guidelines created by the Trump administration require that there be a downward trajectory in both flu-like symptoms and new COVID-19 cases over the course of 14 days in order for states to start reopening.

With all that being said, how ready is Florida to reopen?

The tool below allows you to see where Florida is trending when looking at the White House's guidelines, and how the state compares to others.

Should Your State Reopen?

For states considering lifting quarantine measures, the official guidelines propose either a downward trajectory of COVID-19 cases within two weeks or a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests.

As shown below, when you compare yesterday’s new case count with that of two weeks ago, the number is often lower, simply because the counts fluctuate. Critics call the measures vague and ultimately because they aren’t binding, some states are choosing to reopen whether they meet the criteria or not.

Source: The COVID Tracking Project
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC

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