Miami-Dade is one step closer to a potential plan toward reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic that has kept three South Florida counties essentially closed.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez addressed the issue at a Friday virtual meeting with commissioners and county officials, saying the county has a target date of May 18th to reopen certain businesses.
Gimenez said the decision came after meeting with state and federal officials, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and is based off the continued decline of patients in hosptials and the percentage of positives that come from tests being given.
"We're ready," Gimenez said when comparing the numbers Miami has when compared to similar sized cities, adding that he has spoken to mayors in the county that have come out opposed to reopening at this time.
Gimenez did say that such businesses as movie theaters as well as beaches would not be a part of the first reopenings while not saying when those locations would reopen.
Miami-Dade was one of three counties, along with Broward and Palm Beach, that was not included in the first phase of reopening that started Monday as ordered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Gimenez extended an executive order declaring the state of emergency for the county on Thursday for seven additional days, but said that orders lifting closures to non-essential businesses could be coming by the end of May.
DeSantis said Wednesday that he's seen "positive movement" in South Florida and is hoping the three counties can be included in Phase One soon.
"There's been good trends, there's been a lot of good work done in all three of these counties. We want to be safe about it, we want to be smart," DeSantis said. "For Florida to be successful, we need our southern Florida communities to be successful."
Gimenez, who also attended Wednesday's news conference at Hard Rock Stadium, said they're working on plans to open up the county's economy.
"We need to start opening up this area of the state as the governor has started to open up other areas of the state of Florida," Gimenez said. "We need to get back to a new normal, the new normal won't be the old normal, it will be a new normal but we're heading in that direction."