Speaking at a press conference Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that state parks will begin reopening on Monday, May 4.
DeSantis made today’s announcement at Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, claiming outdoors areas are low risk environments. “When you’re talking about open spaces with appropriate social distancing, that’s a very low-risk environment," said the Republican governor. "You're a lot safer going to a park, then going to a dinner party with people in an indoor setting."
Florida’s state parks have been closed for over a month because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This announcement comes after DeSantis announced the first phase of Florida’s reopening plan, which allows restaurants and shops to also reopen Monday, but at 25% capacity. Bars, nightclubs, hair salons, and gyms will remain closed.
Yesterday, Hillsborough County announced it will begin opening up some county parks and nature preserves on May 4. Earlier this week, Manatee, Hernando and Pinellas counties, all voted to reopen their beaches in the coming days. Last week, Sarasota County also voted to reopen its public beaches.
As of Friday, Florida's Department of Health says the state has 34,728 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 1,314 deaths.
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