WASHINGTON – UPDATE: Gov. Ron DeSantis talked about when he will announce plans for reopening Florida as he met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday. Watch the full remarks here.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is heading to the nation’s capital Tuesday to meet with President Donald Trump as decisions about reopening the Sunshine State are still looming, according to the president’s schedule.
The meeting, which is scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. in the White House’s Oval Office, comes as Central Florida leaders wait to receive guidelines from the governor about reopening Florida amid the coronavirus pandemic.
[TIMELINE: The spread of coronavirus in Florida]
For the last few weeks, Florida has been under a 30-day stay-at-home order that remains in effect until May 1. That date is quickly approaching and it is not yet clear if the governor plans to lift his order on that day, or if the order will be extended as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the state.
Meanwhile, the governor’s Reopen Florida Task Force has been meeting to discuss plans to help Floridians return to work.
Over the weekend, the task force to re-open Florida announced the launch of a public comment submission portal. The portal is open to all Floridians wishing to submit public feedback.
According to a news release, public feedback will be a critical component of the Task Force’s final report to DeSantis. Anyone wishing to submit a comment may enter feedback on any topic related to the re-opening of Florida’s economy.
Central Florida leaders, including Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, have said they’re waiting to learn more from the governor before making decisions about reopening on a local level.
On Monday, Demings said he doesn’t currently have a timeline for reopening restaurants, salons and other businesses, but he’s hoping to know more on when that all could happen by Friday -- the day after the executive order is scheduled to expire unless DeSantis issues an extension.
Demings added that starting Tuesday, Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force will meet daily to devise guidelines for business owners to keep employees and customers safe when they’re allowed to resume operations.
DeSantis said reopening decisions could be made soon but they’ll be implemented gradually and will vary throughout the state, depending on how significantly counties have been impacted by the pandemic.
[INTERACTIVE MAP: Here’s where to get your drive-thru coronavirus test]
“Folks should be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel,” DeSantis said during a news conference on Monday in Hillsborough County. “It’s not going to be something where a switch is going to be flipped. This is going to be slow and steady wins the race.”
It’s unclear what exactly the governor and president will cover during Tuesday’s meeting.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.