As many Floridians flock to barbershops, nail salons and their favorite hairdressers, cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the state.
Florida’s first workweek under phase one Gov. Ron Desantis’ reopening plan was met with both push back and missteps, with some officials in Central Florida cities saying they would not enforce the governor’s measures to prevent the spread of the disease and some regions having trouble enforcing the reopening rules they set.
As the state enters week two of reopening, many unknowns remain as new cases and deaths related to coronavirus are reported.
As of Tuesday morning, the Florida Department of Health said there were 941 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Monday, as well as 44 new deaths related to the respiratory illness.
Total cases in the state reached 41,923 Tuesday, the overall total since March 1. That number includes a total of 1,779 deaths and 7,418 severe cases of the virus requiring hospitalization, according to the FDOH coronavirus dashboard.
Here’s how cases of coronavirus cases break down locally in Central Florida:
|County||Total cases||Total hospitalizations||Total deaths|
It’s still unclear as to when the governor will announce phase two of his reopening plan, but guidelines from President Donald Trump mandate that states should not reopen until state health officials report a decline in cases for 14 days. Thus far, Florida has not seen that steady decrease.
Over the weekend, the state saw more than 2,200 new cases of COVID-19 cases since Friday, the beginning of the first weekend since the governor’s new order began.
Central Florida officials continue to report issues after the first weekend under phase one of the governor’s reopening plan.
Beaches in Brevard County were inundated with litter as many took to the sand to cool off and enjoy their first day at the shore in months. All beaches reopened last week, except in South Florida.
Over 13,000 pounds of trash picked up on the beach over the weekend led Cocoa Beach officials to crack down on littering, increasing fines and enforcement, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.
Littering on Cocoa Beach can now fetch offenders a $250 fine.
“As restrictions are becoming more relaxed during this pandemic, the city of Cocoa Beach is beginning to see an influx of day-trippers to our beaches, along with piles of unlawfully discarded trash in their wake,” Cocoa Beach Police Department wrote in a notice. “This will not be tolerated.”
In southwest Florida, the city of Naples reversed course after crowding at the beaches forced officials to close beaches. However, the city of Naples voted to reopen its beaches Tuesday, just 24 hours after the emergency shutdown was enacted. Beaches will reopen on Wednesday but with limited hours.
Naples officials said they are also increasing parking enforcement and banning coolers and tents to cut down on the length of time people stay at the beach.
According to the Associated Press, service plazas along Florida’s Turnpike have resumed food services, but the three in South Florida are only offering takeout orders.
The Florida Department of Transportation shut down food services at the eight service plazas in March to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
Three plazas — Snapper Creek, Pompano and West Palm Beach — are limited to offering takeout orders for travelers, the agency said.
All staff members are required to wear masks and gloves and guests entering the plazas are encouraged to wear masks. All condiments will be provided at the counter instead of a self-serve station, according to the AP.
The city of Orlando is encouraging Floridians to visit its downtown restaurants and shops by offering free parking through a mobile app.
Drivers can download the ParkMobile app on their smartphones and enter code ParkDTO to receive up to two hours of free parking at any metered on-street parking spot in downtown, according to the city.
The code for free parking can be used up to three times per ParkMobile account.