BROWARD COUNTY, FL – Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry issued Emergency Order 20-10 on Thursday, May 14, 2020, providing for a phased reopening of business activity, beginning on Monday, May 18, with restrictions in accordance with a modified Phase 1 of Governor Ron DeSantis’ statewide reopening plan. Broward’s beaches will remain closed.
The reopening plan resulted from collaborative discussions between the County and the Governor, the Board of County Commissioners, Broward’s 31 municipalities, community stakeholders and local business leaders. It also took into account extensive data collected from partners, including the Florida Department of Health in Broward, and recommendations from Federal Guidelines and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Broward County was excluded from the Governor’s April 29 Executive Order 20-112, which laid out a “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery.” Today, following the Governor’s Executive Order 20-122, those restrictions no longer apply. Broward County is poised to successfully meet the criteria required by the Federal Guidelines for Phase 1 Reopening:
- Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses reported within a 14 day period and downward trajectory of COVID-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period
- Downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period
- Hospitals able to treat all patients without crisis careand robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including antibody testing
Highlights of the County Administrator’s latest Emergency Order are:
- The list of businesses and services allowed to operate is expanded.
- Professional services and other businesses located in multi-business office buildings can resume normal operations, to the extent they are designated as essential services pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order 20-91.
- All businesses are strongly encouraged to perform remote operations and allow employees to utilize telework or other remote working methods that permit social distancing.
- Restaurants and food establishments can open for dining at a maximum 50% indoor occupancy, with six-foot distancing and other restrictions. Outdoor seating is allowed with six-foot distancing, but outdoor seating combined with indoor seating cannot exceed 100% of total occupancy limits.
- Retail establishments selling goods other than personal services can open at a maximum 50% indoor occupancy, with other restrictions.
- Businesses that provide personal services by Florida licensed professionals (including barbershops, cosmetology salons and cosmetology specialty salons) can open with restrictions, provided they are licensed with the State of Florida and comply with requirements pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order 20-120.
- Existing licensed drive-in movie theaters can operate at up to 50% capacity, with restrictions.
- Community rooms, fitness centers and gyms located within multi-family housing developments or community associations can operate at their option, with restrictions, including 50% maximum occupancy. Residents only, no guests allowed. Hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms and shower facilities shall remain closed.
- Public pools and private club pools (including municipal pools) can open, with restrictions. The water features at facilities operated by Broward County Parks and Recreation remain closed.
- Museums can open with a maximum 25% capacity, and restrictions.
County Administrator Bertha Henry said: “Businesses and residents both bear significant responsibility to ensure that the reopening of our community is safe for all. Businesses have an obligation to abide by the conditions under which they are being allowed to reopen, to provide a safe environment for their employees and customers and begin their economic recovery. Residents have a responsibility to adhere to the restrictions and guidelines. Residents are also encouraged to patronize local businesses that adhere to the guidelines, while continuing to observe responsible personal hygiene and social distancing that has enabled us to significantly slow the progression of this deadly disease.”
Enforcement is critical to the success of the reopening strategy, to ensure that a spike in new cases does not occur, which could result in another complete or partial shutdown. County and Health Department officials will continue to closely monitor results of antibody testing to ensure that a quick response to hot spots. Law enforcement agencies as well as municipal law enforcement and code enforcement officers are authorized to enforce the requirements of the Emergency Order. In addition, residents can report violations by calling the Broward County Call Center at 311 or 954-831-4000.
“Above all, we must commit to do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable residents from potential exposure to COVID-19,” said Henry.
The new Emergency Order, which includes restrictions for an allowable return to business operations, also retains important requirements for members of the public to continue to observe CDC-recommended social distancing guidelines, and the wearing of facial coverings while in public places. Groups of more than 10 are not allowed to congregate in any public space that does not provide for social distancing. Reopened businesses must adhere to a stringent cleaning regimen.
The provisions of Emergency Order 20-10 define minimum standards in Broward County. Municipalities may establish more stringent measures within their jurisdiction, to the extent permitted by law. Residents should check with their municipality to ensure they are aware of local requirements.