“I am desperately in need of a haircut, so I know people are eager,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said two days ago in Miami Gardens. Today, he announced the reopening of hair salons, nail salons and barber shops starting Monday across 65 of Florida’s 67 counties. It is the latest step in a gradual reopening of society and the economy as other coronavirus-related restrictions remain in place.
The two exceptions are Broward and Miami Dade counties, where the pandemic has been especially pronounced.
The reopening will follow what the governor called “enhanced safety protocols,” but the governor, state agencies such as the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Centers for Disease Control have not issued guidelines for hair salons and barber shops as of Friday. Earlier this week the CDC was preparing to issue a set of guidelines for schools, child care programs and churches. Those would have been the first detailed government guidelines for broad swaths of community institutions. But the White House quashed the proposal, calling it too prescriptive.
On the other hand, DeSantis extended the state of emergency statewide for at least two more months.
DeSantis framed his announcement about hair salons and barber shops in a tweet, through the words of “my friend J Henry, owner of J Henry’s Barber Shop in downtown Orlando.”
“We are ready to get back to work and make some money,” J Henry says in a brief video, sitting in a chair in his shop. “But getting back to work we want to be safe and continue to wear our gloves, wear a mask, book by appointment, and continue to keep the community safe,” suggesting that waiting rooms will not be what they used to be: as with health care facilities and clinics, patrons are likely to be asked to wait in their car before they’re called in.
“I know everyone is happy to come out and support the barber shops,” J Henry continued, “but we want to continue to keep one thing in mind: safety is always first.”
Last Monday restaurants and retail shops were allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity indoors, unlimited capacity outdoors, as long as tables are spaced at 6-foot intervals. But bars, barber shops and hair salons had to stay closed. The closure order still applies to bars.
Speaking in Palm Beach County, DeSantis has continued to downplay the coronavirus emergency, hinting that the response has been disproportionate to the risks–an assessment public health officials and the medical community do not share. “There was a major hysteria,” he said today, speaking in Palm Beach County and again the “hype” of media reports. “There were a lot of doomsday predictions for Florida, those have not borne out.”
Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, a former state legislator, called phase one “a large step for this community. It’s a large step for recovering our economy.”
“It’s not a surprise to me in any way that the members of this community have shown a positivity rate much lower than that to our neighbors to the south,” Kerner added. “That’s not because Broward, Miami-Dade, is doing anything wrong, but there’s certainly a strong correlation statistically between urban populations and the positivity rate. We enjoy a smaller population here in Palm Beach County than our neighbors to the south. And our efforts have borne that out that our positivity rate reflects the true commitment that we have to social distancing in this new world.”
But U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., expressed concerns about the plan to reopen Palm Beach County, which has had 3,615 coronavirus cases. Deutch wrote a letter to physician Alina Alonso, director of the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, and asked for her position on the county’s readiness to reopen.
“I am committed to meeting the economic challenges of this crisis, and I want to reopen our economy and society as soon as possible,” Deutch, who represents part of the county, wrote. “But unless we have the public health tools and strategies in place to keep Floridians safe, I am deeply concerned about the risk of renewed outbreaks that will cost more Palm Beach County residents their lives and only deepen the economic pain endured by workers and business owners.”
Also, state Sen. Lori Berman, D-Lantana, called the county reopening decision “troubling,” saying there have been 482 new coronavirus cases confirmed in the county since Monday.
“This growing increase shows that Palm Beach County has not yet succeeded in flattening the curve. At best, the county is in a high plateau,” Berman said in a prepared statement.
Palm Beach County commissioners had already agreed to allow limited recreational activities in the county, including golf, boating, tennis and the use of public parks, and have agreed to reopen beaches on May 18.
DeSantis has not set a timeline for the second and third phases of the reopening plan, which are expected to allow businesses such as movie theaters, gyms and tattoo parlors to reopen and eventually allow people to visit hospital patients and long-term care facilities.
As of today, 39,200 people in Florida had cumulatively tested positive for Covid-19, with 1,669 deaths statewide, four in Flagler.
–FlaglerLive and News Service of Florida
Wow, really? So, FL has not met the requirements to even enter phase 1, and is now spring boarding into opening places that shouldn’t open until phase 2. Did he and everyone else forget there is at least a 14-day incubation period before new cases pop up? We don’t know what the ramifications are yet from reopening what was opened. Sorry, I don’t need a haircut, or my nails done, not yet, maybe not for a good long while. You can open things up and move far too fast, but you can’t make someone spend their money, if they are uncomfortable. Salon A has a great track record of cleanliness, and is very on top of things. Meanwhile, Salon B ushers people in and out with scant sanitization. Salon B will cause an influx in cases not seen for at least 14 days.
I can’t anymore. It’s too exhausting trying to talk to people about this, about why slow mitigation is important, and why each phase needs to run at least 2, 14-day cycles. Doesn’t matter, people somehow think it’s a violation of their constitutional rights (it’s not, read the actual document), or that the law doesn’t apply to them so they break it and are then rewarded (the law still applies), or that somehow this is a conspiracy to make the nation socialist (it already is). It just isn’t worth it anymore. They won’t release these guidelines from the CDC because the detailed analysis leaves businesses open for lawsuits. They will modify them until they say, “Do what you want,” and leave it at that. Meanwhile, the death rate keeps rising (it’s not fake, if anything it’s an undercount from all the missed cases from at least Dec through early April), COVID cases keep increases (yes, it’s a real pandemic and not a DEM hoax), and now COVID is attacking and killing some kids in a unique way long after they’ve have the infection (yes, they all have been confirmed with COVID at some point through antibody tests). But hey, people will die to get the economy up and running again, right? Can’t just hide out forever, right? I mean, death is part of life, so get back to work, right? Unreal…just unreal.
Down south says
Hide in your bunker. Sounds like you are still collecting a pay check or are retired? We need to get back to work! Yes people will die but Look at the data. Unless you’re in a nursing home or over the age of 72 in poor health you have little to be concerned with.
Come on I need to get back to work. How about you?
Healthy people should not be afraid of healthy people! If you’re afraid stay home!
Now in the hair salons will they follow the rules. Which pretty much for a small shop only the customer and stylist will be in the shop or at least 6feet from the next station, large shops will the follow the rules. . And will they change their mask.
Willy Boy says
Now that’s a tonsorial palace. – Calif. tracked their communal spread to nail salons. Shave and a haircut won’t be 2 bits – it may be way more costly.
Good, easy industry to control, that should have never been closed to begin with.
Trailer Bob says
Too late…my wife already gave me a haircut. It came out pretty good and I will probably use her as my barber from here on in.
Long hair says
So, all salons and barbershops, nail salons allowed to reopen tomorrow without any specific guidelines? These people are not trained medical professionals so doubtful they’ll know exactly how to protect customers. There is zero ways to social distance while getting a haircut etc. If Trump didn’t reject the CDC’s guidelines for a safe reopening then the reopening should be delayed.
There are a lot of elderly who frequent hair salons and barbers etc and also many young people. Not a great mix under the circumstances. But why would I expect anything to make sense? Come one and all, get your hair done, facial mani-pedi. Might as well look good while in a hospital bed. Idiocracy at its finest.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Gotta say Long Hair hit the nail on the head……….
Foos James says
Here’s the deal the Republicans see the elderly, the young, people of color and the poor as a drain on society. They see and some have admitted publicly that it would be a good thing if people in these groups die. The pandemic facilitates this more rapidly and without damage to corporations and property.
Bottom line if you are one of the targeted groups you are on your own for safety, for safety guidance and you better damn well show up to vote those who, though they may not have caused the virus, HAVE FAILED to protect some of the citizens OUT. VOTE THEM OUT
Time to close all those Big Box stores which were never forced to close in the first place and allow small businesses to make some major profits. FYI, the number of cases in all Florida counties except Broward and Dade have continued to drop for several days. Those hospitalization numbers you see are cumulative and not our current state total total. Many will have to look that word up. If you are at risk and want to stay at home, that’s fine. But others must not be forced into homelessness because you are afraid. People must go on living.
Agreed! Common sense is not common anymore nowadays!
If there wasn’t a Republican in the White House right now a lot more people would be dead. People of all ages, of all races, and all social status. The fact is this virus does not pick and choose on those basis. Why would you ever vote for a Democrat who’s getting their paycheck now and not even going to work. Or doing the job they are getting paid to do. Did they do anything to help this country.?? They did however vote to give themselves a raise.