Leon County Commissioners hear update on local reopening phases

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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 21, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Leon County Commissioners heard an update on reopening plans during their virtual meeting. The County is currently in Phase I of its reopen, in line with the state of Florida.

Commissioners heard about what Phases II and III could look like, as well as their options for stricter restrictions.

Leon County is a charter county, which means it has expansive home rule powers. According to the County Attorney, Leon County has the ability to create restrictions that are more strict on certain businesses, such as restaurants, retail and gyms. However, Commissioners unanimously voted to accept the reopening plan as is.

Under Phase I, most parks and trails are open, but community centers and libraries are not (with the exception of curbside service).

Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge says the County is trying to ensure people don't congregate in groups of more than 10.

"Well, for instance, we made the decision to close down our dog parks. And the reason was, if we allow the dog parks to open, they're wildly popular, we can't afford to have somebody there to tell only 10 people at a time can go in here, and I realize they're large enough," said Commissioner Desloge.

Commissioners also unanimously voted to direct the County Administrator to seek approval of vacation rental in Leon County by submitting a safety plan to the state.

County Administrator Vince Long discussed what Phases II and III could look like, but they are subject to change.

Phase II

Each Phase was laid out with separate slides for community individuals and employers, and a section for government operations.

Phase II for Community Individuals and Employers:

  • Visits to senior living facilities prohibited

  • Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home

  • Non-essential travel can resume

  • Social settings of more than 50 people should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed

  • Bars, pubs, nightclubs should operate at no more than 50% of building capacity

  • Restaurants should operate at no more than 75% of building capacity

  • Gyms and fitness centers should operate at no more than 75% building capacity

  • State park overnight facilities to remain closed

  • Large venues (movie theaters, concert halls, auditoriums, bowling alleys) should operate at no more than 75% capacity

  • Large sporting events should limit occupancy of venues to 50% of building capacity

  • Retail and personal service businesses (cosmetology salons, barber shops, and nail salons) should limit occupancy to 75% of building capacity
  • Under Phase II, Leon County government operations would maintain curbside services for libraries, but campgrounds and community centers will remain closed.

    Phase III

    Phase Three for Community Individuals and Employers:

  • Vulnerable individuals can resume some interactions but should practice physical distancing and wear masks

  • Non-vulnerable populations should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments

  • Non-essential travel can continue

  • Establishments (bars, pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, gyms, and fitness centers) can operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols

  • Large venues (movie theaters, concert halls, auditoriums, bowling alleys) can operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols

  • State parks will fully re-open including overnight accommodations

  • Vacation rentals should resume normal operations

  • Large sporting events should consider reducing capacity with limited social distancing protocols


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