Gov. DeSantis says sports and exercise priorities for reopening

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By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
April 15, 2020

Courtesy: AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to announce a task force this week that will look at how to reopen Florida when the coronavirus pandemic slows.

“They're going to look at all different sectors of the economy. You know, what does a restaurant look like kind of in the era going forward?” said DeSantis.

Concerned about Floridians’ mental health, the governor hopes restarting certain professional sporting events may give people a sense of normalcy.

"I'd like to see, you know, Woods and Mickelson do the golf or whatever because that's social distance. You wouldn't have a gallery there, you wouldn't have crowds, but to put that on TV. I think people have been starved for content,” said DeSantis.

The state is allowing the WWE to film in Orlando and made a similar offer to the UFC.

There are also reportedly discussions in the works to potentially proceed with the MLB’s Spring training in Florida.

Melanie Brown-Woofter with the Florida Behavioral Health Association said it could help, so long as the right public health measures are in place.

“Being able to keep to your normal routine is really important, especially in times like these,” said Brown-Woofter. “We just have to be able to balance those activities that we did prior to the social distancing and the physical distancing with where we are now.”

But DeSantis is also worried about Floridian’s physical health, suggesting gyms and other recreation may be beneficial.

“Obesity is like the number one factor in whether you really get hit hard by COVID-19 and so my fear has been kind of in the last month and continue going I wonder how the physical activity has been,” said DeSantis.

At the same time, the governor is discussing loosening restrictions, the state’s Surgeon General has said he believes social distancing measures will be necessary until there’s a vaccine, which is likely at least a year away.

For those struggling with mental health issues during the pandemic you can visit the Florida Behavioral Health Association or