Task force on reopening Florida to address ‘everything under the sun’

Ron DeSantis
People in elected office, business, education and more will comprise the task force.

Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ task force to study reopening Florida will study an array of topics to outline a framework for what everyday life in the state looks like as the battle against COVID-19 continues.

On Tuesday, the Governor first announced the task force on exploring the second phase of the state’s coronavirus response. He outlined more details on what the team will study including small business, agriculture, restaurants, tourism and international travel, large events and conventions, recreation and education.

“I’ll be seeking advice and ideas on pretty much everything under the sun,” DeSantis said.

The Governor has been assembling the team and should have everyone on board by the end of the day. And by the end of the week, he will likely make public the list of task force members.

“What I want to do is tap into people in elected office, people in business, people who are involved in education and all kinds of things, and get the best ideas about what’s the most prudent way to move forward,” he said.

DeSantis and Surgeon General Scott Rivkees have painted an optimistic picture, perhaps warranted, of the trajectory of new cases in the state. While models suggest the virus’ peak in Florida is still to come, the number of new cases per day appears to have plateaued at no higher than 1,200.

“Now that we are seeing these trends, we obviously have got to be thinking about what the next steps are for the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.

With the Department of Education’s advisory for schools to stay closed expiring next month, the Governor and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran face a looming deadline to decide if schools will open again before the end of the school year.

The state appears more likely to extend that advisory, at least for parts of the state, as more superintendents come out against reopening schools in May. On Thursday, DeSantis and Corcoran said if parents, school administrators and the department felt it was safe to return for a couple weeks, to return things to normalcy, the state would let the advisory lapse.

But DeSantis’ statements Thursday that “if it’s safe, we want kids to be in school” and “I think most parents want that,” wound up some people, he said.

“I said if parents think it’s safe, they would prefer kids in school. And I think that’s true, but that’s a contingency on that,” DeSantis said.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


4 comments

  • Marlene

    April 15, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    Until we have widespread and accurate testing, including antibody testing, and full transparency from our state government, no one in their right mind will be going out into an “open economy,” whether it’s for school, recreation, sports, or the economy. All the others, (i.e. those not in their right minds), have at it.

  • BlueHeron

    April 16, 2020 at 12:01 am

    What Marlene said.

    It’s all about testing, testing and more testing.

    DeSantes can ask his mentor for all of those “beautiful” tests.

  • Sonja Fitch

    April 16, 2020 at 6:02 am

    Best case scenario is Florida peaks May 5. I would urge Desantis work with l 10corridor states and counties and I 95 corridor states counties and I75 corridors counties states. I4 counties! counties with prisons and ALF plan

  • Ron

    April 21, 2020 at 11:25 am

    Excuse me but how are you going to explain leaving out the Agcriculture Commissioner Nikki Freid from the reopening task force committee,she was elected staewide and wasn’t asked so if you do decide to open how will you know what Agriculture people think about,and anyway why did we close schools for the rest of the year and going to do what trump want s if this deadly virus is over with

Comments are closed.


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