Governor approves Palm Beach County to begin Phase Two reopening

That leaves Broward and Miami-Dade counties as the only regions in the state in Phase One.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says Palm Beach County can move into Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan after the county entered Phase One in May.

“Today we’re moving Palm Beach County into Phase Two,” DeSantis said at a St. Petersburg brewery Thursday. On Friday, DeSantis followed up with an Executive Order officially approving the change.

The Governor’s Thursday remarks came as the DeSantis was discussing the state’s efforts to reopen bars in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. That won’t happen in Palm Beach County just yet. Though bars did reopen temporarily in most parts of the state, bars have remained closed in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties since March.

Instead, Palm Beach County will see several entertainment options reopening, such as bowling alleys, movie theaters and museums. The move into Phase Two will leave only Broward and Miami-Dade counties in Phase One of the state’s reopening process.

South Florida has served as the epicenter of the outbreak, though Palm Beach has fared better than its tri-county neighbors in recent weeks.

All three counties were hit hard in June and July after the first reopening effort. Palm Beach has seen its testing numbers drop precipitously through August and into September. Those numbers have dropped sharply in Broward and Miami-Dade counties as well, but are not yet as low as Palm Beach County.

Palm Beach officials have prepared for a possible move into Phase Two for weeks. That full plan will now be outlined in greater detail after the Governor’s approval.

Here are some of the weekly numbers for the previous three weeks throughout the South Florida tri-county area:


— Aug. 13-19: 58 new hospitalizations per day, 33 deaths per day, 1,184 new confirmed cases per day, 10.6% positivity rate.

— Aug. 20-26: 32 new hospitalizations per day, 23 deaths per day, 800 new confirmed cases per day, 8.5% positivity rate.

— Aug. 27-Sept. 2: 32 new hospitalizations per day, 36 deaths per day, 749 new confirmed cases per day, 7.7% positivity rate.


— Aug. 13-19: 93 new hospitalizations per day, 24 deaths per day, 491 new confirmed cases per day, 7.4% positivity rate.

— Aug. 20-26: 53 new hospitalizations per day, 17 deaths per day, 305 new confirmed cases per day, 5.4% positivity rate.

— Aug. 27-Sept. 2: 26 new hospitalizations per day, 5 deaths per day, 366 new confirmed cases per day, 5.1% positivity rate.

Palm Beach

— Aug. 13-19: 22 new hospitalizations per day, 11 deaths per day, 237 new confirmed cases per day, 6.1% positivity rate.

— Aug. 20-26: 21 new hospitalizations per day, 8 deaths per day, 190 new confirmed cases per day, 4.6% positivity rate.

— Aug. 27-Sept. 2: 19 new hospitalizations per day, 8 deaths per day, 216 new confirmed cases per day, 4.3% positivity rate.


Editor’s note on methodology: The Florida Department of Health releases new data every morning around 10:45 a.m. The total number reported in those daily reports include the previous day’s totals as well as the most up to date data as of about 9:30 a.m.

Florida Politics uses the report-over-report increase to document the number of new cases each day because it represents the most up-to-date data available. Some of the more specific data, including positivity rates and demographics, considers a different data set that includes only cases reported the previous day.

This is important to note because the DOH report lists different daily totals than our methodology to show day-over-day trends. Their numbers do not include nonresidents who tested positive in the state and they only include single-day data, therefore some data in the DOH report may appear lower than what we report.

Our methodology was established based on careful consideration among our editorial staff to capture both the most recent and accurate trends.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


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