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Hillsborough Could Consider Reopening For Business Next Week

Sign on Bayshore Boulevard says 6 Feet Apart
Hillsborough County will vote on Monday on possibly lifting or modifying the county's stay-at-home order.

Members of the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group are slowly moving toward reopening the county for business.

On Thursday, the board delayed a vote until Monday on possibly lifting or modifying the county's stay-at-home order.

They chose to wait until Gov. Ron DeSantis takes action on the statewide policy, which could happen as soon as today.

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Donna Petersen, dean of the University of South Florida College of Public Health, told the group it's going to take everyone working together to keep the numbers of coronavirus infections down.

"As we reopen businesses, do they have the capacity to maintain the distancing between the workers and the customers?” Petersen said. “Do workplaces have the ability to keep workers safe? Are people comfortable wearing face coverings in public?"

Board members were told by health care professionals that ending the stay-at-home policy should happen only after new cases of COVID-19 decrease for at least two weeks.

And then there should be enough public health workers to trace everyone who has been in contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.