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reopening

A chart of the three models with a photo of a man in the bottom left corner.
Hillsborough County Public Schools

As Hillsborough County students prepare for school in August, the district is working on what that return will look like.

During a school board workshop on Tuesday, Superintendent Addison Davis presented three models for reopening, each linked to different levels of spread of the disease.

Florida University Reopening Plans Given Green Light

Jun 23, 2020
students in university lecture hall
iStock

As Gov. Ron DeSantis increasingly points to young adults as the source for a spike in coronavirus cases in Florida, public universities across the state are moving forward with plans to reopen campuses in the fall. 

The Florida university system’s Board of Governors on Tuesday approved individual reopening plans put together by each of the state’s 12 state universities.

University of South Florida entrance
University of South Florida

The University of South Florida is rolling out its plan to reopen its campuses.

Phase one of a four phase plan approved last week by the Board of Trustees goes into effect Monday.

Florida Releases Plan To Reopen Schools

Jun 11, 2020
man stands at podium with flag and interpreter behind him
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis and state education officials on Thursday released a plan to reopen public schools at full capacity in August, saying that vulnerable kids and Floridians need the return to in-person instruction.

“While there may be challenges regionally, Florida’s workforce and students with the greatest needs are counting on schools to fight to stay open,” the Florida Department of Education stated in the 143-page plan issued Thursday.

Veteran Harry Stapleton (right) does a video chat with his sister Maria Mishkind and her husband John.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

Like many long-term care facilities, VA nursing homes haven't allowed in-person visitation since early March. The separation has been hard on veterans and their families.

Bulls statues at Marshall Center on USF campus
Carl Lisciandrello / WUSF Public Media

Because of COVID-19, the University of South Florida has been closed to all but essential personnel since March, with classes in the last half of the spring and all summer being held online.

That will soon change, as trustees approved a plan Tuesday that gradually reopens the school for the fall semester.

A college campus with main college welcome center
Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is closing its satellite location in Lakeland.  

The private Catholic university is based in Pasco County and operates remote locations in seven states.  Lakeland is one of 17  facilities slated to close over the next few months.

Host Matthew Peddie (on right half of the screenshot) speaks with Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel (on left half of the screenshot).
The State We're In/Facebook / WMFE and WUSF Public Media

Legoland officially reopened Monday and it offered some clues about what theme park fans might expect in the post-pandemic world.

Reporter Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel visited the Winter Haven park and says it's a lot like other businesses that are trying to minimize the spread of coronavirus.

people on the uphill part of a high rollercoaster
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay/Facebook

Busch Gardens in Tampa is opening back up on Thursday, June 11.

That’s a full month earlier than Disney World and about a week after Universal Studios plans to reopen.

University Leaders Approve Plan To Reopen Campuses To Students Amid COVID-19

May 29, 2020
Bull statues on USF campus
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

With COVID-19 concerns still pressing on the Fall semester for Florida universities and others nationwide, the Board of Governors approved the State University System’s plans to bring students back to campus.

University of South Florida entrance
University of South Florida

The Florida Board of Governors is scheduled to talk about plans for reopening the state's twelve public universities Thursday.

The University of South Florida released a revised calendar for the fall semester ahead of that meeting.

Host Matthew Peddie (on left half of the screen) speaks with Robert Niles of ThemeParkInsider.com (on right half of the screen).
The State We're In/Facebook / WMFE and WUSF Public Media

When the first of Florida’s theme parks reopen next week, Robert Niles predicts they will be taking a cautious approach towards welcoming visitors back.

“On the attractions themselves, that’s a managed environment. Once they enter the queue for an attraction, it’s relatively simple as a concept to keep people spaced apart,” Niles said. “It’s out there on the streets of the theme park where the challenge [arises].”

summer camp poster
Susan Giles Wantuck/WUSF Public Media

Now that the school year is coming to a close, parents are trying to figure out what their children will do this summer.

Many camps are being canceled, and even if they aren't, some parents don't feel comfortable sending their children out during the coronavirus pandemic.

Florida's Universities Focused On Reopening While Grappling With Many Questions

May 25, 2020
a young woman holds a sign thanking Corona while resting her foot on a bunch of toilet paper in front of a USF sign
USF Alumni Association/Twitter

As Florida universities face a mid-June deadline to solidify plans for safely reopening campuses in the fall, some school leaders continue to wrestle with questions.

New York is "decidedly in the reopening phase," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday, as the state hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic gave sports leagues, campgrounds and veterinarian offices the green light to start up again, with modifications.

Professional sports leagues in the state are now able to begin training camps, Cuomo said during his daily press conference, adding that having teams come back, even without spectators, would mark a "return to normalcy."

iStock

Hillsborough is among the latest counties to be approved to open short-term vacation rentals in Florida.

aerial photo of skyline with Tampa Bay behind it
Pinellas County

Four Tampa Bay area counties have received approval from the state for short-term vacation rental properties to resume accepting reservations and check-ins.

The rulings are effective immediately -- just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

Waiter wearing mask waits on man and woman at restaurant patio.
City of Sarasota

Now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced expanded capacity for restaurants starting Monday, local communities are figuring out how to enact those orders. 

Under the governor's directive, restaurants will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. They can also expand outdoor service as long as there is a six foot distance between tables.

gymnasium door
Carl Lisciandrello / WUSF Public Media

Florida gymnasiums and fitness centers are among the latest places able to begin reopening.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the latest steps in his plan to get businesses back up and running during the coronavirus pandemic at a Friday press conference in Jacksonville.

casino floor with slot machines
Seminole Hard Rock Tampa

It may just be a matter of weeks until the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa reopens.

Jim Allen, the Chairman and CEO of the Seminole Tribe of Florida's gaming company, told Fox Business News on Thursday that they could open the doors on their Florida properties at the end of this month or in early June.

people sitting by rocks and water with pier
City of Tampa

As part of Phase 1 of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to reopen Florida during the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Tampa reopened 13 park trails, beaches, and dog parks May 4.

Tampa will reopen the rest of the city parks starting Saturday.

The state’s economy has taken what Governor Ron DeSantis calls its first “small step” to reopening. Now, lawmakers and economists are trying to get a sense of the hit they’ve taken from weeks of closures.

It’s now been a week since restaurants and retail businesses were allowed to open at 25 percent indoor capacity. Restaurants can also use outdoor seating, provided social distancing guidelines are observed. But for some restaurants, customers are still coming in at a trickle.

Diners enjoy outdoor seating at Parkshore Grill in St. Petersburg on Monday. Tables must be spaced six feet apart.
Tyson Grant / Parkshore Grill

Diners are returning to Tampa Bay area restaurants for sit-down service now that the state is letting them reopen with limited capacity.


business closing notice
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Under phase one of the plan announced Wednesday by Governor Ron DeSantis, a number of businesses in Florida will be allowed to reopen Monday. But one analyst says there are still lots of unknowns.

Updated at 7:21 p.m. ET

The White House unveiled guidelines on Thursday it said the nation can use to plot a course out of the coronavirus disaster and toward something like normal.

Trump also spoke via teleconference with the governors of the 50 states earlier Thursday to outline his plan for the way they'll proceed with re-opening and normalization.

President Trump spoke to governors Thursday, outlining recommendations for states to reopen based on several factors.

The Trump administration has shared a guideline of three phases for states to begin easing social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders, according to a copy of the guidelines obtained by NPR's Tamara Keith.