DeSantis announces task force to look at reopening state

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:

There is no answer yet to the question of when Florida will reopen, but Gov. Ron DeSantis said this week they’ll look at what reopening means.

The long-awaited return to pre-coronavirus life may not be so long away for some states, according to President Donald Trump.

“It’s going to be very, very close, maybe even before the date of May 1,” he said.

And on Tuesday, DeSantis announced a task force to look at how to reopen Florida, just days after Trump announced he will have a team to look at reopening the country.

“It’s the education. It’s the quality of life. It’s exercise and health, mental health,” DeSantis said.

Ericka Lopez, a Bonita Springs mom whose daughter is battling leukemia, said that reopening the state while there’s no way to track all the COVID-19 cases is a life or death situation for her daughter.

“You go to school and you bring that with you  — guess what? That could be my daughter’s life right there,” she said.

But others said reopening the economy may be a lifeline.

Behind each lost job is a family and countless unmet needs.

“For three hours we’re just kind of sitting here, looking at each other, looking at the walls,” said Jasmine Fedoriv, co-owner of Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls.

The downtown restaurant owners are still paying their rent, even though their dining room is empty.

“We’re just in here trying to make this place stay alive, that’s pretty much it.”

They hope to find out soon how the task force will let them operate in the next phase – and when.

“If this happened tomorrow, I mean, it’s impossible, I wouldn’t be ready for that,” said Yuriy Fedoriv.

DeSantis must also decide when schools will reopen. The president of the Florida Education Association shared on Twitter a letter he said he sent to DeSantis, asking for schools to stay closed for the rest of the school year.

Lopez said that even if schools reopen, she wouldn’t send her daughter because she feels her life is still on the line.

Part of the task force’s job will be to define what fall semester will look like for schools, especially if there is a second wave of COVID-19.

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