DeSantis weighing options on how to open Florida economy back up

Reporter: Nicole Lauren
Published: Updated:
Gov. DeSantis holds a briefing on the coronavirus – April 1, 2020 (WINK News)

Remember the last time you could sit at a restaurant? Friday is the four-week mark, and lawmakers are now looking at ways to open the economy back up.

On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis is talking with President Donald Trump about steps to reopen the economy.

“Time is of the essence; I want to make sure we’re getting all the best ideas possible… I think the folks who have been negatively impacted economically, socially, or otherwise, we do have a responsibility to think about them and get people back on their feet,” said DeSantis.

The governor said he’ll announce who is on his economic revival task force by the end of the week.

We asked a local expert how he’d advise the governor if he were on the panel.

Dr. Shelton Weeks, a finance professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, said that they need to be thinking about what types of businesses are best suited to reopen in the first wave.

Places like restaurants, with lots of close contact, probably wouldn’t be on the list.

But there are many others where shifts could be staggered or other safeguards put in place to help minimize the risk of infection.

Weeks said the priority will be on safety.

“We may try some things and take a step forward and then have to back off of that a little bit… the main thing is to try to find that balance between getting the doors of business is back open and still maintaining safety,” Weeks said.

DeSantis said he is aware of the risks to the public if we ease off social distancing guidelines too soon, and wants to make sure we’re prepared for a potential second wave of this virus down the road.

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