As states like Texas and Georgia have reopened for business, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed a task force committee to make recommendations about how to put Florida back to work.
The 22-member committee, which included state elected leaders, county mayors and business officials from Disney World and Universal, have until Friday, April 24, to make their recommendations as to which businesses can reopen soon and when.
Florida remains under a stay-at-home order until April 30. The Re-Open Florida Task Force executive committee is using this week to develop plans to reopen the economy while minimizing close contact at businesses.
The governor has also created an Industry Working Group task force to tackle tourism, construction, real estate, recreation, retail and transportation issues.
Last week, DeSantis controversially announced that state beaches and parks were allowed to reopen under strict social distancing guidelines. Beaches in Jacksonville were the first to reopen in the country since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Florida Flattening The Curve” – DeSantis
In the meantime, Gov. DeSantis said that Florida has began to “flatten the curve” when compared to other countries and other states in America.
“We did not go the way of Italy, we did not go the way of New York City”, he said. “In fact, we’ve done much better”. As of April 22 (mid-day), Florida has 28,309 confirmed COVID-19 cases which include 893 deaths.
Health officials, including Dr. Raul Pino from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, have said it’s possible that the region already could have seen its peak in cases and deaths, although the threat from the pandemic remains far from over.
These are the people on the executive committee selected to help the governor determine how to best reopen the state for business:
- Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez
- Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis
- Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody
- Florida Senate President Bill Galvano
- Florida House of Representatives Speaker Jose Oliva
- State Sen. Wilton Simpson, president-designate
- State Rep. Chris Sprowls, speaker-designate
- Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran
- Enterprise Florida President & CEO Jamal Sowell
- Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez
- Broward County Mayor Dale Holness
- Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner
- John Couris, President & CEO, Tampa General Hospital
- Josh D’Amaro, President, Walt Disney World Resort
- Todd Jones, CEO, Publix Super Markets
- Syd Kitson, Chairman, Board of Governors for the State University System
- Paul Reilly, Chairman & CEO, Raymond James Financial
- Alex Sanchez, President & CEO, Florida Bankers Association
- Eric Silagy, President & CEO, Florida Power & Light Company
- John Sprouls, CEO, Universal Orlando Resort, Executive Vice President, Universal Parks & Resorts
- Patrick Sunderlin, Vice President, Global Supply Chain, Lockheed Martin Corporation
- Joe York, President, AT&T Florida and Caribbean