By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – On Saturday Palm Beach County released their COVID-19 update and confirmed that the county will begin reopening on May 11th. The medical field and scientist continue to voice concern about the spread of the Coronavirus, but many suffering from the devastated economy are ready to get back to work.
The update stated that ‘pursuant to the State of Florida Executive Order 20-112 as amended by order 20-120 effective 12:01 AM’. Now residents may provide or obtain services at establishments in industries authorized to proceed to Phase 1.
Restaurants and food establishments licensed under Chapters 500 or 509, Florida Statutes, may allow on-premises consumption of food and beverage, so long as they adopt appropriate social distancing measures and limit their indoor occupancy to no more than 25 percent of their building occupancy.
In addition, outdoor seating is permissible with appropriate social distancing. Appropriate social distancing requires maintaining a minimum of six feet between parties, only seating parties of ten or fewer people and keeping bar counters closed to seating.
In-store retail sales establishments may open storefronts if they operate at no more than 25 percent of their building occupancy and abide by the safety guidelines issued by the CDC and OSHA.
Barbershops, cosmetology salons, and cosmetology specialty salons that adopt appropriate social distancing and precautionary measures as outlined by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation at the following link: www.myfloridalicense.com/emergency.
Museum and library facilities may open at no more than 25 percent of their building occupancy, however, at this time Palm Beach County will not be opening these establishments and County library services remain virtual.
Also the Clerk & Comptroller, Palm Beach County resumed public services at all locations beginning at 8AM today enabling customers to pay a traffic ticket, record mortgages and deeds, or conduct other business in person. For the safety of customers and Clerk & Comptroller employees, new protocols have been implemented for anyone visiting, including face covering and keeping the six foot distance.
Effective Monday, May 11th, all Palm Tran riders shall be required to wear facial coverings. Palm Tran continues to limit the number of passengers on board buses to ensure social distancing.
Regarding the county’s shoreline, County Administrator Verdenia Baker briefed the board on Friday, May 8th, on the plan to open beaches. The plan includes the recommendations of a working group, input from cities, input from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and from the PBC Parks and Recreation Department.
The details of the beaches opening will be finalized at a special meeting to be held on Friday, May 15th. The board voted to open all private and public beaches effective no later than May 18th, by way of County Order 2020-006. Social distancing procedures would remain in effect.
Commissioner unanimously approved a draft list of expenditures related to a $250 million grant from the federal Cares Act. The funds must be used by December 31 for COVID-19 related costs that were not already in the county budget.
The programs funded include Emergency Food Distribution, Individual & Family Housing Assistance, Human Services Assistance, Restart Small Business Grant, Business Grants, Countywide Testing, Non-Congregate Sheltering, Re-employment Training and Broadband Enhancements.
For up-to-date reopenings, go to PBCGOV.com Reopening Plans and for questions click here FAQs.