By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – Just after 7PM on Friday, May 8th, the City of Delray Beach announced that in keeping with the order issued April 29th by Governor Ron Desantis, the City will end its stay at home order and curfew, and will no longer mandate the use of facial coverings. Scientist remain concerned about the spread of the Coronavirus, however officials are pushing to get life back to the new normal.
The initial order was in response to the COVID-19 pandemic started March 30th, and was planned to remain in effect until April 16th to be extended on a weekly basis.
The ‘stay-at-home’ order did not require residents to confine themselves to the interior of their homes. Residents were able to make use of all exterior portions of their homes and could leave their homes to travel to supermarkets, essential businesses and workplaces, medical facilities, as well as walk their dogs and to exercise.
A new curfew was also set in place, and at the time Police Chief Javaro Sims said there were no problems. “The curfew kicked in at 12:01 this morning,” Sims told local news. There haven’t been any issues.”
Mayor Shelly Petrolia also understood some people may not have believe a curfew is necessary, but she stresses it could help protect businesses and first responders. “It helps with our local police department and policing,” Petrolia said.
She added, “It also is a safety measure that we are doing in order to protect property and making sure people aren’t out on our streets after hours doing things they shouldn’t be.”
Now that the curfew is lifted, the City ‘encourages everyone to continue to follow all Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations regarding physical distancing and similar measures meant to prevent or slow the spread of the virus’.
Meanwhile residents of Delray Beach are anxiously awaiting news on when Palm Beach County will allow beaches to open, as well as how local City government will role out the decision. The Delray Beach City Commission held a Special Meeting on Beach Opening Implementation at 2PM on Thursday, and the County meet Friday morning.
In coordination with Palm Beach County, the City of Delray Beach began a phased and gradual reopening of city parks and golf courses, with restrictions, effective Wednesday, April 29, 2020.
As of the morning of May 9th, the confirmed cases neared 4 million worldwide, with more than 275,000 deaths. Florida reports 40,001 coronavirus cases, deaths reach 1,715. In Palm Beach County, the confirmed cases are 3,798 and deaths are 237.
The CDC provides guidance, “Reopening America requires all of us to move forward together by practicing social distancing and other daily habits to reduce our risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
“Reopening the country also strongly relies on public health strategies, including increased testing of people for the virus, social distancing, isolation, and keeping track of how someone infected might have infected other people.”