Speed Reads

safety last

Florida's DeSantis lets businesses fully reopen a day after reporting the most coronavirus deaths in the U.S.

Florida's coronavirus recovery isn't going so well. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) apparently didn't notice.

DeSantis announced Friday the whole state would move to the third and final phase of its reopening plan. That means businesses, including bars and restaurants, will be allowed to operate at full capacity even as the state continues to see thousands of new COVID-19 cases each day.

Until DeSantis' announcement at a press conference, bar and restaurant capacity was limited to 50 percent throughout the state. Local municipalities can still limit capacity between 50 and 100 percent, but will have to clear those restrictions with the state, DeSantis said.

DeSantis credited a drop in daily coronavirus infections and deaths for the decision, and it's true that Florida's coronavirus outlook has improved since a huge spike in July. But it still is seeing thousands of new cases and deaths each day; Florida reported 162 deaths since Thursday, the highest count of any state. Coronavirus hospitalizations have also stopped dropping steadily like they had been since the summer, and instead seem to have flattened, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Reopening restaurants and bars — places the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have indicated are exceptionally risky during the pandemic — won't help Florida's coronavirus fight.