On Friday, September 25 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that effective immediately, the state would move into Phase 3 of its reopening plan. After a rough summer, the state’s Coronavirus numbers have dropped and then remained fairly steady. The positivity rate has hovered just under or a little over five percent for the past couple of weeks. A consistent positivity rate below ten percent is supposed to mean that there has been a decline in cases.
The main part of Phase 3 is that restaurants are allowed to move to full capacity. The governor’s order also prohibits localities from limiting capacity, unless they can prove that it’s for health reasons. Coronavirus related fines for things such as defying mask ordinances are also no longer allowed. You can read all about Florida’s Phase 3 here.
Since this is a Disney fan page, I thought I’d mention how this will affect Walt Disney World. Honestly, we don’t know yet. The theme parks were not mentioned at the press conference. Walt Disney World is private property, and they can set their own rules. They will be allowed to increase capacity at restaurants, but that doesn’t mean that they will do it. Disney has put safety first every step of the way. Remember, they decided to shut down before COVID-19 had reached the area. They were never ordered to close, they made a decision that cost them billions of dollars in lost revenue on their own.
I’ve already seen people say that with Phase 3 the mask requirement will be dropped at Walt Disney World. Don’t expect that to happen. Disney and the union that many Cast Members are part of came to an agreement that face coverings would be required. It had nothing to do with the state. Florida doesn’t even have a mask mandate, it’s Orange and Osceola Counties that do. Honestly, I think that face coverings will be required at Walt Disney World until there is a vaccine, but that’s just a guess on my part.
We also don’t know if this means that the theme parks will increase capacity. DeSantis gave them the go ahead for that weeks ago, but they have still been careful. The counties have something to say about increased capacity as well.
Personally, I think that it’s too early to move into Phase 3. There were still over 2,800 new cases reported in the state just yesterday. This virus is not under control, and just because numbers look better today doesn’t mean that they’ll look good two weeks from now. That’s what happened during the summer. Florida did well in the early days, and things started to reopen. People didn’t take it seriously anymore, and our numbers skyrocketed. I hope that it doesn’t happen again. DeSantis wants to boost the economy, but that won’t happen when many states have two week quarantine orders if traveling back from Florida. I hope that this isn’t a move in the wrong direction.