Palm Beach County commissioners voted Tuesday to take up a debate on joining Florida’s Phase 2 reopening next week.
Since June, most of Florida entered Phase 2, which allows for more occupancy in restaurants and bars, re-opening movie theaters, bowling alleys, etc; Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties stayed in Phase 1.
For weeks, Palm Beach County leaders say they’re headed in the right direction to consider entering Phase 2. While the commission can vote to request to enter Phase 2, Governor Ron DeSantis will have the final approval.
Leaders heard from Palm Beach County Health Director Dr. Alina Alonso who said trends are going in the right direction, but urged a phased-in approach to moving into the next level of reopening. Alonso also urged people to get a flu shot.
The meeting had a few tense moments. One woman tried to speak on the issue of reopening playgrounds, which was not yet up for debate.
County administrator Verdenia Baker piped in to say the county plans to reopen playgrounds with COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday.
Another tense moment took place outside the commission chambers. A small crowd gathered to voice their concerns over not being heard about their call to move the county into the next phase.
According to a Facebook event, titled “PBC Demands Phase 2,” those gathering plan to urge county leaders to request to enter Phase 2 of re-opening. The Facebook event says its purpose is to promote reopening closed businesses and giving parents an option to send their children to brick and mortar instruction. The new school year for Palm Beach County starts next week.