Seminole County leaders say they will follow governor’s plan on reopening

Seminole County officials say they’re following the governor’s guidelines when it comes to reopening and working to support local businesses that must remain closed.

Just minutes after Governor Ron DeSantis wrapped up his announcement on the state's Phase 1 plan, leaders in Seminole County held a news conference of their own.

“We will continue to adhere to federal and state guidelines,” said Jay Zembower, Seminole Co. Chairman.

County officials tweaking their “social distancing order” which was issued in late March. They say employees and customers are allowed to be within six feet of each other but they need to wear masks.  The order also sets capacity limits for places like restaurants, which are allowed to open dining rooms again.

“We are going to modify our occupancy level to 25 percent consistent with what the governor has stated,” said Alan Harris of Seminole Co. Emergency Management.

As Florida shifts into this next phase, Seminole County leaders stress they’ve never run out of hospital beds or PPE for first responders.  

They’ve also increased local testing.

“Since the pop testing started in disadvantaged areas we have tested 2,000. Our positivity rate last was 8.4 percent. Were down to 5.6 percent so we are seeing a decline,” said Donna Walsh, Seminole County’s Health Officer.

While some businesses will be opening their doors again Monday, the county says it’s trying to find ways to support those who can’t yet like hair salons and gyms.

“I will be looking at any fees or anything that we can waive in the way of red tape at the county level to assist small business when the time comes,” Zembower said.

He added the county will also be looking at waiving fees for citizens.