Recent Developments In Florida In Response To COVID-19

Cole Schotz
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Cole Schotz

Today, Palm Beach County joined the rest of the state, with the exception of Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, in Phase I of the plan to re-open the state.   That Phase I is set forth in Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-112 which was issued on April 29, 2019 and went into effect in all counties, except for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, last Monday, April 4, 2020. On Friday, April 8, 2020, the governor announced that Palm Beach County, too, would begin Phase I.

To summarize, amongst the most pertinent portions of  Executive Order 20-112  are the following:

  • Restaurants may open to provide services on premises, limited to 25 percent of their occupancy capacity as long as proper social distancing  measures are in place
  • Retail stores, too, may open, provided that “they operate at no more than 25 percent of their building occupancy and abide by the safety guidelines issued by the CDC and OSHA”
  • Subject to restrictions imposed by local governments, museums and libraries can open at 25 percent occupancy capacity
  • Elective medical procedures may resume, subject to the conditions set forth in the Executive Order

Broward and Miami-Dade Counties remain the only two counties in Florida that have not begun Phase I of the re-opening plan described in Executive Order 20-112  although it does appear that discussions are ongoing for Broward County to also begin Phase I shortly.

In addition, on May 4, 2020, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady issued Amendment #1 to Administrative Order 20-23.  Amendment #1 continues the suspension of civil and criminal jury trials and grand jury and jury selections proceedings through July 2, 2020 and actually expands the list of court proceedings that will be conducted remotely.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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