In a newsletter sent out on Wednesday, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis spoke about the progress the city has made and possible plans for reopening.
Trantalis noted how proud he was of the progress the city has made in terms of staying home and social distancing. He said that there must e a cautious, phased out approach to reopening in order to avoid the risk of a new outbreak occurring.
The mayor said that the decision to reopen will be based on the recommendations of "science partners, not the politicians."
With a possible outbreak peak predicted for sometime between April 26 and May 3, there should be a waiting time of a week or two with sustained reduction in cases before moving forward.
"Perhaps restaurants expand from just takeout and delivery services to a limited dine-in option where they operate at half of their capacity," he said. "Perhaps some recreational amenities can reopen such as beaches, parks, condo pools and boat ramps. Some businesses that were deemed non-essential could begin reopening."
COVID-19 will remain a threat until there is a vaccine discovered. Due to this, Trantalis believes that rules regarding face masks, large crowds, and social distancing may remain in place for some time.
Trantalis announced that the city has been working with the Florida Panthers hockey team and Cleveland clinic to establish a testing site at War Memorial Auditorium in Holiday Park. The Panthers would pay for this and Cleveland Clinic would operate it.
The city is also starting a food distribution event in conjunction with Feeding South Florida and the cities of Oakland Park and Wilton Manors. This will occur from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday at Mills Pond Park at 2201 NW 9 Ave. The food drive will be on a first-come-first-served basis, with a goal of feeding 1,000 families.
They are also working on tackling the issue of providing temporary shelter to the homeless population. The city is working with United Way to address the situation as soon as possible.