Governor DeSantis: South Florida Will Reopen Soon 

Governor DeSantis has announced that South Florida counties excluded from reopening during the states’ “Phase 1” plan will be able to start reopening “soon”. He cited “good trends” in the counties, though did not provide a specific date for their reopening. This news comes after Palm Beach County commissioners voted to send a letter asking the governor to add their county to the “Phase 1” plan earlier this week.  

Florida Unemployment Lawsuit Dismissed 

Several Florida residents filed a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in an attempt to force the state to pay unemployment benefits that have been delayed. A judge dismissed the lawsuit yesterday, finding that the plaintiffs did not meet the requirements for a writ of mandamus. A similar suit remains active.  

Libraries Reopening 

Hernando County, Citrus County, Pasco County, Sarasota County, and Polk County libraries have opened on a limited basis. Citrus County and Sarasota County libraries are offering curbside pickup and Polk County libraries are offering ‘Books-by-Mail’. Pinellas County libraries will begin reopening on May 11, while Hillsborough County and Manatee County libraries have not yet announced a reopening date

Hillsborough Emergency Policy Group Extends State of Emergency  

The Hillsborough Emergency Policy Group met this afternoon and extended the local state of emergency. Members of the group voted unanimously to keep the state of emergency order active for an additional week. Watch a recording of the meeting here:

Pasco CARES Program Reaches Limit Within 15 Minutes of Opening 

The Pasco County CARES Program opened and closed today. The economic relief program reached its limit 15 minutes after it opened for applications. The program offered funds to 1,200 residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to be used for housing and utility expenses.  

Jacksonville Will Expand Outdoor Seating Options for Restaurants 

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has announced that he will be making it easier for restaurants to comply with the governor’s “Phase 1” requirements for reduced capacity. For these purposes, Jacksonville’s outdoor dining ordinance will not be enforced. He is expected to announce further guidelines next week in relation to this effort.  

Updated Numbers   

There are now 38,828 cases throughout the state of Florida and 1,600 deaths. In Duval County, there are 1,083 cases and 28 deaths. In Hillsborough County, there are 1,364 cases and 36 deaths. In Orange County, there are 1,474 cases and 36 deaths. In Pasco County, there are 289 cases and 9 deaths. In Pinellas County, there are 820 cases and 56 deaths. In Polk County, there are 594 cases and 30 deaths. For updated data, visit:  




Florida Department of Health:    

U.S. Chamber of Commerce:    

Florida Chamber of Commerce: 

Tampa Chamber of Commerce: 

Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce: 
Lakeland Chamber of Commerce: 

St. Pete Chamber of Commerce: