Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner sent a letter to the governor Thursday asking for permission to begin reopening non-essential businesses.
“We are recommending you consider and grant our county the opportunity to reopen in Phase 1 of your plan in a similar fashion to other counties of the state outside of South Florida,” Kerner wrote, noting that the county’s commissioners have deemed them ready. “We would like to engage in discussions with you regarding the acceleration of this at the earliest possible date.”
As of Thursday, Palm Beach has reported 3,587 cases of COVID-19, with 222 deaths and 577 hospitalizations.
The numbers are fewer than those in Miami-Dade (13,585 cases, 454 deaths, 1,942 hospitalizations) and Broward (5,677 cases, 230 deaths, 1,125 hospitalizations).
DeSantis in a visit to Miami Gardens on Wednesday said that South Florida is getting closer to reopening, but he declined to give a timetable.
The local counties had spoken about aligning their reopening plans so that people from one county wouldn’t flock to another that had loosened its restrictions earlier.
According to reporting from Local 10 News, DeSantis’ staff was aware of the letter from Palm Beach County on Thursday night but had no comment.