Florida Businesses Make Changes as State Reopens Florida Businesses Make Changes as State Re-opens

Business owners balance providing services while staying safe

West Palm Beach, FL (NCC News) — All across the county, businesses are starting to re-open their doors, but how they do businesses will be no doubtingly different as most business owners are finding a balance between how they conduct their business while also staying safe.

Florida has been among one of the early states to re-open, as it moves into the second week of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Phase One plan to reopen the state, which allows for elective surgeries to resume beaches and state parks to open, dine-in restaurants, fitness centers, and retail shops to open at 50 percent capacity.

Surprisingly, despite Florida being labeled as a probable hot spot during the early stages of the corona virus outbreak for its nearly 22 million population size and large elderly community, Florida’s cases remain low especially when compared to other large states like New York.

Florida’s unique COVID-19 circumstance had prompted DeSantis to cautiously re-open the state as quickly as possible.

“We understood that the outbreak was not uniform throughout the state, and we had a tailored and measured approach that not only helped our numbers be way below what anybody predicted, but also did less damage to our state going forward,” said DeSantis during an Oval Office meeting with President Trump on April 28.

Despite Florida defying corona virus predictions, businesses in the Sunshine state suffered. Dentist and owner of West Palm Beach Family Dental Dr. Estelle Beresford said the shutdown had put her in a difficult situation as both a business owner and a medical service provider.

“Are main thing was worrying about finances… because the Care Act even though the act went right in, it took weeks, for us to get any assistance during this period, when our business was mandatory to be down 90 percent,” Beresford said.

As a dentist, Beresford was required to stay open by DeSantis to treat emergency patients and with no firm science on the corona virus yet, Beresford was worried about the safety of her family, like so many of our healthcare workers.

“If I had to think about bringing this disease home to my kids or possibly catching it myself, I may have decided to do it differently, only because we didn’t have the science back,” Beresford said.

But now that Florida has reopened and non-essential medical procedures can resume, Beresford says it’s important to keep Florida’s numbers low to prevent an uptick in cases, so she is taking extra precautions.

“When you come to the door were taking your temperature, were asking you some questions, you know, have you come from an area that had a high percentage of Corona cases…  like New York or were you recently in Europe… you know what stay quarantine for a while don’t come here, because we want to keep this zone as clean as possible,” Beresford said.

Beresford said, one of the most surprising revelations upon re-opening her business is that fear of the corona virus is not keeping her patients away but it’s the virus’s effect on the economy that is.

“I thought it was going to be one out of two or one out of three would say I’m not ready to go out yet, or I’m not ready to go to the dentist, but not really, not for that reason, mostly my insurance changed, or my job is closed so I can’t get my work done, so more finical actually,” Beresford said.

As of yet New York state has not announced when its dental offices will be reopening for non-emergency patients.


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