Cummings: ‘Bullish’ plans could put Florida back to work soon

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Rep. Travis Cummings, a member of the Governor’s Re-Open Florida Task Force, expressed confidence that Gov. Ron DeSantis is “bullish” about getting Florida back to work.

The Orange Park Republican talked to Jacksonville’s WOKV Monday, and echoed the governor’s own comments about “risk” levels of businesses being factors in their opening.

“There are certain businesses that are lower-risk or moderate-risk that need to be put back to work,” Cummings said. “I think the governor in the next couple of days is going to weigh in for sure.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis has been touring hospitals around the state, with doctors backing his narrative of flattening the curve.

DeSantis has mused openly about moving beyond “essential” and “non-essential” businesses for restrictions going forward, questioning the need to keep “low-risk” businesses closed past the end of the month.

Cummings spotlighted elective surgeries as a product line medical centers will soon offer again, having suspended them last month to free up capacity for the expected COVID-19 case surge.

“The reality is a lot of preventative screenings, cancer treatments, mammograms, colonoscopies, you name it … the Governor is bullish to get those businesses back open.”

Physician groups and hospitals look likely to get the green light.

The current Executive Order runs out May 8, but there seems to be an argument for moving forward more quickly, at least in parts of the state where the curve has clearly flattened.

Restaurants, limited to to-go and delivery options for going on two months, likewise look likely to have some more latitude for dine-in service.

“Outdoor seating” and “capacity limitations” will factor into the recommendations, Cummings expects.

And some regions, he added, will have more latitude than others, a factor contingent on how effectively the COVID-19 curve has flattened.

“The Governor will probably look at this regionally,” Cummings said, adding that while some restrictions will loosen, he expects “larger groups to be delayed a bit longer.”

“Sporting events, movie theaters … I don’t think the Governor is quite there yet,” Cummings said.

The Governor has suggested that mass gatherings will not be permitted through the end of May.

While the Ultimate Fighting Championship, World Wrestling Entertainment, and all-star golf event have been green-lighted for events, these are “TV only,” DeSantis said, to assuage residents “starved for content.”

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for more than two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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