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Governor says gyms in Florida allowed to reopen with social distancing

Governor says gyms in Florida allowed to reopen with social distancing
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida scientist who accused state of manipulating coronavirus data tests positive for COVID-19, turns herself in Overnight Health Care: Testing capacity strained as localities struggle with vaccine staffing | Health workers refusing vaccine is growing problem | Incoming CDC director expects 500,000 COVID deaths by mid-February COVID-19 testing capacity strained as localities struggle with vaccine staffing MORE (R) announced that gyms in the state would be allowed to reopen on Monday with the proper social distancing and sanitization efforts. 

“Effective Monday, gyms can operate," DeSantis said at a press conference in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday. 

“Don’t we want people to be getting exercise?” he continued. “Don’t we want people to be getting in shape?”

DeSantis stressed that gymgoers would need to social distance themselves and continue to sanitize machines after use. He also encouraged outdoor forms of exercise. 

The news was a part of DeSantis's announcement that the state would enter a "full" phase one of his three-phase plan reopening on Monday. 

“We went to phase one but made clear we’re going smart, safe and step-by-step,” the governor said. “We did an initial phase one. We did not exhaust everything we could have in phase one.”

Additionally, the governor announced that restaurants and retailers would be able to operate at 50 percent capacity after operating at 25 percent capacity in the initial phase one process. However, movie theaters in the state will remain closed. 

There were 43,210 positive coronavirus cases in the state on Thursday, with a death toll of 1,875, according to the Florida Department of Health. 

South Florida has been hit hardest by the virus, with Miami-Dade County accounting for 35 percent of the state's coronavirus cases alone. 

DeSantis said Thursday that he approved plans for restaurants and nonessential businesses to reopen in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, including allowing restaurants in Miami-Dade county to operate at 50 percent capacity.