9/19/2020 3:33 p.m. EDT
Though businesses have largely reopened, along with all Northeast Florida area school districts, Jacksonville remains under a mandatory mask order for the time being. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced earlier this month that he’s extending the state’s eviction moratorium through September and he’s relaxing visitation restrictions at long-term care facilities.
Businesses & facilities
Florida bars can reopen their taps, as long as they operate at 50% capacity indoors. Currently, restaurants can serve people at 50% capacity indoors in Florida. Other businesses including gyms, movie theaters, hair and nail salons are also allowed to operate. Many major retailers are requiring customers to wear masks.
In Jacksonville, people ages 6 and up are required to wear face coverings while indoors in public when social distancing isn’t possible. The mask mandate does not apply to people with breathing conditions or those seated inside restaurants. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried launched a campaign calling for Floridians to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Health care status
While Jacksonville has seen 29,241 coronavirus cases, they have resulted in 1,058 hospitalizations. Hospitals concerned over the surge of COVID-19 cases added more restrictions for visitors in July. But one hospital group relaxed those in August as cases declined.
All school districts have opened brick-and-mortar learning following a state order. A judge ruled that order “disregarded safety,” but his order was immediately appealed, and a stay was upheld by an appeals court. Duval County Public Schools released a dashboard that tracks COVID-19 cases in schools.
The Jaguars’ home opener kicked off at TIAA Bank Field last Sunday with 25% stadium capacity and all fans required to wear masks. The Georgia-Florida game will also take place in Jacksonville but on Nov. 7, a week later than usual.
Food & dining
Though Jacksonville-area restaurants have been open with capacity limits in place for months, the story is markedly different in South Florida where Miami-Dade County officials finally reopened restaurants for indoor seating, with restrictions, earlier this month. Bars and breweries were allowed to reopen Monday for on-site consumption.
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority continues to provide public transit service amid the pandemic, though the agency has adjusted its routes and schedules to accommodate demand. JTA has also introduced measures intended to keep employees and riders safe.
How to help
Jacksonville-area food banks and blood donation centers are among those seeking contributions during the pandemic. Learn how to donate food to those in need here, or click here to find out how to donate blood or plasma.