As Wilton Manors, along with Broward County, began the reopening process Monday Wilton Manors City Commissioners had a message for residents: it’s your responsibility to protect yourself.
“Government orders cannot keep you safe,” said Wilton Manors City Commissioner Gary Resnick. “Elderly and people with medical issues should absolutely stay home. Everyone needs to take responsibility to keep themselves and people they come in contact with safe and healthy.”
Wilton Manors City Commissioners Julie Carson and Paul Rolli echoed that sentiment.
“Everyone must take personal responsibility for the protection of their own health and that of others,” Rolli said. While Carson said: “To be safe, we should treat everyone as though they have the virus and act as though we are sick and don’t want to spread it. Stay home if you have been exposed to someone who has the coronavirus or if you aren’t feeling well.”
In a sign of good news for the city this past week Wilton Manors only saw three new cases.
On the other hand Palm Beach County, which entered phase one of the reopening a week ago, has continued to see its cases of COVID-19 rise. The Sun Sentinel reported Sunday that Palm Beach County decided to move ahead with reopening before meeting the guidelines issued by the Federal Government.
Those guidelines include:
- A decline over 14 days in the number of people with flu-like symptoms, and a 14-day decline in the number of people with Covid-19 symptoms.
- A 14-day downward trend in the number of infections or a 14-day downward trend in the percentage of people who test positive.
- The county can treat everyone at area hospitals, and the county can test all health, police and fire rescue workers for the virus.
“With cases on the rise in Palm Beach County and the curve not flattening in Broward, we must approach the partial re-opening with caution and care,” Carson said. While Resnick said, “It is important to emphasize that as South Florida reopens, it does not mean that the virus is gone. It seems clear that Palm Beach County opened too early, people became complacent and did not practice social distancing.”
The partial reopening includes:
Restaurants & Food Establishments
Community Rooms & Recreational Amenities in Multi-Family Housing Developments
Public Community Pools & Private Club Pools
The current phase does not include bars, large venues, or beaches.
Restaurants are now allowed to operate at a 50% capacity for inside dining. But not all are reopening.
Bona Italian Restaurant will continue to only be open for takeout and delivery, while The Alibi has decided to keep its restaurant shutdown for now.
Glen Weinzimer, the owner of Bona, said he’s worried Broward hasn’t flattened the curve yet, and wants to wait at least a couple of more weeks to see how the reopening goes.
“We gave it a lot of thought,” he said. “But in the end we just decided we weren’t going to do it. Nothing has changed yet. This is stressful enough just being open for takeout.”
The Pub in Wilton Manors though has reopened for inside dining.
"Indoor and outdoor dining now available. Enhanced health protocols in effect,” the restaurant announced on Facebook. “All guests and staff must wear masks when moving about the Pub.”
Tee Jay Thai Sushi, Courtyard Cafe and Matty’s Wilton Park are three that are opening for inside dining, but with limited seating.
“Several businesses have mapped thoughtful plans for re-opening and will follow all relevant guidelines to protect employees and customers,” Carson said. “Other businesses are going to wait to fully reopen in order to see if there is a spike in infections during the first weeks of Phase 1.”
Carson also noted that besides personal responsibility, there is also a collective responsibility to keep each other safe.
“We must take collective responsibility, remembering that in the free will of individuals there is a corresponding impact on the collective body,” Carson said. “It is ironic that in this time of separation and isolation, we have an opportunity to show our care for humankind by acting responsibly and assuming a modicum of accountability for helping to reduce the spread of this vicious virus.”
Meanwhile Rolli warned that if people do follow the rules set forth from the county, and take precautions like social distancing seriously, it could lead to a second shutdown.
“If there is an increase in positive virus cases, there is a distinct possibility of another complete shutdown,” Rolli said. “The reopening does not mean there is no danger and everything is back to the way it used to be. I cannot stress enough that everyone is responsible for their own health and the safety of others.”