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Coronavirus in Florida: Green Lemon closes its doors on Cinco de Mayo due to overcrowding

The restaurant said not everyone could be 6-feet apart.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic grips the globe, it can be difficult to find reliably factual information about what's going on here in Florida. 

This blog is a resource to address that crucial need. 10News reporters and producers will use it to share the latest headlines, while actively focusing on facts, not fear.

Key Facts

  • "Phase one" of reopening Florida's economy continues
  • Pinellas County beaches open with restrictions. One beach's parking lot was shut down as it reached capacity.
  • The Florida Department of Health is reporting 37,439 positive cases and 1,471 deaths in the state.


8:15 p.m. (May 5)

Derby Lane in St. Petersburg will resume racing on Friday, May 8. However, spectators will not be allowed to watch at the facility. Instead, they can watch online, click here.

7:20 p.m. (May 5)

Green Lemon in Tampa closed its doors early because of large crowds for Cinco de Mayo, it said in an Instagram post.

"In fact SO many of you came out to that we felt that even with the precautions we put in place, we couldn’t serve you in an environment that we were comfortable with, due to volume and our ability to keep us all 6ft apart," the post read, in part.

4:37 p.m. (May 5)

The COVID-19 coronavirus test site at The Mall at University Town Center went through 435 tests administered Tuesday.

The total for three days is 1,359 tests, according to a news release.

4:28 p.m. (May 5)

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan discussed the latest on the city's response to COVID-19 coronavirus. They, too, talked about safety on this Cinco de Mayo.

Castor said the city has to strictly enforce the rules with social distancing at restaurants and making sure businesses are following capacity guidelines.

Mayor Jane Castor is Live with Tampa Police Department Chief Brian Dugan, discussing COVID-19, Cinco de Mayo safety and reopening Tampa responsibly.

Posted by City of Tampa on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

4:19 p.m. (May 5)

Pinellas County leaders voted unanimously to extend the county's COVID-19 coronavirus state of emergency through 3 p.m. Friday, May 15.

This means all previous orders made by the county remain in effect through that time, the resolution states. For example, the county dictates capacity at pools and parks must be kept at 50 percent.

Beaches were allowed to reopen Monday but with restrictions, including social distancing.

Commissioners' resolution 20-40 says the local state of emergency is necessary to "implement the guidance of the CDC as fully as possible" in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus.

RELATED: Pinellas County extends local state of emergency through mid-May

4:10 p.m. (May 5)

Another Hillsborough County long-term care facility is dealing with outbreak of COVID-19.

The Department of Health is reporting 68 positive cases at The Bristol at Tampa Rehab and Nursing Center.

The facility says 56 residents tested positive and 12 staff tested positive.

3:48 p.m. (May 5)

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman provided an update on the city's response to COVID-19 coronavirus.

COVID-19 UPDATE May 5, 2020 | St. Pete, FL

COVID-19 Update from Mayor Rick Kriseman

Posted by City of St. Petersburg, Florida USA on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Noon (May 5)

Manatee County commissioners vote to extend the county's state of emergency.

That's part of their plan to safely reopen the county. As of now, the strategy is spread across three weeks, and week one started on Monday.

Week of May 4:

  • Increase testing target to two percent of population
  • Open beaches with parking restrictions
  • Keep county offices closed
  • Open parks and preserves for “passive use.”
  • Track critical benchmarks and key health indicators
  • Monitor hospital capacity for potential surge
  • Finalize business recovery plan

Week of May 11

  • Complete assessments of all county facilities for social distancing
  • Model budget scenarios
  • Track improvements to long-term care facilities

Week of May 18

  • Present 2020 budget scenarios
  • Begin phased implementation of social distancing for county facilities and public spaces
  • 25 percent of county staff returns to work, while the rest continues teleworking
  • Develop technical protocols for business reopening
  • Present business recovery plan

10:45 a.m. (May 5)

The Florida Department of Health is reporting 37,439 positive cases and 1,471 deaths in the state.

10:30 a.m. (May 5)

During a Manatee County commission meeting, commissioners gave updates on local testing rates as they discuss plans for fighting the coronavirus as the state begins to reopen.

Commissioners said 4,388 people have been tested for coronavirus in the county and 632 people tested positive. That's a 14.5 percent positive test rate, compared to the 8.3 percent rate for the state, commissioners said.

7:15 a.m. (May 5)

ZooTampa at Lowry Park says it plans to start reopening June 1. 

4:15 a.m. (May 5) 

As a way to help some of its restaurants out during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Tampa will shut down some of its streets to cars. That way places can hold more outdoor seating options. 

As part of the reopening, restaurants can have outdoor seating as long as the tables are six feet apart. 

They are also allowed to open indoor seating at 25-percent capacity.  

Here is a list of roads that will be closing Tuesday, May 5, 2020: 

  • E Twiggs St from N Tampa St to N Franklin St
  • N Franklin St from E Madison St to E Polk St
  • S Dakota Ave/W Snow Ave from W Swann Ave to S Rome Ave
  • E 7th Ave from N 15th St to N 19th St
  • N Franklin St from E Kay St to E Palm Ave
  • W Grand Central Ave from W Kennedy Blvd to S Hyde Park Ave
  • S Howard Ave from W Morrison Ave to W Bristol Ave

You can find a map of all the closures here. 

3 a.m. (May 5)

The Florida Aquarium says it plans on reopening May 15. 


8:43 p.m. (May 4)

City-owned boat ramps at Centennial Park and Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota will reopen to the public on Tuesday, according to a news release.

City leaders voted Monday to reopen the ramps, stressing people need to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for social distancing in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. 

RELATED: Sarasota to open boat ramps, keep Lido Beach closed

8:42 p.m. (May 4)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is scheduled to hold a news conference about COVID-19 coronavirus at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at The Mall at University Town Center.

10News will carry his remarks live.

6 p.m. (May 4)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is giving an update on the state's unemployment system as people file claims due to coronavirus shutdowns.

DeSantis there was at least $77 million spent on the existing CONNECT system. While it has been plagued with issues throughout the years, he said the largest problem in the past several weeks has been the amount of traffic coming into it.

In the meantime, DeSantis said he will direct Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel to investigate how the CONNECT system was paid for and to look over the different amendments in the contract.

The announcement comes as Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried joined other state leaders in calling for an investigation.

"Our goal is to continue processing new claims as quickly as possible," DeSantis said. 

RELATED: DeSantis orders investigation into Florida's unemployment system

10News: Covering the coronavirus pandemic with facts, not fear

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