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Doctors: Some Florida beaches are open again, but you shouldn't go

Jacksonville reopened some of its beaches over the weekend, but health experts say it's too early to relax social distancing guidelines.

TAMPA, Fla. — Beaches in Jacksonville partially reopened over the weekend, while beaches in Pinellas County remained closed.

Florida is still under a 'Safer at Home' order until the end of April and local doctors in the Tampa Bay area say you should continue to follow those guidelines. 

"It's extremely important we don't spread this infection to each other. If we do, this will get worse and continue to spread. Numbers will get worse. If we socially distance and stop the spread, we get through this much quicker," said Dr. Nishant Anand, the Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at BayCare. 

Researchers at MIT say, "relaxing or reversing quarantine measures right now will lead to an exponential explosion in the infected case count, thus nullifying the role played by all measures implemented in the US since mid-March 2020," in a recently released paper.

Social distancing has had a positive effect on the number of cases of COVID-19 since the date for Florida's peak number of deaths and hospitalizations has changed four times. The latest model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation suggests Florida may possibly be past its peak on April 2nd, when 77 people died.

Seeing a possible peak earlier than originally anticipated doesn't mean the COVID-19 pandemic is over for the state. "We still need to maintain our vigilance and distancing right now, so my expectation is another month before we can start slowly looking to roll out and reopen our businesses," said Dr. Paul Nanda, the Chief Medical Officer at TGH Urgent Care. 

RELATED: Here's what Jacksonville Beach looked like during partial 'reopening' Friday

RELATED: Jacksonville beaches, parks reopen Friday

RELATED: Beaches in Duval County open while Pinellas remains closed. Why the inconsistency?

RELATED: DeSantis: Florida will look to White House reopening guidelines as baseline

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