6/18/21 4:22 p.m. EDT
Gov. Ron DeSantis moved Florida into Phase 3 in September, lifting all restrictions on restaurants and other businesses. And all Northeast Florida school districts -- like the rest of the state -- have been reopened since the fall. As of March 26, Jacksonville’s mandatory mask order was lifted as vaccination efforts continue to roll out around Northeast Florida.
Businesses & facilities
Businesses can operate at full capacity in Jacksonville after DeSantis’ order, but local governments can still put some restrictions in place as long as they allow at least 50% capacity. The CDC issued new guidance May 13 that allows fully vaccinated people to stop wearing masks in crowds and most indoor settings, though businesses can still request they be worn.
In Jacksonville, people ages 6 and up had been required to wear face coverings indoors until Mayor Lenny Curry let the mask mandate expire in March, although he and many health experts still recommended everyone wear masks in public indoor spaces. The CDC changed its guidance, allowing schools to seat students 3 feet apart, rather than 6 feet.
Health care status
While Duval County has seen 100,811 coronavirus cases of residents -- about 10% of the population. So far, 388,473 people have been vaccinated in Duval County since the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were given Dec. 14, starting with hospital workers. Florida is now allowing anyone 12 and older to be vaccinated. Florida also rescinded its restrictions for nursing home visitors.
All school districts opened brick-and-mortar learning following a state order. A judge ruled that order “disregarded safety,” but that was appealed and a stay was upheld by an appeals court, keeping schools open in the fall and spring. Duval County Public Schools posts a dashboard that tracks COVID-19 cases in schools.
Food & dining
Jacksonville-area restaurants have been open with capacity limits in place for months, and some are choosing to keep it that way despite the statewide order that allows them to reopen at full capacity.
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. JTA is also offering transportation to COVID-19 vaccination locations and has retrofitted buses to bring vaccines to vulnerable communities.
How to help
If you see a need, snap a photo and upload a pin in the Positively Jax channel of SnapJAX on NewsJax.com to spread the word. Then join the Positively Jax movement and do a #RandomJaxofKindess to acknowledge the people and groups going out of their way to make a difference in others’ lives.