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Jacksonville's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Jacksonville, Florida | FirstCoastNews.com

Local doctor stresses social distancing even after Florida begins to reopen

Sunil Joshi recommends the public continue practices like wearing face masks in the weeks and possibly months ahead.

One First Coast doctor is reminding folks to continue to social distance even after businesses start to reopen next week.

On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the Sunshine State will begin Phase One of reopening on May 4, which allows restaurants and retail stores to open with 25 percent capacity. Phase One does not include bars and gyms, however.

DeSantis also said COVID-19 testing will be expanded.

Dr. Sunil Joshi, the president of the Duval County Medical Society Foundation, believes the First Coast has done well to help flatten the curve. Joshi says a slow, thought out approach to opening the state back up can work, but social distancing guidelines must remain in place.

“If we slowly open in phases and we slowly pay attention to what’s happening and looking at the numbers over time, making sure we’re testing as many people as possible,” Joshi said. “If all of those things continue to be favorable over time then you can add another phase.

Joshi recommends the public continue practices like wearing face masks in the weeks and possibly months ahead.