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Gov. DeSantis not ready to move on to Phase 3 in reopening Fla., working to open testing site at Tropicana Field

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Posted at 4:16 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 20:13:29-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- Governor Ron DeSantis says he is not ready to move on to Phase 3 in his plan to reopen Florida.

At least for now.

As Florida remains in Phase 2 of Gov. Desantis' "SAFE. SMART. STEP-BY-STEP PLAN" to reopen the economy, the state has seen a spike in new coronavirus cases. On Thursday morning, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) reported the state had more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases, bumping up the total number of cases in Florida to 114,018. Thursday's surge in new cases marked the second day in a row that Florida saw more than 5,000 new coronavirus cases.

Phase 2 allowed bars and pubs to operate at 50 percent capacity indoors and full capacity outdoors. Gyms and retail spaces are also allowed to operate at full capacity.

TESTING AT THE TROP?

During a press conference in Tampa, Gov. DeSantis said he is in talks with BayCare to set up a testing site at Tropicana Field in downtown St. Petersburg.

"We're going to support if they need swabs." Gov. DeSantis said.

Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay Rays
The parking lot outside of Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, is deserted Thursday, March 26, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Major League Baseball's regular season has been delayed in an attempt to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Rays were scheduled to open the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

He added that he will expand the number of lanes on some of the state's drive-thru testing sites.

Gov. DeSantis did not specify when the Tropicana Field testing site will open to the public. The announcement comes as the ballpark's tenant, the Tampa Bay Rays, are welcoming back players and coaches as the team prepares to take the field in July for the shortened 2020 season.

Officials did not say how the Tropicana Field will be shared between the team and the state during the proposed COVID-19 tests.

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