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Heard On Sundial: Palm Beach Reopens, Quarantine Fatigue And Local Hotel Serves Hospital Workers

Wilkine Brutus
Grandview Public Market on reopening day in West Palm Beach. May 12, 2020.

On this Tuesday, May 12, episode of Sundial: 

Palm Beach County Reopens

Palm Beach County is first in South Florida to reopen. At phase one of reopening, salons and barbershops took in appointments, restaurants started functioning at 25 percent capacity and some retail stores began letting in customers.

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District 1 commissioner of Palm Beach County Hal Valeche has advocated for the reopening of the county, on a limited basis. Palm Beach County has the third highest number of cases in the state as of Tuesday afternoon, but that’s not the data Commissioner Valeche is focused on. 

“I look less at cases because there’s so much noise in those statistics due to variability in testing from day to day. I look mainly in making my decision at our hospital availability, ICU availability and ventilator availability, all of which have been flat or trending down.” 

Valeche spoke with Sundial’s host Luis Hernandez about what the county looked like on its first day of reopening businesses and the issue of coronavirus testing in his district.

‘Quarantine Fatigue’ Is Real. But There’s Still A Risk.

For many weeks now, people have been practicing social distancing, quarantining and self isolating to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. But some are starting to feel what's called 'quarantine fatigue' — they're tired of the restrictions and want to leave their homes.

It could lead to riskier behavior. The city of Miami Beach issued hundreds of face-mask warnings the first few days of reopening parks and marinas late last month. 

“People have all different attitudes toward risk. Some people are risk averse and others are terrified of risk and that impacts behavior,” said John Quelch, consumer behavior expert and dean of the University of Miami's Herbert Business School.

Quelch joined Sundial to talk about what it would take for people to adjust to the new normal.

This Wynwood Hotel Is Serving Hospital Workers

Most hotels across South Florida are still closed, but the few that are open are serving essential workers like first responders and health care workers.

The Domio Hotel in Wynwood is one of those serving frontline workers and they’re currently providing free rooms for Jackson Health Hospital employees. 

The Wynwood Business Improvement District's executive director, Manny Gonzalez, joined Sundial to discuss the program. He also explained what adjustments the neighborhood and tourist destination may have to make in order for businesses to survive. 

Sherrilyn Cabrera was an intern with WLRN in 2019 and has been a freelance contributor ever since. During her time at Florida International University, where she recently earned a B.S. in Journalism, Sherrilyn Cabrera interned for the South Florida News Service - a digital journalism platform where stories are written, photographed and edited by FIU students. As part of her senior project, she reported on the influx of Puerto Ricans who migrated to Florida after Hurricane Maria, and the potential impact on the November 2018 midterm elections.