In Florida, restaurant employees can return to work without negative COVID-19 tests

Currently, Florida restaurants can remain open at 50 percent capacity.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis takes his mask off to speak at a news conference on the surge in coronavirus cases in the state held at the Jackson Memorial Hospital on July 13, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order that enables restaurant employees who had previously tested positive for COVID-19, to resume working on site, without officially needing a negative test.

Originally, workers had the right to return to work only after obtaining two recent negative tests.

DeSantis’ executive order, which only applies to restaurant workers, is contrary to the standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

DeSantis is in favor of giving restaurants the responsibility to “implement employee screening protocols pursuant to guidance.”

However, owners and managers should “actively encourage employees who are sick or have recently had a close contact with a person with COVID-19 to stay home.”

READ MORE: Florida officially has more coronavirus cases than New York

Currently, Florida restaurants can remain open at 50 percent capacity, provided that they are adhering to social distancing guidelines.

“We knew that [the test] could catch a dead virus for a decent amount of time. CDC said that could be up to 12 weeks, an infection can be 12 weeks old,” DeSantis said, according to The Miami Herald.

“Obviously, you’re no longer infectious. You don’t have the live virus. But it can pick up some of the dead virus in a PCR test. So, that obviously is not something that should keep someone out of work,” DeSantis said.

Ziyad Abdalla, a worker at the Ocean 10 restaurant, clears off a table and prepares to close the restaurant for the day as a curfew from 8pm to 6am is put in place on July 18, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida has more coronavirus cases than New York, which was once the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.

The sudden surge in cases comes as DeSantis fails to implement strong preventative coronavirus mandates. In July, DeSantis refused to create a mask-wearing mandate and left such regulation up to local leaders.

DeSantis has also mandated the reopening of schools in August.

READ MORE: Five people who attended meeting with Florida governor test positive for COVID-19

As theGrio previously reported on July 27, a meeting with more than 60 people, including DeSantis, took place at the Bonita Springs hotel. Five people then tested positive for the virus.

DeSantis told reporters last Tuesday that he was tested for COVID-19 “two days ago,” and the results were negative.

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