- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said a handful of southeastern states including Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina have discussed response plans as some of them prepare to reopen parts of their economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We shared a lot of ideas — I think we’ll be on the same page [with] some stuff,” Mr. DeSantis said on “Fox & Friends.” “But as you guys know, Florida is about five states in and of itself.”

“And so we have a situation where we have three counties in southeast Florida that [have] over 60% of our hospitalizations to date,” he said.

“Yes, we’re going to work regionally, but I also got to work regionally within my own state to make sure we thread the needle properly,” Mr. DeSantis said.

A Florida task force on reopening the state’s economy is supposed to present Mr. DeSantis with recommendations by the end of the week.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday announced plans to reopen some businesses such as salons and gyms at the end of this week, with restaurants and theaters to follow next week.

SEE ALSO: Brian Kemp, Georgia governor, to lift coronavirus restrictions Friday

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday said some retail businesses, like department stores and florists, can reopen if they maintain proper social distancing and limit capacity.

And Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Monday said some businesses in the state will be able to open starting next week.

Other regional pacts of states that are coordinating on coronavirus response plans have formed in other areas across the country. Those include seven northeastern states, seven in the Midwest and three West Coast states.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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