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WPB mayor says they are in the ‘early stages’ of planning to reopen the city

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Mayor Keith James of West Palm Beach has announced that he and city officials are currently in the process of planning how they will reopen the city.

The mayor spoke about what he and city officials have been discussing during a press conference Friday afternoon.

“We are in the very early stages of thinking about the process of reopening our city, and what that might look like … we have to look at our reopening not as a big splash, but rather as a gradual flow like the slow opening of a faucet,” James said Friday.

So what are they waiting on ? James says they want to make sure they have done enough testing and that the rate of infection is really beginning to curve:

“We need to make sure we’re having ample testing, so we know who is affected by this virus, so we can adjust accordingly and make sure appropriate people have been quarantined and isolated and not risk a spike once we do reopen,” said James.

While city officials are working on how they will reopen the city, they are also being proactive in making sure residents and businesses are taken care of now.

City of officials have developed programs that offer short-term loans of $5,000 to $10,000 to help small businesses.

“We are starting to cut checks to our local businesses to help support them. We have approved 15 business applications for loans totaling $139,000,” said James.

They have also deployed a nursing home and assistant living facility task force to assess the needs of the city’s most vulnerable population, and they are helping residents who have lost their jobs with a rental eviction protection program.

For a list of available resources including testing sites and open businesses, just visit the West Palm Beach Covid-19 toolbox.