Declining COVID-19 numbers could help usher in Phase 3 of Florida's reopening

With a decline in coronavirus cases in Orange County, many business owners hope more customers return soon.

Evan Dimov, the owner of Too Much Sauce, said his restaurant gains more business with each phase of reopening.

"We need people to come in fast," he explained. "The day they announced 50% capacity, we saw a huge increase in business. People feel more confident, more comfortable and then they go out."

Now with COVID-19 cases decreasing, could we be headed towards Phase 3?

"The phases will be decided by the state, but with regard to the county, the county is in very good shape," said Orange County Health Director Dr. Raul Pino.

According to Orlando Mayor Jerry Demings, last week, the county had 799 new cases. It’s the first time the county has been below 1,000 in nearly three months.

"Just gonna have to wait for the data to come in. The data will drive the decision making," Demings said.

Mayor Dyer said they have been meeting with businesses, telling them to have a plan in place if the state goes to Phase 3.

"Actually have a plan that they can refer their employees and their customers to, they're working some with the Orlando Health team that’s been working with businesses. Some of those businesses are bars."

"Tell me what I have to do, how high I have to jump and I will do it," Dimov added.

Dimov said his takeout orders have increased, but he’s ready for the next step in getting more of his customers back into his restaurant.

"I see, in general, it’s going in the right direction," he said.

Dimov told us that having customers dine in is better for him because that means they usually buy more drinks and desserts.