Movie theater, tattoo, massage parlors may reopen; Ag center to host high school rodeo finals;

OKEECHOBEE – The movie theatre, tattoo parlors and massage parlors will be allowed to reopen under the guidance approved May 21 by the Okeechobee County Commissioners.

Commission Chairman Terry Burroughs said they plan to follow Pinellas County’s interpretation of Gov. Ron DeSantis full Phase One of Florida’s reopening strategy.

This will allow the movie theater to reopen at 50 percent capacity with required disinfections and social distancing procedures. Personal services such as tattoo parlors and massage parlors can reopen with limited capacity to serve customers by appointment only. All employees will be required to wear masks. Customers will be requested to wear masks. All “high touch” items such as magazines must be removed from waiting areas.

In addition, sporting events may resume with a limit of 25 percent of building capacity. This means the Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center will be able to host Florida High School Rodeo finals the first weekend in June. Matt Dorriety said the ag center will also host Florida Junior Rodeo and two barrel racing events in June. The barrel racing will be a little different, he said. Participants will register and pay online and be given a time to run. “When you come in, you make your run and then load up your horse and leave,” he explained. The information on placings and payouts will be done online, he said.

A plan to reopen vacation rentals in Okeechobee County has been submitted to the state.

Sheriff Noel Stephen said he will support whatever plan the county adopts.

“It will actually make it easier on us,” said the sheriff. “It will allow people to open up who are pushing the envelope.”

Okeechobee County Attorney Wade Vose will draft the giving guidance and interpretation for implementation of the governor’s order and post it on the county website.

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