Weekly COVID Update 5/7: Suspended regulations and new state laws

Updates from April 30 to May 7 regarding COVID-19 at FAU, Palm Beach County, and Florida.


Courtesy of Unsplash

Kendall Little, Managing Editor

Safety regulations for the on-campus FAU community have remained consistent throughout the spring semester and will continue through the summer. However, Gov. Ron DeSantis forced Palm Beach County to adjust its mandates after suspending remaining COVID restrictions. The county had originally planned to keep a mask mandate until May 18. 


On May 3, university staff sent an email to students, faculty, and staff reiterating safety guidelines including utilizing face coverings, social distancing, and proper sanitation. Anyone on campus must follow FAU’s safety mandates regardless of vaccination status, according to the email.

Courtesy of the FAU Coronavirus website

As of May 7 at 3:16pm, FAU has four active COVID-19 cases between students and employees. The data tracker recorded almost 400 positive cases of COVID-19 since the start of the Spring semester with 93.6% of cases occurring on the Boca Raton campus. The Fort Lauderdale and Dania Beach campuses had no positive cases during the semester.

Palm Beach County

Though Gov. DeSantis suspended all government-mandated COVID-19 safety restrictions, Palm Beach County will require citizens to follow all CDC guidelines while indoors on county property. 

“County Property includes all County-owned and County-leased buildings where Palm Beach County’s offices, divisions, departments or Constitutional Offices conduct business,” according to the official Palm Beach County website



Palm Beach County residents are receiving their vaccines from various locations, including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Winn-Dixie. A full interactive map of vaccination sites in the county can be found here.

668,038 complete dosages have been administered within the county as of May 6, according to a Palm Beach County vaccine summary that county personnel update daily.

Graph of COVID-19 cases in Palm Beach County. Courtesy of the New York Times.


Palm Beach County is currently experiencing a downfall in new positive COVID-19 cases with an average of 255 new cases a week, compared to an average of 368 new cases a week on  April 27. On May 6, the county recorded 259 new COVID-19 cases. 


Gov. DeSantis lifted all remaining government-mandated COVID restrictions on May 3. Besides suspending local COVID restrictions, DeSantis also signed a new law that states during any emergency except hurricanes, businesses can choose to stay open and schools must remain open for students to come in-person for instruction.

The new order still allows businesses to enforce a mask policy if they choose to, but bans businesses, schools, and other public places from requiring people to show proof of vaccination.

DeSantis ordered that future local emergency orders can only be enforced for seven days and if needed, “may only be extended to a maximum duration of 42 days.”

The new law also states that the governor can override any local emergency order if it “unnecessarily restricts individual rights or liberties.”

Graph of Florida COVID-19 cases. Courtesy of the New York Times.

On May 6, the state of Florida documented 4,504 new COVID cases, bringing the seven day average to 4,317. Cases seem to be lessening in Florida, according to the graph.

Graph of Florida vaccinations. Courtesy of Florida Department of Health.

As of May 2, over 9,000,000 Floridians received the COVID-19 vaccine. More Florida residents are getting their vaccine as it becomes more readily available throughout the state. Now, appointments aren’t required to receive a vaccine at certain locations, such as CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart.




Kendall Little is the Managing Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @klittlewrites.