As an addition to the retail shops and restaurant space that can open Monday at 25 percent capacity, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that all state parks will also open on Monday as part of Phase I of re-opening the shuttered state.

The governor said he based his decision to open state parks on a study conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, in that he said direct sunlight limits the lifespan of the virus particles in respiratory droplets and aerosols, and that daytime environments are lower risk for transmission of the virus than indoor environments.

“Despite all that, social distancing and proper hygiene will remain important as the state begins to reopen, DeSantis said. Open spaces with appropriate distancing distancing is a very low-risk environment. It’s also very high reward for the people of Florida because they can go out, get sunlight and fresh air. It’s good for peace of mind when they’re exercising.”

Parks in Osceola County are open, as are the City of Kissimmee’s. The City of St. Cloud had some areas closed to the public because of social distancing, but most lake trails and sidewalks have remained open. We’ll update the status of parks throughout Osceola County very soon!