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Proms? Big problem. Tattoos? It depends. | Editorial

Common sense, clarity still lacking regarding best practices in the coronavirus era.

The coronavirus has not sparked an equally contagious outbreak of common sense and clarity in the Tampa Bay area. To wit:

-A Tampa businesswoman is organizing a prom for up to 2,200 Hillsborough County high school students for June 27. This is a terrible idea. Never mind that Florida still bars groups of more than 10 people from congregating in the same public space, or that federal health officials still recommend on 6-foot social distancing. Having thousands of sweaty teenagers dancing the night away in a packed ballroom is risky and irresponsible. The Hilton Tampa Downtown hotel has wisely not committed to this event, which could prove a public health and public relations debacle.

-Tattoo parlors are the latest businesses trying to read the tea leaves in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening of Florida. Earlier this month, the governor allowed hair and nail salons to reopen, but the order didn’t address tattoo parlors. Hillsborough and most of the state’s 67 counties are interpreting that order narrowly, meaning that tattoo parlors are closed. Pinellas and Hernando counties, though, are viewing the order more expansively and allowing tattoo parlors to reopen. There cannot be two standards for the same industry in different counties across the state.

This epidemic is causing enough grief, chaos and financial loss. There’s no sense adding to it with displays of bad judgment and a lack of clear direction from the government.

Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Times Chairman and CEO Paul Tash, Editor of Editorials Tim Nickens, and editorial writers Elizabeth Djinis, John Hill and Jim Verhulst. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news