Florida governor says 'no' to stay-at-home order, despite continued rise in cases, deaths

Governor Ron DeSantis is not issuing any stay-at-home orders, despite calls from leaders in the Bay Area and statewide.

"Some people think the governor should just be a dictator and order and imprison everyone in their homes, I don't think that would be an effective approach," DeSantis said in a live-streamed press conference Tuesday.

Why, the governor asks, would he order cities and counties with no cases of COVID-19 to abide by the same rules as those with many?

MORE: Florida governor orders travelers from New York to be screened at airports

While Hillsborough has 95 cases and Pinellas has 45, 22 counties don't have any reported cases, including the majority of those on the Panhandle.

"These blunt measures, you wouldn't want to do them on a community where the virus hasn't spread through a community," said DeSantis. "There is a lot of negative impact from those blunt measures."

He also argued that widespread lockdowns become that, in name only.

MORE: Florida COVID-19 cases increase by 240 Tuesday, bringing total to 1,467

"If you are doing a big block party in California, during a lockdown, wouldn't it be better to just go to work? You will probably transmit the virus less in the office than you are with a bunch of drunk idiots," DeSantis said.

He did issue two commands: one, that because New Yorkers have been flooding to Florida since a stay-at-home order was issued there, he wants any who have traveled here in the last three weeks to self quarantine for two.

The White House-backed him up later, asking anyone who has visited there to quarantine for several days.

"About 56% of new cases in the US are coming out of that area," said the White House director of coronavirus response, Dr. Deborah Birx.

The governor's other command also insisted anyone who is 65 or older, or those at high risk, stay at home, and for non-essential businesses to keep half of their workers at home as well.

"I think you can do this in a way that is going to continue to let us make progress on the virus but will also allow society to function again," said DeSantis.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to covid-19@flhealth.gov. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know

AROUND THE WORLD: CoronavirusNOW.com

Map of known COVID-19 cases:

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