TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a 'stay-at-home' order for the entire state to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The order will go into effect at midnight tomorrow and will last for the next 30 days, the governor announced Wednesday.
Under the order, Floridians are directed to limit all movements outside of the home for the next 30 days and only leave home to conduct "essential" services, activities and business. They may work from home, while businesses or organizations are encouraged to provide delivery, carry-out, or curbside service. Groups of more than 10 individuals are not allowed to gather in a public space.
DeSantis had previously issued a similar order only for southeast Florida, which has the highest concentration of COVID-19 coronavirus cases. As recently as yesterday, the governor had resisted calls to issue a statewide order, despite many other states taking similar steps. However, the governor cited President Trump's comments yesterday as one reason for the change.
"At this point, I think that even though there are lots of places in Florida with a very low infection rate, it makes sense to make this move now," DeSantis explained, adding that he had consulted with the White House before making his decision.
Several counties, including Hillsborough and Pinellas, had already put their own 'safer-at-home' orders in place, but this new order applies to the entire state.
While residents are staying at home, DeSantis said that Florida will take advantage of the light traffic to accelerate a number of roadway construction projects, which includes advancing the $864-million Howard Frankland Bridge project in the Tampa Bay area by four weeks.
"You have the ability to operate a long time during the day," DeSantis explained. "You can close down more lane because the traffic isn't what it was and you can make real progress."
What you can do:
- Work from home
- Go to grocery store or pharmacy
- Attend religious services
- Participate in recreational activities (consistent with social distancing guidelines) such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, or swimming
- Take care of pets
- Care for or assist a loved one or friend
Essential businesses include:
- Grocery stores
- Restaurant delivery and drive-thrus
- Airlines, taxis and other private transportation providers
- Gas stations
- Veterinarian offices
- Businesses engaged in food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing
- Businesses that provide shelter and social services
- Hardware and gardening stores
- Firearm and ammunition supply stores
- Newspaper, television, radio and other media services
- Businesses that provide food and shelter
Essential services include:
- First responders
- Law enforcement
- Essential federal employees and military personnel
- Personnel employed by an entity identified as one of the sixteen critical infrastructure sectors by the Cyber-Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security when pursuing work-related functions, or traveling directly to or from work and their respective residents.
- State and local government employees providing services during this state of emergency
- School district employees providing services during this state of emergency
- Medical and health-related personnel
- Mass transit personnel
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
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