MIAMI - Governor Ron DeSantis announced Monday that he will sign a "safer-at-home" executive order for southeast Florida as more coronavirus test kits arrive in the state.
About 67 percent of COVID-19 cases in Florida are in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties. DeSantis acknowledged the city and county governments in those areas have set "effective" guidelines but wants to have the region fall under a consistent set of rules.
"We want to win the fight in the fight against COVID-19," he said.
DeSantis said the state's recent rise in cases are likely because the region receives a lot of international travel and there is a consistent interaction between South Florida and New York City.
"That has provided more seeds," DeSantis added. "With this order, we're going guns blazing, doing all that we can to slow the spread of COVID-19."
Over the weekend, the CDC issued a travel advisory for the New York area, advising residents to avoid domestic travel. Florida also set up checkpoints along highways headed into the state.
The governor also announced plans for an executive order that would permit recently retired law enforcement and healthcare workers to return to the workforce, something that state law normally limits.
About 2,200 rapid-response test kits have arrived in Florida, DeSantis noted, most of which are being deployed in South Florida. They return results in as little as 45 minutes, he said.
He added that a drive-thru testing site will open in Palm Beach County, a distant third in the number of cases behind Miami-Dade and Broward.
"We think it's important to flood the zone in Palm Beach," DeSantis added.
The governor also touched on the Florida-bound Holland America cruise ship with four coronavirus casualties. DeSantis previously told FOX News that he does not want the ship to dock in the state, and he stressed Monday that medical personnel will be dispatched to that ship to ensure there are hospital beds for those who are in Florida.
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 email@example.com. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know
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