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Naples Fire Chief calls on Governor to issue 'shelter in place' order

Posted at 11:11 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 23:11:21-04

NAPLES, FLA — With a few strikes of his keyboard, on Monday Naples Fire Chief Pete DiMaria sent a small message with a pretty big impact, to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

"We applaud his efforts so far we just think this next step is what we need to see put in place to further prevent the spread of this public health crisis," said DiMaria.

The message asks DeSantis to consider placing the state under a "shelter in place" order.

DiMaria says too many people are choosing to ignore suggestions to be physically and socially distant from others -- and he's worried this will only contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

"Shelter in place is only moving around for essential needs. So if you need groceries or you need medicine one family member from the household should go out and run those errands and then return to the home."

Reporter: "Have you gotten a response yet?"

"I have not gotten a response from the governor and I don't anticipate that he will respond back to me," said DiMaria.

But Fox 4 got plenty of responses, when we shared the chief's plea on our Facebook page earlier today.

The comments seem split, with people for and against the request.

"We've just seen New York issue a shelter in place for the entire state shouldn't Florida do that?"

After our interview in Naples, we also heard a response from the governor himself, he's against the idea.

"You are consigning a number, probably hundreds of thousands of Floridians to lose their jobs. You're throwing their lives into potential disarray," said DeSantis, "It's also not clear to me that doing a massive shutdown of the state would even work."

DeSantis went on to say that since the spread of COVID-19 isn't even across the state, he is more focused on locking down hot spots like Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

He added that New York's shelter in place was having a direct impact on our state, which is why he's ordered anyone coming from there or new jersey to be quarantined for 14 days.

"People started leaving, they started going to other states and actually many of them have been taking flights to Florida.