FLORIDA — Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced that he will sign an executive "safer-at-home" order, asking people in Florida to "limit movements and personal interactions outside the home" to essential services or activities.
The order will go into effect on Friday, April 3rd, at midnight for 30 days.
For all Floridians: You are required to limit your movements and personal interactions outside of your home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.
This means you can still go to places like the grocery store and the pharmacy.
For senior citizens and people with a significant underlying medical condition: According to Lee County Commissioners, it is now mandatory that you stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Underlying medical conditions include chronic lung disease, moderate-to-severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immunocompromised status, cancer, diabetes, severe obesity, renal failure and liver disease.
In an emergency meeting on Wednesday, Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman suggested the use of delivery services to access necessary essentials like groceries.
Essential activities include but are not limited to going to grocery stores, gas stations, health care facilities, pharmacies and child care centers.
Essential services, per the order include the following:
- Attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship
- Participating in recreational activities such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running or swimming - as long as it is consistent with social distancing guidelines
- Taking care of pets
- Caring for or assisting a loved one or friend
- Other essential activities may be added to the list with the approval of the State. However, local law enforcement will make sure that groups of 10 or more people will not be congregating together in a public space.
Working at home is still strongly encouraged.
Essential workers include the following per the U.S. Deparment of Homeland Security:
A social gathering in a public space is not an essential activity. Local officials are asked to ensure that groups of ten or more do not congregate in public spaces.
Governor DeSantis did mention that pet food will be considered essential.
All businesses or organizations are encouraged to provide delivery, carry-out or curbside service outside of the business or organization, of orders placed online or via telephone, to the greatest extent practicable.
DeSantis did not order the closure of non-essential businesses.
At an emergency meeting on Wednesday, Lee County Commissioners said violators of the 'Safer at Home' order could face 60 days in county jail or a $500 fine.
You can review the full order here.
Previously, Governor DeSantis said he thought it was inappropriate to issue a statewide mandate because some pockets of the state had not yet reported any cases of the virus.