More than a month after the first positive COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Florida, and nearly two weeks after states like California and New York issued their orders, we have a statewide stay-at-home order from Gov. DeSantis. Here’s what it looks like:
Senior citizens and people with underlying medical conditions can’t leave their homes. Social gatherings in a public space aren’t considered essential, and gatherings of more than 10 people aren’t allowed. Floridians are also strongly encouraged not to leave their homes unless it’s for an essential reason — like reporting to a job that’s considered essential, purchasing groceries and gas, or some other specific activities.
What are some other essential activities?
The order allows things like outdoor exercise as long as people keep a safe distance, walking and taking care of pets, and caring for relatives, partners, and friends. The governor’s order also allows for religious gatherings despite most local governments discouraging those gatherings and a Tampa pastor being arrested earlier this week for hosting two large services at his church
Does this change much for us in South Florida?
Not really. The governor had already put these restrictions in place for our region earlier this week and most of the SoFla counties, including Miami-Dade and Broward, had already issued some form of stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order. It only extends the governor’s previous order for our area from April 15 to April 30.
How is it being enforced?
Unlike some orders in places like New York and the Bay Area of California, there’s no explicit threat of fines or enforcement in the governor’s order. Some orders from local jurisdictions, like Miami Beach, do include those kinds of enforcement measures.