Gov. Ron DeSantis this afternoon issued a stay-at-home order for the state of Florida in attempt to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, which as of today has claimed the lives of 87 Floridians and hospitalized another 890. According to the most recent numbers from the Florida Department of Health, nearly 7,000 Florida residents have contracted the virus. Florida currently has the fifth-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
DeSantis’ order takes effect at midnight on Thursday, April 2.
A stay-at-home order means that residents should limit movements and personal interactions outside of the home with the exception of essential services, such as buying food, going to the doctor and taking care of the health and safety of members of their household, including pets. People who provide essential services—such as healthcare workers, garbage collectors and electrical system maintenance workers—are able to continue to work. Businesses and organizations may provide delivery, carry-out or curbside service outside of the business with orders placed online or by telephone. Thirty-four states are currently under shelter-in-place orders.
In a press conference today, DeSantis said he decided to issue the order after President Trump extended nationwide social distancing guidelines for another 30 days.
“When the president did the 30-day extension, to me, that was, ‘People aren’t just going to back to work,’” DeSantis said in the news conference. “That’s a national pause button.”
“We don’t know how all these measures are going to work,” he added. “But we’ll figure it out on the back end.”