Coronavirus: Statewide stay-at-home order now in effect

Coronavirus

FLORIDA (WFLA) — The statewide stay-at-home order for Florida is now in effect.

Essential businesses including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, pet supply stores, and hardware stores will remain open.

Restaurants can still deliver food and provide pickup orders.

Many counties already implemented similar orders, including Hillsborough and Pinellas.

After signing the initial stay-at-home order, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a second executive order Wednesday to override any stricter restrictions put in place by local governments to stop the spread of coronavirus, including Hillsborough County.

“I think the confusion that’s been created is very problematic for our community,” said Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrews Warren.

Warren says that because DeSantis’s order deems church an “essential activity” that means Hillsborough could no longer restrict services of more than ten people.

“I don’t think the government has the authority to close a church,” DeSantis said in a press conference Thursday. “I’m certainly not going to do that.”

Warren blasted the governor’s actions on Twitter, only to be further confused when DeSantis seemingly contradicted his own order during that same Thursday afternoon press conference and indicated that local governments could in fact restrict what the state does not.

Hillsborough County officials are still urging churches not to hold services, to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

The executive order lists essential activities as:

  • Attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship
  • Participating in recreational activities (consistent with social distancing guidelines) such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running or swimming
  • Taking care of pets
  • Caring for or otherwise assisting a loved one or friend

RELATED STORY: Gov. DeSantis signs executive order superseding local COVID-19 orders

Essential businesses and services that are allowed to stay open during the order include:

  • Healthcare providers (hospitals, doctors, dentists, urgent care centers, clinics, rehab facilities, physical therapists, mental health professionals, psychiatrists, therapists, pharmacies, etc.)
  • Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, etc.
  • Food cultivation including farming, livestock and fishing
  • Businesses providing food, shelter, social services and other necessities of life to the economically disadvantaged
  • Newspaper, television, radio and other media services
  • Gas stations and auto supply or auto repair facilities
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Hardware stores
  • Contractors and tradesmen, appliance repair personnel, exterminators and other service providers
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services
  • Private colleges, trade schools and technical colleges – but only as needed to facilitate distance learning
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers
  • Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, subject to previously-implemented limitations
  • Businesses that supply office products needed for people to work from home
  • Businesses that supply other essential businesses with support or supplies
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to a residence
  • Airlines, taxis and other private transportation
  • Home-based care for seniors, adults or children
  • Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, adult day care centers and senior residential facilities
  • Professional services such as legal or accounting services
  • Landscape and pool care businesses
  • Childcare facilities
  • Businesses operating at airports, seaports or other government facilities
  • Pet supply stores
  • Logistics providers (warehouse, trucking, consolidators, fumigators, handlers)
  • Telecommunication providers
  • Provision of propane or natural gas
  • Office space and administrative support
  • Open construction sites
  • Architectural, engineering or land surveying services
  • Factories, manufacturing facilities, bottling plants or other industrial uses
  • Waste management services
  • Businesses interacting with customers solely electronically or through the phone

If any “essential service” is missing from the initial executive order, the governor says it can be added.

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