Governor Ron DeSantis issues a statewide stay-at-home order extending through April 30

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Gage Skidmore

This Wednesday, April 1, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a state-wide stay-at-home executive order, along with 30 other states throughout the U.S. Florida has now surpassed 8,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, becoming the state with the sixth most cases in the country.

Hillsborough County, along with Pinellas and Miami-Dade counties, had already announced a local safer-at-home order that was effective March 27 at 10 p.m. The governor had previously made a statement saying he did not think a stay-at-home order would be effective. However, after more than 340,000 residents signed a petition demanding the closing of the state, the order was issued.

Following President Donald Trump with his change from “15 Days to Slow the Spread” to 30 days, the Florida state-wide order began at 12 a.m. on Friday, April 3 and will continue until April 30 or longer. The order should still allow residents to conduct essential services or perform essential activities, such as attending religious services, grocery shopping, caring for a loved one, and exercising, as long as the practice of six feet distancing is kept. A full list of essential services under the order can be found here.

One key difference between the statewide order and existing county ones is that senior citizens and those who are immunocompromised or have underlying conditions are now being asked to remain in their homes and practice all social distancing measures possible.

Additionally, all restaurants are no required to operate as delivery, takeout and curbside pickup only. Bars and clubs, along with state parks, have also been closed until further notice. DeSantis’s order will supersede any county orders that were already in place. For now, DeSantis is “not sure” how this order will be enforced, saying that it will be addressed as violations are brought forward.