Florida Democrats call for statewide stay-at-home order

Some cities and counties in Florida have already done so

Mar.March 25, 2020 05:30 PM
Gov. Ron DeSantis (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images,)

Gov. Ron DeSantis (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images,)

The Florida Democratic Party chair is calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a statewide stay-at-home order to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

“Our state is in trouble and we need to slow the spread of this virus before our healthcare system drowns in a wave of critically sick patients,” said Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democrats, in a statement. “I’m asking Governor DeSantis to please respect the science, listen to our medical experts, and issue a statewide stay-at-home order immediately.”

DeSantis has so far opted not to declare a statewide shelter-in-place order, but did say that Florida residents who are 65 or older, or those with underlying medical conditions or compromised immune systems should stay home.

Nikki Fried, Florida Agriculture commissioner, had called for a shelter-in-place order last week. On Tuesday, DeSantis said he would not issue such an order.

“Some people think the governor should be a dictator and just imprison everyone in their homes,” he said.

He did announce an executive order that requires anyone traveling to Florida from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut to self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive. The White House issued a similar mandate on Tuesday.

In South Florida, no counties have so far issued stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, though local municipalities have. Cities, including Miami Beach, Miami, Surfside, Doral and others have instructed residents to stay home, allowing them to travel to essential businesses such as grocery stores.

States across the country have issued similar orders, including California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, Massachusetts, Indiana and Delaware.

On Wednesday, President Trump declared the state of Florida a major disaster area, allowing for federal assistance to aid recovery efforts.

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