Broward County issued an emergency shelter-in-place order, urging people to stay at home unless engaging in essential business.
The executive order comes after individual cities in South Florida have put in place similar measures. The order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday. Under the order, construction is still deemed an essential business regardless of the type of project, which will allow real estate development already underway to continue.
Broward County has 504 cases of Covid-19 as of Thursday afternoon, the second highest number in Florida, after Miami-Dade County, which has 616, according to the Florida Department of Health.
According to Broward’s order, other types of essential business include first responders, public health workers, emergency management personnel, law enforcement personnel, and governmental employees. It also includes gas stations, grocery stores, farmers markets, laundromats and restaurants. Restaurants are only allowed to serve take-out and delivery.
“Individuals are strongly urged to remain home other than to engage in essential activities, which are the minimum activities necessary to conduct minimum business operations,” according to the order.
Outdoor exercise that complies with social distancing guidelines of six feet between people is also allowed.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has not issued a shelter-in-place order for Miami-Dade, but last week ordered all non-essential businesses to close, and said residents would be safer at home. Miami Beach and Miami have issued stay-at-home orders and instituted curfews. On Wednesday night, Miami issued a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, to start Friday night. In Miami-Dade, Surfside, Bal Harbour, Aventura and Doral are among the other cities to issue stay-at-home orders.
Across the country, cities such as Boston have halted construction. In New York, officials are considering limiting the types of construction that qualify as “essential.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated that he is open to changing his executive order of last week that exempted all construction from a ban on employees of non-essential businesses reporting to work.