DeSantis issues stay-at-home order for Florida

by | Apr 1, 2020

Facing backlash from Florida Democrats, Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Wednesday that he will be signing an executive order requiring all Floridians to “limit movement and personal interactions outside the home.”

Speaking to the media at a press briefing in Tallahassee, DeSantis said he is issuing the statewide order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. DeSantis said he decided to implement a mandatory shutdown after President Donald Trump extended the federal stay-at-home order in the U.S. for 30 days.

“At this point, even though there’s a lot of places in Florida that have very low infection rates, it makes sense to make this move now. I did consult with folks in the White House, I did speak to the president about it,” DeSantis said.

The governor’s order is set to go into effect Thursday at midnight and limits Floridians to just essential activities. The order is set to last for 30 days.

The state has yet to outline which activities are being considered essential, with the scope of the order being vague. Businesses, like restaurants, are not being forced to close at this time.

When asked if the stay-at-home order will stop ‘non-essential’ businesses from operating, DeSantis said that the order doesn’t force those businesses to stop, but noted that if they continue they will not be following order.

“It’s really an order to individuals saying you need to, you can engage in essentials services, essential activities, but other than that you need to stick close to home,” DeSantis said. “We’re not necessarily saying anything to non-essential businesses. But under the order, you just wouldn’t be able to go into some of these things and conduct business and follow the order.”

DeSantis went on to note that some non-essential businesses may be able to still operate.

“There’s a whole bunch of opportunities where some of these non-essential businesses will still be able to do something,” he said.

DeSantis did not give specifics regarding any criminal penalties that may occur if the order is violated.

Today’s order comes one day after DeSantis stood by his decision to not implement a statewide stay-at-home order in a press briefing on Tuesday. DeSantis said he consulted with White House officials before issuing the order. On Tuesday, DeSantis told reporters that he’d consider the possibility of a shutdown in the Sunshine State if directed by the White House.

In the weeks leading up to the order, the Republican governor was the subject of harsh criticism from the political left — with many directly blaming him for the rising death toll. The decision to not shut down Florida’s economy led to 13 Democratic members of Congress calling on the governor to “immediately issue a statewide stay-at-home order to save lives.”

Florida will now join 33 other states, including California and New York, in issuing a stay-at-home to help curb the COVID-19 virus.


  1. Disgusted

    The governor is a coward and caved-in, to the hysterical enemedia, bureaucrats and evil Demonrats. He’s lost my vote. In no way shape or form does the data warrant this move.

  2. Jon

    Cover your ass instead of reasonable policy. What do expect from politicians? Even he says they won’t enforce it.

  3. Mary

    As a politician, he’s ‘damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t! Why can’t we all just get along for a few weeks. Settle down. Make a few sacrifices to try and keep people from dying of a beastly virus? It is really not asking too much.

  4. Doc Lee

    The data not only warrants this move, the data suggests that this move should have been made a week or even two weeks ago.

    The best method of action is to prevent a pandemic from happening, not to fight one off once it’s already hitting. We are now seeing 1000+ new cases a day in Florida. These are cases that are already “baked in,” meaning that these infections occurred on average 5.8 days earlier all the way up to 14 days earlier. We now have up to two more weeks of new infections to deal with before any “stay at home” effects even begin to kick in. Additionally, this is with testing of 65+ year olds rather than testing of the general population, in accordance with DeSantis’ policies rather than CDC recommendations. This indicates that there are more cases around than what the data is reporting right now.

    We can try to sit here and say, “Oh, well, there’s some areas of the state that don’t have any cases and therefore should stay open.” That’s backwards thinking. You lock down before there are cases, not after there are cases. You must prevent spread into an area. You must be proactive. Not reactive. The lessons learned from China are quite simple. Those areas that locked down before there were massive amounts of cases reopened far sooner than areas that waited to lock down until there were massive amounts of cases. A statewide lock down was inevitable. When Trump talks about 100k to 240k deaths, that calculation assumes that hard hit states like Florida would lock down. Without it, the numbers increase. And along with that, the economic impact of having to lock down longer and longer.

    To put it into terms that even you can understand, the longer people don’t comply with social distancing, the longer we’re going to have to do it. And we will reap the economic and human devastation of not complying.

    Lastly, if I were you, and thank God I’m not, I’d keep your uninformed commentary to yourself and be a lot kinder to people that are trying to save your ignorant self and the economy.

  5. Andy

    Who isn’t complying? It really bugs me when someone like Bill Gates says Trump should shut down the whole country. Of course, he can handle a shut down with no problem. People need to eat, fix stuff, just to follow the stay at home rules. I was at a mega retailer yesterday. Lots of masks, gloves, social distancing. 99% compliance.

  6. Doc Lee

    We should shut down the entire country. We should have shut it down before confirmed cases in the US hit 1000. Just like a flu season, when you hit 1000 confirmed cases, you start exponential growth. This isn’t like a normal flu, though, and is much more severe in terms of human cost. If we had shut it down at under 1000 cases, we would have been able to reopen the country very quickly as we would have removed the reservoir. Instead, we played games saying that the likelihood of transmission was “low” to keep the economy going. It was never low. It was always high. Now, we’re in a terrible situation where we not only have to deal with the economic cost but also the human cost.

    It is very hard to comply with social distancing at work unless you work alone. Whether it’s coming into contact with customers or colleagues, it’s hard to maintain that 6 foot area. Not to mention, an article just published on the March 26 in JAMA says that coronavirus can actually travel up to 26 ft and hang around the air for hours. With the American work ethic of going to work even if you’re on your death bed, it’s very hard to get people to do with the right thing and stay home if they are sick. The only option is forcing people to stay at home and only allowing essential services to run. We’re already well behind on this and it’s going to take weeks if not months to play catch up . During that time, peoples’ livelihoods will suffer. There would have been a lot less suffering if we had done it a lot sooner rather than play these political games.

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