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UPDATED: Broward Issues Shelter-in-Place Order Due to Coronavirus

Broward County issued a shelter-in-place order on Thursday, urging residents not to leave their homes unless it is to complete “essential activities.”

Under the order issued by County Administrator Bertha Henry, “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 or to engage in or patronize Essential Businesses.”

Residents may leave their homes to go places such as grocery stores, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and child care centers, among other “essential locations.”

In addition, outdoor exercise that complies with social distancing guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is allowed.

The order, which is effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, covers all 31 municipalities.

“Anything we can to do to flatten the curve … is imperative in my opinion,” says County Commissioner Michael Udine.

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 505 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Broward County, which is second only to Miami-Dade County in the state.

Officials have confirmed that three people in Broward have died as a result of the virus.

It was reported earlier Thursday that the death toll at Atria Willow Wood, an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale, has increased from three to six residents.

State health officials have not included those three individuals in the number of fatalities as of yet.

In addition, Dr. Alex Hsu, a longtime internist in the county, also reportedly succumbed to the virus this week, but has not yet been added to the state’s total.