While Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide stay-at-home order Wednesday afternoon in order to allow maximum adherence to the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, he had already ordered all “non-essential” businesses in South Florida to shut down last week.
“At this point, I think even though there’s lot of places in Florida that have very low infection rates, it makes sense to make this move now,” he said of the order, which takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday and expires April 30.
For those of who wondering what is considered “essential” in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, here is a helpful list:
-Health care providers, including hospitals, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, urgent care centers, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, physical therapists, mental health professionals, psychiatrists, therapists, pharmacies, blood banks, medical cannabis facilities, health care device manufacturers, eye care centers, home health care providers, reproductive health care providers and medical transport services.
-Retail sales of household consumer products, including grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores.
-Food cultivation, including farming, livestock and fishing.
-Businesses that provide food, shelter and social services to the homeless or otherwise economically needy.
-Newspapers, television, radio and other media.
-Gas stations, auto-supply and auto-repair stores.
-New and used automobile dealerships.
-Banks and related financial institutions.
-Contractors, other tradesmen, appliance repair personnel, home security firms, fire and water damage restoration, public adjusters, exterminators, and others who maintain the safety and sanitation of homes and other buildings.
-Businesses providing mailing and shipping services.
-Private colleges, technical schools and trade schools, but only as needed for online or distance learning.
-Laundromats and dry cleaners.
-Restaurants, for take out and delivery only, including schools that provide free meals to students, as long as the meals are picked up curbside.
-Office-supply stores that sell goods people need to work from home.
-Businesses that supply other essential businesses and do not involve interaction with the public.
-Businesses that deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences.
-Airlines, taxis and other private transportation providers.
-Home-based care for seniors, adults or children.
-Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, senior living centers and adult day care centers.
-Professional services such as legal or accounting, when needed to comply with legal requirements.
-Landscaping and pool care businesses.
-Child care facilities, subject to restrictions on the number of children and how they are grouped together.
-Businesses operating airports, seaports and other government facilities.
-Pet supply stores.
-Logistics providers, including warehouses, trucking, consolidators, fumigators and handlers.
-Telecommunications providers, including sales of computer or telecommunications devices.
-Provision of propane or natural gas.
-Office space or administrative support for any other essential business.
-Open construction sites.
-Architectural, engineering or land surveying services.
-Factories, bottling plants or other industrial facilities.
-Waste management services.
-Any business that interacts with customers solely through electronics or telephones and delivering products through shipping, mailing or delivery.
-Marinas and boat launches, docking, fueling and marine supply, with some exceptions on municipal boat launches.
-Veterinarians and pet-boarding facilities.
-Hotels, motels and other commercial lodging, subject to restrictions on restaurants and gyms and only for “essential lodgers,” meaning health care professionals, first responders, National Guard members, law enforcement, state or federal government employees, airline crew, patients and their families, journalists, displaced residents or visitors, persons sheltering due to domestic violence, hotel employees or contractors, people who are unable to stay in their homes due to exigent circumstances, and anyone providing direct services in response to COVID-19.
-Mortuaries, funeral homes and cemeteries.
-Alcoholic beverage sales.
-Firearm and ammunition supply.
-Businesses providing services to local, state or federal government.
In Broward and Palm Beach counties, the list of “essential businesses” also includes “electrical production and distribution services” and “moving, storage and relocation services.”
However, in Palm Beach County, marinas and boat launches are not considered essential. To that end, county officials recently shut them down. Meanwhile, Palm Beach County is also the only county that lists “Business deemed critical for national security including, but not limited to, defense, intelligence and aerospace development, manufacturing and testing” as essential.
It is also worth noting that DeSantis’ new order defining essential activities includes attending religious services, recreation with proper social distancing from other people, taking care of pets, and “caring for or otherwise assisting a loved one or friend.”
850 WFTL reminds you to stay safe!