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What Florida Safer at Home Order Means

Florida will be under a “safer-at-home” order beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, April 3. Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement days before in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, however, it appears Governor DeSantis felt clarification was needed after receiving questions from county and city governments across the state about the differences between their versions of similar orders. During a 4 p.m. press conference Thursday, DeSantis addressed the issue of church services. “I don’t know if they would have the authority, quite frankly, to close a religious… The constitution doesn’t get suspended here. There’s gotta be ways where you can accommodate,” the governor said. “Generally speaking, yeah, they can go beyond what I’ve done if they wanna restrict access to certain areas.” The governor says under the order you can still go out for a ten mile run by yourself if you feel up to it.

After initially resisting the idea of enacting such a measure, DeSantis said he choose to follow through on the executive order after President Donald Trump extended the national social distancing guidelines for an additional 30 days. Florida’s order will be in place for 30 days, joining at least 30 other states nationwide that have similar orders in place, affecting hundreds of millions of Americans. Here are three things to know about Florida’s order: Can I leave my home? What can I do? The executive order instructs residents to stay at home and travel outside their residence only for a handful of reasons. They include going out to obtain medical supplies or services, picking up groceries or other necessary products, and going out to public spaces to engage in activities. Senior citizens and individuals with underlying medical conditions are told to stay home, period. Social distancing if you must go out is a must. Here’s a full list of what the executive order permits you to to go out to do: Attending religious services Participating in recreation activities consistent with social distancing guidelines (these include walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, swimming) Providing, seeking pet care Caring for those in need Getting gas Grocery shopping Picking up carryout from restaurants Obtaining medical services (including going to your Pharmacy or Dentist) Going to work or to purchase products or services from businesses that are deemed “essential” What businesses are essential? Employees who work in certain fields that are deemed as essential are allowed to continue going to work. Employees are told to maintain social distancing between coworkers and customers. These businesses include: Healthcare providers Grocery stores, other food providers and distributors Businesses that provide social services Media and telecom providers Banks and financial institutions Hardware stores Contractors who provide services that are deemed “necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation residences and other structures” Mail and shipping services Laundry providers Gas stations Restaurants that provide food for carryout or takeout Schools (only permitted to be open to facilitate online learning) Office suppliers Marinas and docks The transportation sector (Airlines, trains, buses, taxis, etc) Funeral homes and mortuaries Assisted living facilities Gun stores Landscape and pool care Childcare facilities that operate with groups of 10 or fewer Pet stores and veterinarian services Utilities services Constructions site Manufacturing facilities Waste management services Residential and commercial real estate and settlement services What happens if you disregard the order? DeSantis’ executive order does not contain an explicit penalty for those who disregard the order. A previous county-wide stay-at-home order in St. Lucie County said violation of the order could result in a second-degree misdemeanor and include a maximum fine of $500 and up to 60 days in jail.