WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- After getting White House’s recommendation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis finally ordered a statewide stay-at-home order until April 30.
- DeSantis said that, initially, he did not intend to follow the direction done in other states, where home quarantines had already been ordered. But the recommendation coming from the White House was “a lot of weight” for him not to comply with.
- According to Aileen Marty, a pandemic and infectious disease expert at Florida International University (FIU), the order is still a good call for everybody but already “too late” for the infected and sick people.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered a “stay-at-home” rule statewide effective on Wednesday until April 30 in light of his management of the COVID-19 outbreak being in the public eye.
This directive was in line with President Donald Trump’s recent pronouncement on the extension of federal guidelines encouraging citizens to observe social distancing measures and refrain from travelling until further notice.
DeSantis told the media on Wednesday that the order “effectively means a national pause.”
Further, the mandate directs older people and those with diabetes, obesity, cancer and other life-threatening illness to remain at home. Meanwhile, outdoor activities for residents should be limited to “essential” trips and interactions which include religious services, pet care and recreation. The order does not consider any social gathering as an essential activity.
As the pandemic caused Florida almost 7,000 cases and 87 deaths, DeSantis has been called out by health officials to issue a stay-at-home directive.
DeSantis said on Tuesday that without the federal guidance, he would not copy the implementation of the stay-at-home order which is already imposed across 30 states. The governor specified that the order carried a lot of weight” as it came from the White House.
Shortly after, Trump issued an extension of federal social distancing guidelines.
DeSantis was in a continuous bad limelight for not immediately shutting down Florida. The situation is heightened by photos and videos of public gathered at state beaches and parks.
The order issued on Wednesday does not say anything about beaches, but restricts public gathering of 11 people or more. Except for the timing, state democrats commended DeSantis’ move.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat, said there was a reason when she called for this order almost two weeks ago. “It was necessary to flatten the curve and save lives. I said then I would stand with the Governor when he issued the order, and I do so now.”
DeSantis’ late issuance of “state at home” order was likewise beginning to earn criticisms from health authorities who are anticipating Florida as the next hot spot.
According to Aileen Marty, a pandemic and infectious disease expert at Florida University, the order is still not too late for the rest of the residents, but it is for the people who already got infected.
She emphasized that the pronouncement is better late than never, that anything that can be done to stop the outbreak is a good thing.