Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was under massive pressure to issue a state-wide stay-at-home order. Most of the pressure was from political opposition and their allied media… However, there was an aspect to the COVID-19 mitigation that Gov. DeSantis wanted/needed; so today he executed an executive order [document pdf here].
The Florida order requires all senior citizens and individuals with a “significant underlying medical condition” to limit movements & remain at home. All other Floridians must limit any activity outside their home to obtaining or providing essential activities or services.
Essential services include: health care workers, public safety officers and first responders, grocery store employees, agriculture workers, bank employees, gas station and auto repair workers, construction workers and repair personnel, mail businesses and postal workers, and those who work in manufacturing facilities that support critical supply chains.
Also included are people who work in vital infrastructure industries like energy, telecommunication, water, transportation companies and the defense industry. Private colleges are allowed to remain open to support online or “distance learning.”
Essential activities allowed by the order include attending religious services, recreational activities like biking, running, fishing or hunting (if following social distancing guidelines), taking care of a pet or caring for a loved one or friend. Restaurants may remain open but can only provide food via drive-thru, take out or delivery. Dining in is not allowed.
The travel distance from Key West to Pensacola is more than 800 miles. There are many areas where COVID-19 is not a strong issue. The coronavirus issues within Florida are regionally located with urban hubs showing greatest impact.
The objective of the order is to isolate further spread; and keep containment over the Broward/Miami-Dade (southern Florida) area where NY/NJ travelers have arrived on the eastern coast.