On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will issue a stay-at-home order for the Sunshine State as the number of Floridians testing positive for coronavirus continue to rise.
The executive order will start at the end of Thursday and will extend through all of April and will be all non-essential activities outside the home.
Saying he spoke with President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning, DeSantis said he had been “working with the president’s task force.” The governor said he was making the decision after the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended social distance guidelines throughout all of April. DeSantis called that extension a “national pause.”
“We’re going to be in this for another 30 days,” DeSantis said. “That’s just the reality we find ourselves in.”
DeSantis said he will follow essential service guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and used in Miami Dade County.
“At this point….it makes sense to make this move now,” DeSantis said, adding that he and Trump were in agreement on issuing the executive order.
DeSantis had drawn fire on the matter in recent days with Democrats in the Florida delegation urging him to issue a stay-at-home order.
On Wednesday, before DeSantis issued the order, state Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Ft. Lauderdale, pushed the governor to issue the order and not wait on guidance from the White House.
“Governor DeSantis, your marching orders do not come from President Trump. They come from the people of Florida,” said Thurston. “And the people are demanding that you protect their health and welfare by issuing a statewide stay-at-home order.
“While our own governor sits, hat in hand, patiently waiting for instructions from the White House, Florida has seen the number of positive cases exceed 6,000, and the death toll is approaching 100,” Thurston added. “Governors in other states have not hesitated to act decisively and immediately as the crisis demanded, many of them issuing statewide stay-at-home orders to halt the virus’ transmission. Governor DeSantis needs to step up and do the same.”