Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Monday that he is imposing a stay-at-home order for Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Monroe Counties through mid-May in an effort to combat the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.
“The ‘Safer-At-Home’ [order] is the right move for southeast Florida,” DeSantis told reporters during a press conference. “This is the time to do the right thing. Listen to all of your local officials.”
“We will do this through the middle of May, and then see where we’re at,” he added.
The directive comes as Florida has confirmed more than 5,000 coronavirus cases and 60 deaths. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties account for 3,207 of its 5,473 cases, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
On Friday, DeSantis ordered travelers from Louisiana to self-quartine for two weeks and directed the Florida Highway Patrol to set up checkpoints on major highways to screen travelers from the emerging virus hotspot.
“New Orleans is having a lot of problems — they may not be quite as widespread as New York City. There was a concern from the Panhandle that this could impact them,” the government said of the move.
“They are working hard to keep their rates low and we don’t want to add any problems to them,” he added.
Earlier Monday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) issued a “stay-at-home” order for his state, which is scheduled to take effect tonight at 8:00 p.m.
“Unfortunately we are only at the beginning of this crisis, and it will get considerably worse before it gets better,” Hogan said. “We are no longer asking or suggesting Marylanders stay home, we are directing them to do so.”