Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued an executive Stay At Home order for the Sunshine State in the wake of the Coronavirus. It officially takes effect tomorrow night at midnight.
Essentially, it means non-essential businesses should close and all non-essential activities should cease.
Highlands County Sheriff’s officials say there is NO CURFEW in effect for Highlands County at this time.
The supply chain will remain in operation, with grocery stores, gas stations and drug stores to remain open. Officils say there is no need to rush to the store and buy bulk supplies as trips to these places will not be curtailed.
Essential activities are defined as:
• Attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship (while practicing social distancing);
• Participating in recreational activities (consistent with social distancing guidelines) such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, or swimming;
• Taking care of pets;
• Caring for or otherwise assisting a loved one or friend; and
• Working at an essential business.
Other essential activities may be added to this list in the future.
Essential retail and commercial businesses, which may remain open, include:
• Healthcare providers, including, but not limited to, hospitals, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, urgent care centers, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, physical therapists, mental health professionals, psychiatrists, therapists, and pharmacies;
• Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This authorization includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences;
• Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
• Businesses that provide food, shelter, social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
• Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
• Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;
• Banks and related financial institutions;
• Hardware stores;
• Contractors and other tradesmen, appliance repair personnel, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other structures;
• Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
• Private colleges, trade schools, and technical colleges, but only as needed to facilitate online or distance learning;
• Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
• Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but subject to the limitations and requirements of Emergency Order 3-20. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;
• Businesses that supply office products needed for people to work from home;
• Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate, and which do not interact with the general public;
• Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods, or services directly to residences
• Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services via automobile, truck, bus, or train;
• Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
• Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and adult day care centers, and senior residential facilities;
• Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;
• Landscape and pool care businesses, including residential landscape and pool care services;
• Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, childcare facilities should operate under the following mandatory conditions: