Gov. Ron DeSantis issues stay at home order

Florida Coronavirus News

Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis speaks to supporters as his wife Casey DeSantis, back right, listens during at a rally Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday he will issue an executive order calling for Floridians statewide to stay at home, a move that he had been resisting as other states took similar steps because of the novel coronavirus.

“Even though there are a lot of places in Florida that have very low infection rates, it makes sense to make this move now,” DeSantis said, adding that he spoke with the White House before making the decision.

DeSantis did not go into great detail during a news conference Wednesday afternoon but said the order will take effect Thursday night. He said it will be directed at individuals and not businesses. But he said Floridians will be allowed to obtain essential services, and people performing essential jobs will be allowed to move about.

DeSantis said it is modeled after restrictions already in place in Miami-Dade County, which has been one of the hotspots for the pandemic. For most of the last two weeks, DeSantis has raised concerns about imposing any kind of statewide order, saying the virus had not spread to all 67 counties.

On Tuesday, he also said a statewide order had not been recommended by members of the White House coronavirus task force.

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