Gov. DeSantis halts travel by state workers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday suspended non-essential travel for state workers for the next 30 days, while also urging local governments to cancel “mass” events because of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

DeSantis, speaking at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, encouraged local governments to make the changes or provide organized screening measures. Those measures would include having people at entryways of events asking attendees if they are sick, have been in contact with people that may have been sick or have recently traveled.

DeSantis had phone calls earlier in the day with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.

“This is an opportunity, our health officials believe, where some of these large-scale events can be postponed and do it later,” DeSantis said. “Some of the athletic contests, I recommended to the PGA if they’re not going to allow the fans in, they can still compete the event, put it on television, people are going to be isolated or self-isolating at home, that would be helpful.”

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DeSantis said he also directed state agencies to allow people to work from home where possible.

“The state has a workforce of over 90,000 individuals whose health and well-being are a priority,” DeSantis said. “If they can perform functions at home, now is a good time to do that.”

On Wednesday, DeSantis’ administration ordered long-term care facilities to temporarily block people from visiting residents if those people have recently traveled internationally, been on cruise ships or been in contact with someone who has the novel coronavirus.

The Florida Department of Corrections has suspended visits at all prisons.