JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – 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. He said Floridians will be allowed to obtain essential services, and people performing essential jobs will be allowed to move about. The governor’s order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday.
It’s left many of you with questions for us. Here are some answers:
I thought this was just for Duval County. What happened?
On Wednesday morning, Mayor Lenny Curry announced a safer-at-home order, which begins at the same time as the governor’s order. DeSantis on Wednesday afternoon said he would issue an order, directed at all Floridians, to stay home for 30 days.
Can I go to church?
Although many churches in the Jacksonville area have switched over to streaming services online, religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship are considered “essential activities."
Can I pick up my prescriptions from the pharmacy?
Yes. Pharmacies are still open.
Can I go to the grocery store?
Supermarkets, convenience stores that sell food and any other household consumer products like cleaning and personal care products are open for business.
What about hair salons and barber shops?
Neither are considered essential businesses, nor are nail salons.
Can I still order food to take home from my favorite restaurant?
Restaurants can still remain open, and people can take food for takeout or delivery.
Can I go to the doctor’s office? What about the dentist?
Health care providers including doctors and dentists are both considered essential and are permitted to be open.
What if my pet gets sick?
Vets are also considered essential and can remain open.
Can I still have functions if it is with less than 10 people?
The Florida Department of Health suggests gatherings of no more than 10 people and to maintain social distance of 6 feet.
Can 10 people gather together in a public space?
The state says social gatherings in a public space are not essential and local jurisdictions will not allow those types of congregations to happen.
Am I able to ride my bicycle or take a walk outside?
Yes. It’s good to get out and get some fresh air. Just remember, social distancing rules still apply.
Can I still get ammunition for my firearm?
Yes. Firearm and ammunition supply stores are allowed to remain open.
Will the banks close?
Banks and related financial institutions can remain open, however, many are only operating via drive-thru.
What if my car breaks? Can I go buy a new/used one?
New and used automobile dealerships are open for business, and some brands might be offering incentives. Auto supply and repair facilities are also open for business.
Can I still put gas in the car?
Yes. Gas stations are essential.
Will Channel 4 / News4Jax.com be affected?
No. Newspapers, television, radio and any other media services are considered essential. The Local Station will still be here to help you through this.