Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a statewide “stay-at-home” order Wednesday after mounting pressure to do so as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.
The order will go into effect on Thursday for at least 30 days coming less than 24 hours after 13 Floridian Democratic lawmakers urged the governor to “immediately issue a statewide stay-at-home order to save lives.” (RELATED: ‘Star Wars’ Actor Andrew Jack Reportedly Dies From Coronavirus Complications)
Floridians will only be allowed to leave their homes for “essential services or activities.”
“I’m going to be doing an executive order today directing all Floridians to limit movements and all personal interactions outside the home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities,” DeSantis said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference. “It makes sense to make this move now.”
Florida, which has a population over 21 million, currently has over 6,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 causing 85 deaths, according to the Washington Post. The sunshine state joins over 30 other states including New York and California in issuing stay-at-home orders.
The White House, shortly before the announcement, reportedly approved DeSantis’ directive. The Trump Administration projected Tuesday that current measures to combat the virus will result in approximately 100,000 to 200,000 deaths.
DeSantis said on March 24 that Floridians over the age of 65 or older should remain home, and on Monday advised all residents to not leave their houses.