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City of Boca Raton issues emergency order to stay home effective Saturday

Residents asked to leave only for 'essential activities'
Posted at 7:06 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 09:56:41-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — The city of Boca Raton has issued a stay-at-home emergency order effective Saturday.

According to the city, the "stay home, stay safe" order applies to everyone living within the city limits and takes effect Saturday at 12:01 a.m.

The city advised residents to remain in their homes or on their own property.

Commissioner Andy Thomson said the message is simple. Stay inside and only leave for essential activities. The move comes after similar moves in Miami and Broward County.

"We're reiterating all of things we've set up until this point," Thomson said. "We've closed down restaurants, bars like a week ago, and earlier this week we shut down all nonessential businesses. We are essentially doing the same thing, but we're messaging it in a way that if you stay home, you can stay safe."

Thomson said the order also made clear what people are allowed to do.

"People are free to go outside and walk, bicycle and do those things, because we don't want people inside their homes 24 hours a day," he said. "If they think they're sick, they need to be doing that."

Thomson is urging Boca Raton residents to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations if they're going to venture outside.

"I definitely agree with it because we got to stop this pandemic somehow," Rocky Marchese said. "We have to stop that curve, and if we do this for two to three weeks, maybe that curve will come down."

Thomson said the order will stay in place as long as the local state of emergency is in effect.

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According to the Boca Raton order, some of the businesses deemed "essential" include grocery stores, places that serve food, gas stations and banks.

Broward County issued a similar shelter-in-place order.

The new Boca Raton order comes only a day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he has no plans to issue a stay-at-home order for the entire state to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Thursday night, there are 2,484 Florida cases of the coronavirus with 29 deaths. There are 174 coronavirus cases in Palm Beach County.

Click here to read the full order.