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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calls stay-at-home order 'inappropriate'

Governor points to 'sporadic cases' in parts of state
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks in Orlando, March 25, 2020
Posted at 9:38 AM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 14:52:28-04

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stressed again on Wednesday that he has no plans to issue a sweeping stay-at-home order in the Sunshine State to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

"There's certain parts of the state where you have more sporadic cases," the governor said at Florida's Logistics Response Center in Orlando. "To order someone not to be able to earn a paycheck when them going to work is not going to have any effect on what we're doing with the virus, that is something that I think is inappropriate."

WATCH NEWS CONFERENCE:

FULL NEWS CONFERENCE: Gov. DeSantis says no stay-at-home order in Florida

DeSantis said the federal government has supported his decision, calling it a thoughtful and data-driven approach.

"We obviously have an outbreak in southeast Florida, so they've gone to a stay-at-home. I worked with them on that," the governor said.

Currently, Miami and Miami Beach, along with smaller municipalities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, have issued stay-at-home orders for residents to keep them from spreading the virus.

RELATED: Local lawmakers ask Gov. DeSantis for statewide shutdown

"When you do some of these things, people respond in different ways. You gotta think about what the second order effect is," DeSantis said.

The governor pointed to a massive stay-at-home order in the state of New York, which he said forced thousands of residents to flee the state, with some of them coming to Florida.

"You look at California, they were ordered not to go to work. So you look, they're out partying, they're at beaches and stuff. You're probably less dangerous driving your car to the office then being with crowds of hundreds of people. So you just gotta think it through," Gov. DeSantis said.

Calling it a "surgical approach," the governor said he supports any municipality in Florida that wants to enact its own stay-at-home order. But for now, a statewide order will not be put in place.

"It is also mitigating any damage for blunt instruments being applied in places throughout the state where it wouldn't be appropriate," DeSantis said.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus

The governor also stressed on Wednesday that anyone 65 or older, or those with underlying medical conditions, should self-isolate at home for 14 days.

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are more than 1,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Sunshine State, as well as at least 22 deaths from the virus.

Here are the cases in our viewing area:

  • Palm Beach County: 118
  • Martin County: 4
  • St. Lucie County: 8
  • Indian River County: 12
  • Okeechobee County: 0

On Tuesday, the governor ordered anyone who travels from the New York City area to Florida, or anyone who's traveled from that area to Florida in the last three weeks to self-isolate for 14 days.

In addition, they need to report if they've had any contact with people in Florida.

"You have folks now coming from the hottest of the hot zones, filtering out into the United States. So we're doing something about that in Florida," the governor said on Tuesday in Tallahassee.

RELATED: Who must quarantine, who's exempt?

On the national front, the White House and Senate leaders from both parties have agreed on a sweeping $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.

The plan, which still needs to be finalized and voted on, would give every American who makes up to $75,000 a one-time check of $1,200.

For the latest information about coronavirus cases in Florida, click here.