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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis extends state of emergency again, likely for last time

DeSantis says 'state should prepare to resume non-emergency operations'
Gov. Ron DeSantis wearing mask at Navarro Discount Pharmacy in Hialeah, Feb. 23, 2021
Posted at 2:21 PM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 14:48:03-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis has extended Florida's state of emergency for another 60 days, although this time with a message to the future.

Executive Order 21-94 calls for the extension of the governor's initial state of emergency declaration, filed in March 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The previous extension of the state of emergency seemingly was allowed to expire at midnight. But the governor's office said in an email Tuesday that the order had been extended for another 60 days.

DeSantis' latest order came with the suggestion that this extension -- the eighth since his initial March 9, 2020, order -- would likely be the last.

In Section 3 of his order, DeSantis wrote:

"As Florida continues to realize a manageable trend in COVID-19 cases, over 8.5 million vaccinated individuals, a 4.7 % unemployment rate well under the national average, and state revenues improving significantly from worst-case projections during the pandemic, gaining $4.1 billion additional projected revenue over three fiscal years from the August 2020 estimate, the state should prepare to resume non-emergency operations."

Declaring a state of emergency activates the state's emergency operations center. It's also allowed the state to work with and ask for assistance from the federal government.

Additionally, the order has allowed the governor to deploy the Florida National Guard to assist as needed.

The governor's order has also allowed state and local agencies to take additional precautions to keep workers safe from exposure.

Lastly, it allows licensed health-care professionals who are certified in other states to practice in Florida.

DeSantis has been extending his original emergency order in 60-day increments for more than a year.