TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a sweeping "stay at home" order for the entire state of Florida on Wednesday to limit the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
"I'm gonna be doing an executive order today directing all Floridians to limit movements and personal interactions outside the home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or to conduct essential activities," the governor said during a news conference in Tallahassee.
Those "essential activities" include going to the grocery store, gas station, health care facilities, pharmacies, child care centers and more.
READ THE EXECUTIVE ORDER:
The order, which will start on Friday at 12:01 a.m., will be in effect until April 30, DeSantis said.
"I did speak with the president about it," the governor added. "He agreed with the approach of focusing on the hot spots. But at the same time, he understood that this is another 30-day situation and you gotta just do what makes the most sense."
WATCH NEWS CONFERENCE:
Update on COVID-19 with @GovRonDeSantis. Says will issuing an executive order limiting Floridians to essential services and activities outside the home for at least the next 30 days. Will offer a list of essential services. Starts tomorrow at midnight. pic.twitter.com/SzOUcQYUNc— Forrest Saunders (@FBSaunders) April 1, 2020
The governor also announced on Wednesday that he's accelerating $2.1 billion in road and infrastructure improvements throughout Florida because there is far less traffic on our roads right now.
"You have the ability to work a long time during the day. You can close down more lanes because the traffic isn't what it was. And you can really start to make progress on some of these key projects," DeSantis said.
The governor said one of those projects is the widening of Southern Boulevard in western Palm Beach County, which is being accelerated by nearly three months.
"I think there's an opportunity to take advantage of that," DeSantis said.
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are almost 7,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 87 deaths.
However, more than 59,000 people have tested negative for the virus.
Here are the cases in our viewing area:
- Palm Beach County: 567
- St. Lucie County: 40
- Indian River County: 33
- Martin County: 29
- Okeechobee County: 0
Palm Beach County leads Florida in the number of coronavirus deaths with 16.
Earlier this week, the governor issued a 'Safer At Home' order for Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties, mandating that all residents stay in their homes unless they need to leave for essential activities.
For the latest information about coronavirus cases in Florida, click here.