Public safety alert sent to Floridians' smartphones advising those 65+ to stay home

Posted at 5:43 PM, Mar 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-28 19:08:12-04

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gave an update on Florida's efforts to combat COVID-19 on Saturday afternoon.

In his address, he thanked first responders, medical workers, volunteers who have been helping with testing, grocery store workers, truck drivers, lab technicians, warehouse operators, gas station employees and other people who have been critical to keeping things operating over the last couple of weeks.

Governor DeSantis stated that a text message would be sent out reiterating the Florida Surgeon General's public health advisory that people who are age 65 or older, or people with a serious underlying medical condition, to stay at home.

"Protect yourself. Now is not the time to go outside. Don't get involved with any big crowds. Make sure you're doing the proper hygiene and just use this time to protect yourself," DeSantis said.

A little over an hour after that statement, smartphones all over Florida received the emergency alert: "FL Surgeon Gen: Stay home if 65+ or have medical conditions. All follow social distancing."

Governor DeSantis said that shipments of the drug hydroxychloroquine will be making their way to hospitals in Dade and Broward County to treat people that are seriously ill with COVID-19.

The drug is under investigation for treatment of COVID-19.

"I’m not a doctor. I’m not telling anyone to take it or not take it, but I do believe in the idea of a right to try. If someone is in bad shape and there is no other treatment available and a doctor believes this is something that is helpful, we want that patient be able to have that.”

The FDA has approved hydroxychloroquine as an anti-malarial drug.