Graphic by Darian Williams
On Friday, April 3, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis implemented a stay-at-home order for the state and ordered all schools to be closed until at least Friday, May 1. All activity in Florida will be limited to essential services over the next 30 days to try and slow down the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
DeSantis was resisting implementing such measures for the past few weeks, allowing businesses and public areas such as beaches to remain open across the state. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, a lead member of the white house coronavirus task force, the governor stopped resisting after receiving a call from United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday, March 25, alerting him that up to 240,000 Americans could die if no preventative measures were taken.
“I’m glad some orders were finally put in place; this virus would [have] become a massive issue for Florida if everyone just kept interacting and spreading the virus,” senior Amanda Brotton said.
According to DeSantis’ new mandates, all senior citizens and individuals with a “significant underlying medical conditions” must remain at home, as they are most vulnerable to the effects of the virus. They are still allowed to leave for essential services and activities, like grocery shopping. DeSantis’ “safer at home” order also requires Floridians to stay in their homes for the month of April.
The order mandated the temporary closing of all businesses that were not deemed essential. Businesses are encouraged to work online while restaurants should now provide food via drive-thru, take out, or delivery. Services that have remained open under the order include hospitals, grocery stores, law enforcement offices, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, mailing and shipping companies, transportation services, utility and energy companies, pet supply stores, laundromats and religious institutions.
DeSantis also ordered schools to remain closed until May 1, and required students and teachers to begin virtual school. For Broward County Public School students, video conferences are held through applications such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams to replicate class discussion time, and school work is assigned through Canvas, a learning management system.
“It’s not a great situation to be in, but I’m glad these orders were put in place to encourage social distancing, so coronavirus can spread slower and be dealt with easier,” senior Angelina Brier said.
In these uncertain times, government officials and medical professionals are recommending social distancing for the foreseeable future in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.