BY MARIE PULEO | NEWS REPORTER
BROWARD COUNTY SHELTER-IN-PLACE GUIDELINES: Thursday afternoon, Broward County increased its efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus by issuing a shelter-in-place order urging all residents to remain at home, other than to patronize a business that is considered “essential,” such as a grocery store, pharmacy, doctor’s office, bank or gas station. Employees of essential businesses or services are permitted to report to work.
The order took effect at one minute after midnight on Friday morning, and will be in place until further notice.
As per the order, anyone who goes outside their home, including for individual outdoor exercise, must adhere to all measures advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) for social distancing.
As of Friday, figures from the Department of Health showed 2,900 coronavirus cases in the state of Florida. There are over 600 cases in Broward County. Although the official number of deaths in Broward is five, a total of at least seven deaths have been reported.
The new stay-at-home order for Broward County applies to all 31 municipalities.
“Our residents have to be prepared to hunker down and stay in place until we can weather the storm,” said Broward County Commissioner Lamar Fisher. “We’re trying our best to make sure we can nip it the bud and move on, but unfortunately it’s not going to be over that quickly.”
Fisher said he did all he could on Wednesday to immediately facilitate the new order after calling the mayors of the eight cities in his district – Lighthouse Point, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hillsboro Beach, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Sea Ranch Lakes and Oakland Park.
“They were in full unison to advance the order,” said Fisher.
Fisher then contacted the County Administrator and the County Attorney’s Office and requested they “immediately start preparing the order.”
The municipalities in the county have agreed to provide enforcement of the order, said Fisher. The county order is voluntary and doesn’t include penalties for people who don’t comply.
On Monday, Broward County ordered all non-essential retail and commercial businesses to close. All businesses that continue to operate throughout the coronavirus crisis must operate in full compliance with CDC social distancing guidelines.
The following are among the list of many businesses that are considered essential.
– Grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and other establishments primarily engaged in the sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, baby products, pet supply, liquor, fresh or frozen meats, fish and poultry, and any other household consumer products such as cleaning and personal care products.
– Healthcare providers and public health operations, including hospitals, pharmacies, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, urgent care centers, eye care centers, physical therapists, mental health professionals, home healthcare services, substance abuse treatment providers, medical transport services, research and laboratory services.
– Restaurants, food trucks and other facilities that prepare and serve food for take-out and delivery, provided no more than 10 people congregate at or near any such facility at one time, and social distancing requirements are followed.
– Gas stations, marine fueling stations, automobile dealerships, auto-supply and auto-repair facilities, motorcycle and scooter repair shops, bicycle and bicycle repair shops.
– Banks and related financial institutions, including insurance firms and pawn shops.
– Businesses that primarily ship or deliver groceries, food or goods directly to residents.
– Hardware, gardening and building material stores.
– Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers.
– Businesses that primarily supply office products needed for people to work from home.
– Businesses primarily providing mailing, pick-up and shipping services, including post office boxes.
– Telecommunications providers, including sales of computer or telecommunications devices.
– Real estate sales and real property title services, provided such services are performed only electronically or remotely.
– Open construction sites, irrespective of the type of building or project.
– Architectural, engineering or land surveying services, but only for ongoing construction projects in which construction has already begun.
– Airlines, taxis and other providers of private transportation services via car, truck, boat, bus or train.
– Landscape and pool care businesses, including residential landscape and pool care services.
– Veterinarian clinics, pet hospitals, and pet boarding facilities.
– Moving, storage and relocation services.
– Businesses that provide food, shelter, social services and other necessities for economically disadvantaged or needy individuals.
– Providers of services that are necessary to the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences and other structures.
– Any business that employs five or fewer people (including management and ownership), where the employees do not come into regular contact with the general public in the regular course of business, and the business can conduct its operations in a manner that complies with the recommended social distancing.
All retail, nonprofit and commercial businesses may perform remote work, so that employees interact with each other or customers only through electronic or telephonic means.
For more information regarding COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) website.
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