Florida's DeSantis Shifts, Issues Stay-at-Home Order

Move comes as number of coronavirus cases in state jumps
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2020 1:04 PM CDT
Florida's DeSantis Shifts, Issues Stay-at-Home Order
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis listens during a news conference at a drive-through coronavirus testing site in front of Hard Rock Stadium, Monday, March 30, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Florida is joining the majority of states with stay-at-home orders. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis issued the directive Wednesday amid a sharp spike in cases and mounting pressure, reports the Washington Post. DeSantis told residents to stay home for 30 days except for "essential services or activities." The order takes effect at midnight Thursday, per NBC News. The move comes as the number of coronavirus cases in Florida jumped sharply this week and is now nearing 7,000. The state has seen roughly 900 new cases in each of the last three days, per WCTV. About 900 of the 7,000 are hospitalized, while nearly 90 have died.

As recently as Tuesday, DeSantis defended his decision not to issue a statewide order, saying he was in close consultation with the White House. "If any of those task force folks tell me that we should do X, Y or Z, of course, we're going to consider it," he told reporters. Critics pointed to crowded beaches, among other things. The move on Wednesday came after he spoke by phone with President Trump in the morning, reports the New York Times. As of now, DeSantis is still allowing non-essential businesses to remain open, though only for delivery purposes. (More coronavirus stories.)

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