A number of cities and counties in the state previously issued stay-at-home orders for residents, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, which have over 60% of the state's COVID-19 cases.
"I'm going to be doing an executive order today directing all Floridians to limit movements and all personal interactions outside the home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities", DeSantis said at a press briefing.
DeSantis said the state would also follow the guidelines outlined by the Department of Homeland Security when it comes to which workers and businesses are considered essential and non-essential.
DeSantis cited President Donald Trump's extending national guidelines that advise people to stay at home as much as possible for why he's now ordering residents to only leave their house for essential reasons, such as going to a grocery store or pharmacy. "He agreed with the approach of focusing on the hot spots".
The announcement comes as Florida's total COVID-19 cases are almost at 7,000, including 87 deaths. "But at the same time, he understood that this is another 30-day situation and you gotta just do what makes the most sense". "Other than that you need to stay close to home", he said. Tuesday, healthcare officials highlighted a tentative, but hopeful, trendline of a flattening curve.
"These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs", according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. California, the first state to issue a lockdown, did so on March 20.
"On Tuesday, DeSantis said at a news conference that he had no plans to issue a statewide order because the White House had not told him to do so", The Washington Post reported.
The governor also said he expects rapid testing to come to Florida "probably within the next week". We're now working to update this story with additional details.