Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at a podium

Stay At Home to Flatten The Curve: State Issues Stay-At-Home Order Effective April 3, 2020

Public Health & Safety

As our region continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings is reminding residents that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ statewide stay-at-home order has taken effect as of April 3, 2020.

Orange County will align with the Governor’s directive. The Governor’s Executive Order 20-91 supersedes all County mandates and requires all 67 counties to comply.

“It’s vital each of us continues to follow the CDC guidelines and the new order issued by Governor DeSantis,” said Mayor Demings. “By taking these steps, we will help reduce our residents’ exposure to COVID-19. I urge all residents to continue to be vigilant and stay at home for the safety of family, friends and neighbors. Even if your business is deemed essential, Orange County encourages employers to allow employees to work from home, if possible. With a unified front, we will get through this public health crisis.”

A link to the Governor’s Executive Order 20-91 can be found on www.ocfl.net/coronavirus. Also, the state has provided its own FAQs on the Executive Order.

According to the Governor’s order, the state will maintain a list of essential businesses, and this list will be available at the Division of Emergency Management’s website at www.floridadisaster.org and the Florida Department of Health’s website at www.floridahealth.gov.

Residents with specific inquiries regarding the order will need to direct those questions to staff members at the state level. Here are some recommended contacts:

The following FAQs address some basic questions regarding the Governor’s current Stay-At-Home Executive Order.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ORDER:

ABOUT THE ORDER:

When does the Governor’s Executive Order 20-91 go into effect and when will it expire?
The statewide order takes effect on April 3, 2020 and ends on April 30, 2020, unless extended by a subsequent order.

To whom does this order apply?
The order applies to ALL INDIVIDUALS within the state of Florida. Unless you are preparing or obtaining an essential service or doing an essential activity, you MUST STAY HOME. The order is MANDATORY. Orange County residents MUST stay home and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES:

What are considered “essential” services or activities?
Individuals can travel to and from grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, police stations, fire stations, hospitals, doctor’s offices and healthcare facilities. However, once these locations have been visited, residents NEED TO GO HOME. While obtaining these services, continue practicing social distancing. Stand 6 feet back from other customers in checkout lines, and continue good handwashing practices and using hand sanitizer before and after your trip.

The Executive Order describes essential services and activities.

The following are examples of essential services and activities that may continue to be provided and obtained:

  • Auto supply stores, repair shops as well as auto dealerships
  • Businesses that provide shipping, logistics, etc.
  • Construction sites, contractors, workers, etc.
  • Financial institutions
  • Funeral/cemetery providers
  • Groceries and pharmacies
  • Hardware stores
  • Healthcare and medicine providers
  • Hotels and motels
  • Marina supply
  • Media
  • Non-profits or businesses that provide social services and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or needy individuals
  • Real estate services
  • Veterinarians, animal care boarders and pet supply stores

Garbage pickup and public transit are also considered essential and will continue normal operations.

Will restaurants/coffee shops/other food service facilities still be able to deliver or provide carryout service?
Yes, restaurants and places such as bakeries and coffee shops can continue to provide takeout and delivery services. You cannot dine in at a restaurant, per the Governor’s Executive Order 20-91. Continue practicing social distancing if you visit these establishments for their carryout services.

What about firearm stores?
The order does not regulate the sale or purchase of firearms or ammunition.

Will laundromats be open?
Yes. Laundromats are considered essential business and will remain open.

Will salons and beauty shops be open?
No. These businesses will be closed during the order.

Will daycares continue to operate?
Yes, the Florida Department of Children and Families is the regulatory agency for childcare facilities. DCF has provided all licensed childcare facilities CDC guidelines as well as specific K-12 guidelines. The agency is also surveying to assess all closure tracking.

ENFORCEMENT:

How will the order be enforced?
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office will enforce the Governor’s Executive Order. The Sheriff’s Office does not intend to use the order as a mechanism for making arrests. The purpose of the order is to get residents in the right frame of mind to act responsibly for their health and the health of their families by staying in their homes whenever possible. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office will respond to reported violations of the order. Violations can be reported to the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 407-836-HELP (4357). In addition, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office will continue to temporarily suspend all eviction activities until further notice.

Do I need documentation with me when I travel on the road so I will not be fined or arrested?
The Sheriff’s Office does not intend to use the order as a mechanism for making arrests. The purpose of the order is to get residents in the right frame of mind to act responsibly for their health and the health of their families by staying in their homes whenever possible. Make sure to have your driver’s license and/or work ID (if available) when on the road and know the parameters of the executive order. The curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. is still in effect, as well.

RESIDENT-RELATED QUESTIONS:

Am I able to visit my friends and family?
You should not visit family or friends unless there is an urgent need (e.g., providing food, caretaking, medical reasons, etc.). Otherwise, STAY AT HOME. Continue to check on your loved ones electronically – by phone, text, FaceTime, email, etc.

What about doctor’s appointments?
Yes. You are permitted to travel to and from your health care provider.

Will I be able to visit COVID-19 Testing Centers?
Yes, but be aware of the qualifications for considerations for testing. For information on testing center criteria and information, visit www.ocfl.net/covid-19.

Will hospitals still be open?
Yes. Hospitals are considered essential services, and residents are permitted to travel to and from local health facilities. However, you SHOULD NOT go to an ER for a COVID-19 test. An ER should only be used for medical emergencies. An influx of unnecessary patients to an ER will overwhelm our hospital systems and put healthcare workers and other patients at risk.

What about schools, colleges and universities?
K-12 schools, college and universities are essential services for the purposes of facilitating distance learning.

Will grocery stores and pharmacies still be open?
Yes. Groceries and pharmacies are considered essential business.

Will I still be able to receive mail and online orders?
Yes. You will still be able receive USPS mail, packages, get groceries delivered and get meals delivered.

Will public transit, such as LYNX and SunRail, be available?
Public transportation will continue to operate but should only be used for essential travel.

Will garbage services still be provided?
Yes. Garbage pickup is essential business and will continue normal operations.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:

Will Orange County parks be open?
Yes. The open-space areas in Orange County parks are open, along with our trails. We closed all amenities, such as fitness centers, the swimming portion of Kelly Park, classes, other organized activities at parks, etc. For more information on operating hours, visit www.ocfl.net/covid-19.

Am I able to exercise outside?
Yes. You can run, walk and ride your bike outside. Outdoor exercise is acceptable. However, gyms and fitness centers will remain closed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While exercising outside, you still should practice social distancing by running or walking at least six (6) feet away from other people.

What physical activities are cleared for exercising?
Numerous activities such as walking, cycling, running, swimming, fishing, etc. However, please follow the CDC guidelines in regards to social distancing and number of people.

May I take my pets to the vet or my dog for a walk?
Yes. You can seek medical care for your pets should they require it. And you can walk your dog outside. Practice social distancing while you are outside, and try and stay six (6) feet away from other neighbors and their pets.

Are my kids able to play at parks?
Families will be able to go outside and take a walk, run or bike ride, but they should continue to practice social distancing by remaining six (6) feet away from other people. Playgrounds are closed to discourage people from congregating in large groups.

TRAVEL:

Will the Orlando International Airport still be open?
Yes. The Orlando International Airport will continue to be open, and essential travel is permitted.

Is it permitted to drive to the airport?
Yes. This is considered essential services, but only for essential travel.

If I am a taxi, Uber of Lyft driver, can I still provide my services?
Yes. Taxis and other private transportation providers that provide transportation via automobile may remain open.

NON-PROFITS & RESOURCES:

What about blood donations?
Blood donors provide an essential service to the community and are needed on a regular basis to ensure a ready blood supply for hospitals and their patients at all times. Blood donors should schedule an appointment to donate at www.oneblood.org.

Are other non-profits available if I need help during this time?
Heart of Florida United Way has its 2-1-1 Help Line open for basic needs support. Numerous non-profits are still providing needed and critical services for our community, including Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Harbor House of Central Florida. Check the nonprofits’ webpages and social media channels for the latest information and how to contact them accordingly.

I am feeling anxious and scared about the order. Who can I talk to?
Aspire Health Partners is offering a dedicated telephone line to assist residents with mental health concerns related to COVID-19. Residents can call the helpline, 407-875-3700, to be connected with a caring mental health professional.

In times of stress, anxiety can often overwhelm some of us, and this is understandable and normal. Residents are asked to stay calm, informed and measured as Orange County Government implements a proactive and planned response. Take care of yourself and your family – both physically and mentally.

MISCELLANEOUS:

What about the homeless?
Orange County Government is working with its partners to expand its services and be flexible with funding to address the homeless population. For example, one of our partners is reaching out to homeless camps asking and providing information to individuals there. Partners are working closely with camps and providing information to keep them safe.

Will churches and places of worship be open?
Yes, the order does not limit religious services. However, religious leaders are encouraged to fully comply with all measures advised by the CDC, including limiting gatherings to not more than 10 people and practicing social distancing of at least six (6) feet between persons. Religious leaders are also encouraged to use online streaming services, if available. In addition, employees/volunteers at religious institutions are exempt. Also, any religious institutions and/or nonprofits offering meals and/or delivery of meals to people who may not be able to prepare food for themselves or family are exempt.

Watch Governor DeSantis’ Coronavirus Update for April 2, 2020:

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