MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is going to sign a ‘Safer At Home’ order to enforce isolation efforts for the Southeast part of the state amid COVID-19 concerns.
DeSantis made the announcement during a joint news conference Monday with the mayors of Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, and Palm Beach to promote that ‘Safer at Home’ message.
The Safer at Home message is simple. Stay home and avoid contact with other people.
That order is set to be in effect through mid-May.
“This codifies a set of rules regarding ‘Safer at Home’ in Southeast Florida,” he said. “It gets all four counties operating on the same sheet of music.”
The governor said 60% of all COVID-19 cases in Florida are in southeast Florida.
“This is the time to do the right thing. Listen to all your local officials. We do this until the middle of May, and then we’ll see where we’re at,” DeSantis said. “I think a lot of the stuff that has been done has been helpful. I think this will continue to be helpful. And, hopefully, once we get this thing under control, then we can go back and start enjoying life the way we used to.”
Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, a Miami Democrat who is among officials pushing for DeSantis to impose a statewide stay-at-home order, welcomed the “needed uniformity” for Southeast Florida.
“However, no corner of our state is immune, and a piecemeal, patchwork approach will not cut it,” Rodriguez said in a prepared statement. “Because we remain so far behind on testing, we cannot know how far behind we also are in trying to catch up with the virus as it spreads. Counties like Lee, for example, have medical professionals urging for a safer-at-home order, reminding us why a statewide order is the best approach.”
DeSantis also said he planned to sign an executive order allowing recently retired law enforcement officers and healthcare professionals to immediately return to the state’s workforce.
“We need to have folks that are willing to return to service,” DeSantis said.
Florida law currently prohibits state workers returning to work for six months after their retirement date.
DeSantis mentioned the state will continue screening travelers at two checkpoints on I-95 at the Georgia border and I-10 at the Alabama border as it tries to require travelers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Louisiana to self-isolate upon arriving in the Sunshine State. The New York City area and the New Orleans area have been deluged with coronavirus cases.
At the checkpoints, motorists from the targeted states are required to complete forms that include contact information and trip details. They are given cards on what to do if they exhibit the fever, cough, or shortness-of-breath symptoms attributed to COVID-19 while in isolation.
Due to international travel into South Florida, DeSantis suggested that the virus could have been spreading in the area during this year’s Super Bowl, which was played Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, site of Monday’s news conference.
WATCH: GOV. DESANTIS NEWS CONFERENCE
Nearly half of the state’s cases are in the hotspot of Miami-Dade and Broward, the state’s most populous counties.
There is a state-run COVID-19 drive-through testing site in the parking lot of Hard Rock Stadium.
You don’t need an appointment to test at the Hard Rock Stadium but you must meet the criteria for testing.
You must be 65 or older with COVID-19 symptoms or you must be a first responder or healthcare worker.
Over the weekend, the site completed more than 550 tests and more than 100 people were rejected because they did not meet criteria.