At midnight tonight, Florida will enter a 30-day stay-at-home order for the state, a requirement from Gov. Ron DeSantis that its nearly 21 million residents stay at home unless they are pursuing essential services or activities.
The order allows residents to participate in outdoor recreational activities such as running, walking, biking and golfing (as long as social-distancing guidelines are followed). It allows some businesses to remain open, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, pet stores, home improvement stores and restaurants (for takeout or delivery only). Law enforcement, health care workers and journalists are among essential employees who will continue to report to work.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump warned Americans to brace for a “hell of a bad two weeks” ahead, predicting a stark U.S. death toll of more than 100,000 from the coronavirus.
Experts say measures working to curb the spread of the virus are the only hope for keeping that total from rising. If Americans don’t follow social-distancing guidelines, worst-case modeling projects up to 2.2 million people could die, said Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator.
Officials say social distancing in America seems to be paying off as it has in other countries. “If you look now, we’re starting to see glimmers that that is actually having some dampening effect,” said White House health adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who cautioned the public to continue to take the measures seriously. “It’s not an easy thing to do,” he added.
“There’s suffering, and there’s death, and there’s massive inconvenience economically and otherwise. But we’re really a strong nation. We’ve been through some amazing things in our history, so let’s all hang in there together, we will get over this and this will end.”