BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County has issued an emergency order, shutting down all non-essential retail and commercial businesses in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The order took effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday.
Businesses that are deemed essential include grocery stores, farm and produce stands, gas stations, automobile dealerships, auto repair and auto supply stores, banks, hardware stores, shipping companies, media businesses and businesses that “provide food, shelter, social services or other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals,” the order stated.
Contractors and other tradesmen are also permitted to continue working throughout the county.
Businesses that are permitted to stay open are urged to continue practicing social distancing and take preventative measures issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said his deputies will be involved with enforcement measures by first educating non-compliant business owners before citing the problematic ones.
“This is truly a social responsibility where we all need to be involved,” he said.
Broward County, in partnership with the Florida Department of Health, has opened a temporary COVID-19 call center to assist in answering public questions about the coronavirus.
Call takers will also conduct over-the-phone pre-screening for testing eligibility.
The call center, which can be reached at 954-357-9500, is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.