Coronavirus: Florida cities order people to stay home; governor resists

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A normally busy Ocean Drive in Miami Beach is much quieter than usual.

Almost everyone is at home, heeding instructions to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

“It’s a ghost town,” Miami Beach resident Dana Grodin said Tuesday morning. “Fortunately we’re allowed to get exercise.”

A mandatory stay-at-home order went into effect at midnight in Miami Beach. Some of Florida’s harder-hit municipalities ordered all their residents to shelter in place Tuesday after Gov. Ron DeSantis argued against a statewide order.

DeSantis also blamed outsiders for potentially spreading the virus, ordering a 14-day quarantine on people flying in from New York and New Jersey.

Miami Beach is among 10 municipalities in Miami-Dade County that have adopted “safer at home” orders.

“You got to go to work, you gotta go to your doctor’s office, you gotta go get food, we understand,” said Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales. "But it’s time to stay home and truly have social distance so we can beat this pandemic.”

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he believes last week’s order shutting down all non-essential businesses is enough.

“These other communities that are sheltering in place, heck, we did that last week," Gimenez said. “We just didn’t call it sheltering in place.”

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is calling an emergency meeting Wednesdayto discuss a similar order in his city.

DeSantis said he’s not ready for a statewide mandate to stay home. Testing remains limited and has yet to show any cases of the virus in a third of Florida counties.

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