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Coronavirus: Broward issues ‘shelter in place’ order. Here’s what that means.

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County residents are “strongly urged” to remain at home and only leave for essential reasons, which include food, work and exercise that complies with social distancing guidelines.

In place as of 12:01 this morning, Broward’s “Shelter-in-Place: Safer at Home” policy to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus is similar to what several municipalities in South Florida had enacted, and it builds on the order earlier this week that closed non-essential businesses in Broward.

But there is no plan yet for citations or fines for violators. In a Thursday night town hall on Instagram, Sheriff Gregory Tony said his deputies will be acting in the best interest of everyone.

“Broward County needs to be a leader and to send a clear message to the public,” Commissioner Mark Bogen said. “The goal is to urge people to stay home.”

Added Broward Mayor Dale V.C. Holness: “As we face this serious issue, we must work together.”

Essential activities that remain permissible in Broward’s 31 cities include:

  • Going to work or to a medical appointment
  • Getting groceries or takeout
  • Exercising outdoors (following the CDC’s social distance guidelines)
  • And leaving home in the event of an emergency

The emergency order issued by Broward Administrator Bertha Henry also updates what the county defines as “essential businesses” and “essential employees.” To read the full order, click here.

Fort Lauderdale on Friday issued its own order that goes into effect Saturday at 12:01 a.m. and could punish violators by law.

“We are invoking the hand of the law to ensure compliance,” Trantalis told the Sun Sentinel. “We believe that strongly urging people is not sufficient to carry out these emergency orders.”

Broward has more than 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19; only Miami-Dade County has more cases in the state, with over 700.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez issued an order Thursday saying that, “The totality of Emergency Orders issued by Miami-Dade County, as may be amended or issued from time to time, shall be referred to as the ‘Safer at Home’ protocols."

“All residents and visitors are urged to remain in their homes other than to engage in essential activities, as allowed through previous emergency orders,” the Miami-Dade announcement added.

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