Demo for McClatchy (Miami Herald)
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday morning that those living in Southeast Florida should stay home until mid-May to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. He would sign an executive order, he said, urging those in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe Counties to stay home. The news spread quickly, as thousands of South Floridians reading online and watching on television mentally prepared to stay indoors — and away from work — for another month and a half. The Republican Party of Florida even issued a statement from Sarasota Sen. Joe Gruters, who doubles as the party chair, noting the mid-May date. “Gov. DeSantis is resolutely leading the state through the coronavirus outbreak with measured, informed, effective actions to protect the health and rights of Floridians,” he wrote. But three-and-a-half hours later at a press conference in Palm Beach County, DeSantis clarified that he meant April 15, not mid-May, for an end date to what he called the “safer at home” order for millions of residents.