The fight against the spread of COVID-19 has escalated once again, with both Mayor Lenny Curry and Governor Ron DeSantis issuing stay-at-home orders that will go into effect beginning tomorrow night.
This morning, Mayor Lenny Curry issued Executive Order 2020-5 ordering the emergency closure of all non-essential businesses. The order cites similar actions by the mayor of Miami-Dade County, which were later expanded to include surrounding counties.
Curry’s order is set to go into effect at 12:01 AM on Friday, April 3, and includes Baldwin and the Beaches. After that, no public employees may be present in any non-essential retail or commercial establishment.
Just a few hours after Curry’s order was announced, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a state-wide stay-at-home order that will go into effect tomorrow at midnight – essentially at the same time as the local order. DeSantis had been under increasing pressure to issue a statewide order, with the overwhelming majority of states having issued such orders days ago.
Curry, likewise, had been reluctant to issue a local stay-at-home order due in part to the practical issues of enforcement. “I know that this is a major decision that will have major impacts on the lives of citizens throughout Jacksonville,” Curry said via press release, “but, as mayor, my top priority has been and always will be the collective health and safety of this city.”
Under the local order, residents will be allowed to carry out essential tasks – such as getting groceries or going to the pharmacy – but are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible and to stay at least six feet away from others. Most significantly, residents are not to gather in groups, something that the city has been receiving reports of despite clear social distancing guidelines.
DeSantis’s order will expire in 30 days; Curry’s does not currently have a set end date.
Only essential businesses can continue operating, but there are quite a few categories of business that qualify as essential under Curry’s order. Here’s a rundown of those businesses deemed essential:
- Healthcare providers, including, but not limited to, hospitals, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, urgent care centers, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, physical therapists, mental health professionals, psychiatrists, therapists, and pharmacies
- Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This authorization includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences
- Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing
- Businesses that provide food, shelter, social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals
- Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services
- Gas stations; new and used automobile dealerships; and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities, provided however that such businesses should ensure that customers practice the social distancing as advised by the CDC
- Banks and related financial institutions
- Hardware stores
- Contractors and other tradesmen, appliance repair personnel, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other structures
- Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes
- Private colleges, trade schools, and technical colleges, but only as needed to facilitate online or distance learning and university, college, or technical college residence halls, to the extent needed to accommodate students who cannot return to their homes
- Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers
- Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but subject to the limitations and requirements of Emergency Order 2020-1. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site
- Businesses that supply office products needed for people to work from home
- Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate, and which do not interact with the general public
- Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods, or services directly to residences
- Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services via automobile, truck, bus, or train
- Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children
- Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and adult day care centers, and senior residential facilities
- Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist with compliance with legally mandated activities
- Landscape and pool care businesses, including residential landscape and pool care services
- facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, childcare facilities should operate under the following mandatory conditions:
- must be carried out in stable groups of 10 or fewer (inclusive of childcare providers for the group
- Children and childcare providers shall not change from one group to another.
- If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix or interact with each other
- Businesses operating at any airport, seaport, or other government facility, including parks and government offices
- Pet supply stores
- Logistics providers; including warehouses; trucking, consolidators, fumigators, and handlers
- Telecommunications providers, including sales of computer or telecommunications devices and the provision of home telecommunications;
- Provision of propane or natural gas;
- Office space and administrative support necessary to perform any of the above-listed activities;
- Open construction sites, irrespective of the type of building;
- Architectural, engineering, or land surveying services;
- Factories, manufacturing facilities, bottling plants, or other industrial uses;
- Waste management services, including collection and disposal of waste;
- Any business that is interacting with customers solely through electronic or telephonic means, and delivering products via mailing, shipping, or delivery services
- Private and municipal marinas and boat launches, docking, fueling, marine supply and other marina services, and other private outdoor recreational activities that comply with the spacing, maximum capacity and other requirements of federal, state and local executive orders and proclamations;
- Hotels, motels, other commercial lodging establishments and temporary vacation rentals, subject to the requirements of Executive Order 2020-4;
- Veterinarians and pet boarding facilities;
- Mortuaries, funeral homes, and cemeteries;
- The sale of alcoholic beverages is authorized consistent with Executive Order 2020-1;
- Firearm and ammunition supply stores; and
- Businesses providing services to any local, state, or federal government, including municipalities, pursuant to a contract with such government.
For continued updates on the latest city guidelines regarding COVID-19, visit jaxready.com/virus.