As the Florida statewide stay at-home order is approaching the end of its first month, some sobering statistics have emerged demonstrating the far-ranging and devastating impact the coronavirus has had on the state’s residents. Those statistics include the following:
- Over 30,000 reported cases of the coronavirus in the state;
- Over 1,000 deaths;
- More than 500,000 unemployment cases were filed last week. Indeed in a mere one-month period, there have been more furloughs and mass layoffs than there were in the entire year in 2019. The majority of layoffs and mass furloughs related to the coronavirus have been in the restaurant and hotel industries, together with recreation, entertainment and the arts—all industries which have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19.
Nevertheless, with optimism that the curve is flattening in Florida and that stay-at-home measures are having a positive and appreciable impact, beaches in Jacksonville and neighboring St. John’s County re-opened last week—with social distancing guidelines still in effect. A number of other counties have followed this week by reopening their beaches, including beaches in Sarasota County, Flagler County and famed Cocoa Beach. In addition, department stores and flower shops in the state have been given permission to re-open.
Executive Order 20-91, Florida’s statewide stay-at-home order, is currently set to expire in less than a week on April 30, 2020, unless it is further extended. There have been no COVID-19 executive orders issued since the latter part of last week.