Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issues stay-at-home order amid coronavirus outbreak

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide order Wednesday mandating all residents to stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak. It joins New York, New Jersey, California and Washington — all among the hardest hit by the spread of COVID-19 — in implementing restrictions on people’s movements as an attempt to keep the virus from spreading further. 

The U.S. has the most coronavirus cases of any country, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, with more than 190,000 confirmed cases of the virus and at least 4,100 deaths. 

With the majority of states instituting stay-at-home orders, more restrictions are expected be implemented this week. Here are the states that announced restrictions Wednesday. This list will be updated throughout the day:

Florida residents told to remain at home

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis talks during a news conference at the Broward County mobile testing site at CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, Fla., on March 19, 2020.

David Santiago | Miami Herald | Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Wednesday requiring residents to remain at home. Only certain parts of Florida had stay-at-home orders prior the the statewide order. The new policy goes into effect Thursday night at midnight. 

“Even though there’s a lot of places in Florida with very low infection rates, it makes sense to make this move now,” DeSantis said at a press briefing Wednesday.

He said that he had consulted with President Donald Trump about implementing a stay-at-home order and that the CDC’s decision to extend its guidelines 30 more days also influenced his decision. 

Residents will still be able to leave their homes for essential reasons. DeSantis said senior citizens should take special care to stay at home amid the outbreak. 

Florida currently has 6,955 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to data compiled by the state. 

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