Florida Governor Ron DeSantis extends state of emergency for 60 more days
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - On Friday, Governor DeSantis issued an executive order extending the ongoing state of emergency in Florida for another 60 days.
The state of emergency was originally issued on March 9 as a response to the coronavirus. It allows him to broaden his powers as Governor, including allowing him to deploy National Guard troops if necessary, utilize out-of-state medical personnel, and swiftly purchase any necessary supplies.
Florida is currently under phase one of reopening except for Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, as they continue to lower their COVID-19 cases. Phase one allows for a partial reopening of restaurants and retail stores, with capacity limited to just 25 percent. Elective surgeries are also allowed to resume under phase one.
In addition, starting Monday, barbershops and salons can open with limited capacity as well. Under the same executive order, Palm Beach County will enter phase one, leaving just coronavirus hotspots Miami-Dade and Broward counties as the only remaining Florida counties left out of phase one of reopening.
Governor DeSantis has not yet said when Florida will enter Phase 2 of reopening.
The latest numbers from state health officials show that there have been 40,596 cases of COVID-19 in Florida, resulting in a death toll of 1,721. Almost 40 percent of those deaths are victims living at Florida nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
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This story was written in Orlando, Florida.