Restaurants are open only for takeout, and bars and nightclubs are shut down on a nearly empty Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale on March 18.(Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Restaurants are open only for takeout, and bars and nightclubs are shut down on a nearly empty Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale on March 18.(Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

MARCH 26, 2020 | Fort Lauderdale – Broward County issued a stay-at-home order Thursday afternoon, demanding everyone stay in their houses unless leaving to buy food, head to work or deal with emergencies to fight the new coronavirus.

“This is something that can be uniform for our 31 municipalities,” said Commissioner Michael Udine. “Anything we can to do to flatten the curve … is imperative in my opinion.”

The order goes into effect a minute after midnight on Friday morning. There is no expiration date.

The move comes after County Commissioner Mark Bogen took to Twitter earlier in the day to call for the order.

“We have a large senior population in Broward County. We also have children who are testing positive for the coronavirus in Broward County. I’m asking for this to protect the health and welfare of all Broward residents,” he said.

He said 21 states, 37 counties, and 16 cities in the United States are under stay-at-home orders and Florida is not one of them. The county declared a public health State of Emergency on March 10 and closed “non-essential” businesses.

“Staying at home will save lives,” Bogen said. “That’s all I care about.”

The stay-at-home order allows residents to leave their home for grocery shopping, banking, doctor visits, exercise or gas stations. Workers considered “essential” employees can report to work.

But there is no enforcement or penalties to violating the county’s mandate.

“All we can do is urge people to stay home or it’s never going to end,” Bogen said. “I think it’s necessary we be a leader and work to send a strong message to the community.”

Article: South Florida Sun Sentinel
By Lisa J. Huriash and Susannah Bryan
https://www.sun-sentinel.com/coronavirus/fl-ne-coronavirus-broward-county-stay-home-order-20200326-kdtc4h7qlrbixh5oxjfws7jdpi-story.html