From Governor Ron DeSantis:

MEMORANDUM

TO: Members of the Press

FROM: Helen Aguirre Ferré, Director of Communications, Governor Ron DeSantis

DATE: March 9, 2020

RE: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Good evening:

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-52, declaring a State of Emergency in response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Florida. Declaring a State of Emergency establishes a unified command structure and designates the Director of the Division of Emergency Management as the State Coordinating Officer and the State Surgeon General as the Deputy State Coordinating Officer and State Incident Commander.

Additionally, the Executive Order allows the Governor to direct funds as necessary for critical supplies, equipment and personnel needs. The order allows out-of-state medical professionals to practice in Florida for the duration of the order and permits pharmacists to prescribe up to a 30-day emergency refill of prescription drugs as needed.

A PDF copy of the Executive Order is attached to this email and provided below.

Sincerely,

Helen Aguirre Ferré
Director of Communications
Governor Ron DeSantis

STATE OF FLORIDA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER 20-52
(Emergency Management – COVID-19 Public Health Emergency)

WHEREAS, Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe acute respiratory illness that can spread among humans through respiratory transmission and presents with symptoms similar to those of influenza; and
WHEREAS, in late 2019, a new and significant outbreak of COVID-19 emerged in China; and
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization previously declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern; and
WHEREAS, in response to the recent COVID-19 outbreak in China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has deemed it necessary to prohibit or restrict non-essential travel to or from those countries; and
WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, I issued Executive Order number 20-51 directing the Florida Department of Health to issue a Public Health Emergency; and
WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, the State Surgeon General and State Health Officer declared a Public Health Emergency exists in the State of Florida as a result of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 7, 2020, I directed the Director of the Division of Emergency Management to activate the State Emergency Operations Center to Level 2 to provide coordination and response to the COVID-19 emergency; and
WHEREAS, as of March 9, 2020, eight counties in Florida have positive cases for COVID-19, and COVID-19 poses a risk to the entire state of Florida; and
WHEREAS, the CDC currently recommends community preparedness and everyday prevention measures be taken by all individuals and families in the United States, including voluntary home isolation when individuals are sick with respiratory symptoms, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and disposal of the tissue immediately thereafter, washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, using of alcohol-based hand sanitizers with 60%-95% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available and routinely cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects to increase community resilience and readiness for responding to an outbreak; and
WHEREAS, the CDC currently recommends mitigation measures for communities experiencing an outbreak including staying at home when sick, keeping away from others who are sick, limiting face-to-face contact with others as much as possible, consulting with your healthcare provider if individuals or members of a household are at high risk for COVID-19 complications, wearing a facemask if advised to do so by a healthcare provider or by a public health official, staying home when a household member is sick with respiratory disease symptoms if instructed to do so by public health officials or a health care provider; and
WHEREAS, as Governor, I am responsible for meeting the dangers presented to this state and its people by this emergency.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RON DESANTIS, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section (1)(a) of the Florida Constitution, Chapter 252, Florida Statutes, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive Order to take immediate effect:
Section 1. Because of the foregoing conditions, I declare a state of emergency exists in the State of Florida.
Section 2. I designate the Director of the Division of Emergency Management (“Director”) as the State Coordinating Officer for the duration of this emergency and direct him to execute the State’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and other response, recovery, and mitigation plans necessary to cope with the emergency. Additionally, I designate the State Health Officer and Surgeon General as a Deputy State Coordinating Officer and State Incident Commander.
Pursuant to section 252.36(1)(a), Florida Statutes, I delegate to the State Coordinating Officer the authority to exercise those powers delineated in sections 252.36(5)-(10), Florida Statutes, which he shall exercise as needed to meet this emergency, subject to the limitations of section 252.33, Florida Statutes. In exercising the powers delegated by this Order, the State Coordinating Officer shall confer with the Governor to the fullest extent practicable. The State Coordinating Officer shall also have the authority to:
A. Seek direct assistance and enter into agreements with any and all agencies of the United States Government as may be needed to meet the emergency.
B. Designate additional Deputy State Coordinating Officers, as necessary.
C. Suspend the effect of any statute, rule, or order that would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay any mitigation, response, or recovery action necessary to cope with this emergency.
D. Enter orders as may be needed to implement any of the foregoing powers; however, the requirements of sections 252.46 and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, do not apply to any such orders issued by the State Coordinating Officer; however, no such order shall remain in effect beyond the expiration of this Executive Order, to include any extension.
Section 3. I order the Adjutant General to activate the Florida National Guard, as needed, to deal with this emergency.
Section 4. I find that the special duties and responsibilities resting upon some State, regional, and local agencies and other governmental bodies in responding to the emergency may require them to suspend the application of the statutes, rules, ordinances, and orders they administer. Therefore, I issue the following authorizations:
A. Pursuant to section 252.36(1)(a), Florida Statutes, the Executive Office of the Governor may suspend all statutes and rules affecting budgeting to the extent necessary to provide budget authority for state agencies to cope with this emergency. The requirements of sections 252.46 and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, do not apply to any such suspension issued by the Executive Office of the Governor; however, no such suspension shall remain in effect beyond the expiration of this Executive Order, to include any extension.
B. Each State agency may suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or the orders or rules of that agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any such statute, order, or rule would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency. This includes, but is not limited to, the authority to suspend any and all statutes, rules, ordinances, or orders which affect leasing, printing, purchasing, travel, and the condition of employment and the compensation of employees. For the purposes of this Executive Order, “necessary action in coping with the emergency” means any emergency mitigation, response, or recovery action: (1) prescribed in the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (“CEMP”); or (2) ordered by the State Coordinating Officer. The requirements of sections 252.46 and 120.54, Florida Statutes, shall not apply to any such suspension issued by a State agency; however, no such suspension shall remain in effect beyond the expiration of this Executive Order, to include any extensions.
C. In accordance with section 465.0275, Florida Statutes, pharmacists may dispense up to a 30-day emergency prescription refill of maintenance medication to persons who reside in an area or county covered under this Executive Order and to emergency personnel who have been activated by their state and local agency but who do not reside in an area or county covered by this Executive Order.
D. In accordance with section 252.38, Florida Statutes, each political subdivision within the State of Florida may waive the procedures and formalities otherwise required of the political subdivision by law pertaining to:
1) Performance of public work and taking whatever prudent action is necessary to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community;
2) Entering into contracts; however, political subdivisions are cautioned against entering into time and materials contracts without ceiling as defined by 2 CFR 200.318(j) or cost plus percentage contracts as defined by 2 CFR 200.323(d);
Incurring obligations;
Employment of permanent and temporary workers;
Utilization of volunteer workers;
Rental of equipment;
7) Acquisition and distribution, with or without compensation, of supplies, materials, and facilities; and,
Appropriation and expenditure of public funds.
E. All State agencies responsible for the use of State buildings and facilities may close such buildings and facilities in those portions of the State affected by this emergency, to the extent necessary to meet this emergency. I direct each State agency to report the closure of any State building or facility to the Secretary of the Department of Management Services. Under the authority contained in section 252.36, Florida Statutes, I direct each County to report the closure of any building or facility operated or maintained by the County or any political subdivision therein to the Secretary of the Department of Management Services. Furthermore, I direct the Secretary of the Department of Management Services to:
1) Maintain an accurate and up-to-date list of all such closures; and,
2) Provide that list daily to the State Coordinating Officer.
Section 5. I find that the demands placed upon the funds appropriated to the agencies of the State of Florida and to local agencies are unreasonably great and the funds currently available may be inadequate to pay the costs of coping with this emergency. In accordance with section 252.37(2), Florida Statutes, I direct that sufficient funds be made available, as needed, by transferring and expending moneys appropriated for other purposes, moneys from unappropriated surplus funds, or from the Budget Stabilization Fund.
Section 6. All State agencies entering emergency final orders or other final actions in response to this emergency shall advise the State Coordinating Officer contemporaneously or as soon as practicable.
Section 7. Medical professionals and workers, social workers, and counselors with good and valid professional licenses issued by states other than the State of Florida may render such services in Florida during this emergency for persons affected by this emergency with the condition that such services be rendered to such persons free of charge, and with the further condition that such services be rendered under the auspices of the American Red Cross or the Florida Department of Health.
Section 8. All activities taken by the Director of the Division of Emergency Management and the State Health Officer and Surgeon General with respect to this emergency before the issuance of this Executive Order are ratified. This Executive Order shall expire sixty days from this date unless extended.

Published by Tom Lauder

Covering South Florida Politics Since 2010...As Seen On: POLITICO, The Huffington Post, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Miami Herald, WPLG LOCAL 10 (ABC MIAMI), The New Times

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