Using powers delegated by a recent executive order by Governor Ron DeSantis, Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry has ordered “all nonessential retail and commercial business locations” closed as of 12:01 AM Monday March 23, 2020. The move comes as President Donald Trump and the Center For Disease Control (CDC) limited public gatherings to stop the spread of the Chinese Coronavirus/COVID-19.
For the last week, Governor DeSantis and Broward leaders urged nonessential businesses to voluntarily shutter. Businesses allowed to remain open included grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, gas stations, banks and restaurants for takeout and delivery service only. However, Bertha Henry’s list of essential businesses allowed to remain open is lengthy.
These “essential” businesses include:
Groups which provide food/shelter/social services to needy.
Open construction sites
Newspapers, television, radio and media services
Contractors and tradesmen
Pool service companies
Mailing services and mailbox stores
Taxis, trains, buses
Assisted living facilities
So, what exactly is closed?
I have heard from concerned citizens who have been told they still need to report to work in what are actually non-essential businesses like auto dealerships or tax preparation offices, thereby exposing these workers to unnecessary risk. A few have asked me to contact our Mayor Lynn Stoner requesting our Mayor take action to define guidelines for Plantation that are more restrictive in preventing workers and the public to be unnecessarily exposed to the sometimes lethal virus. Businesses that remain open should be required to allow workers who are 65 or older, or have underlying medical conditions to take a leave of absence from work without consequences.