BROWARD COUNTY, FL – County Administrator Bertha Henry issued Emergency Order 20-01 today, closing all non-essential retail and commercial business locations in incorporated and unincorporated Broward County. The closure is to take effect at 12:01AM on Monday, March 23.
The Emergency Order defines in detail which retail and commercial businesses are considered essential, and directed to remain open. They include, but are not limited to, healthcare providers and equipment suppliers, doctor’s offices and urgent care centers, mental health professionals, home health care service providers, grocery stores and pharmacies, businesses that provide food, shelter, social services and other necessities for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, banks, gas stations and media.
Businesses that remain open are directed to implement health professional recommendations for social distancing and all other preventive measures as advised by local health professionals and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Nonessential businesses are directed to close, except to the extent necessary to perform “Minimum Basic Operations.” Minimum Basic Operations are defined as minimum activities necessary to maintain the value of inventory, preserve plant and equipment condition, ensure security, process the business’s own payroll and employee benefits, and facilitate the business’s own employees working remotely.
“The closure of non-essential businesses is a further step in community mitigation to increase containment of the COVID-19 virus in Broward County,” said Mayor Dale V.C. Holness in a news conference earlier tonight. “While these are incredibly painful steps to take with devastating short- and long-term impacts to our community, the potential impacts of COVID-19 on our residents and visitors are much more devastating. We must take every responsible action that we can to quickly mitigate the spread of this deadly virus.”
Emergency Order 20-01 is supplemental, in addition to Executive Orders issued by Governor Ron DeSantis and may be superseded by future Executive Orders from either the Governor or the President of the United States.
It also establishes minimum standards. Municipalities may impose more stringent standards within their jurisdictions, as several municipalities already have.
The County Administrator’s Emergency Order 20-01 will expire upon the expiration of the existing State of Local Emergency, unless terminated earlier by a subsequent Emergency Order.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Call Center Handling Resident Questions About Testing
Beginning yesterday, Broward County partnered with the Florida Department of Health in Broward County to open a special telephone line to assist in answering public questions about COVID-19. Call takers can also conduct over-the-phone pre-screening for testing eligibility. The new number is 954-357-9500. The temporary COVID-19 call center will accept calls from 8AM to 8PM, 7 days a week.