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COVID-19 Jurisdictional Update

“Safer at Home” Orders issued by Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties this week limit individual activity while generally allowing for commerce and business activities to continue so long as businesses operate consistent with the CDC guidelines. These orders are in addition to restrictions already in place due to prior state and local orders.  

The Executive Office of Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a number of Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to protect the State of Florida’s residents and businesses. These Executive Orders have far-reaching statewide applicability and effects:

  • EO 20-83 (March 24): directing State Health Officer and Surgeon General to issue public health advisories regarding protection of vulnerable populations, advising against gatherings of 10 or more people, and urging those who can work remotely to do so

  • EO 20-82 (March 24): mandatory isolation of persons traveling from the Tri-State area to Florida by any means; such persons must quarantine themselves for 14 days upon arrival to Florida, or for the duration of their visit, whichever is shorter

  • EO 20-80 (March 24): mandatory airport screening and isolation; persons whose point of departure is an airport in the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Florida, or for the duration of their visit, whichever is shorter

  • EO 20-72 (March 20): prohibition of any medically unnecessary, non-urgent, or non-emergency procedures 

  • EO 20-71 (March 20): closure of bars and nightclubs; prohibition of restaurants serving alcohol for consumption on-premises; prohibition of restaurants serving food for consumption on-premises (delivery or take-out only, including alcohol); closure of gyms and fitness centers

  • EO 20-70 (March 20): closure of on-premises services of restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, lounges, bowling alleys, etc. to customers in Broward County and Palm Beach County

  • EO 20-69 (March 20): suspending the statutory in-person quorum requirements for governing bodies at public meetings; allowing for teleconferencing to conduct public meetings and allow public participation

  • EO 20-68 (March 17): regulating restaurants; this order is superseded by EO 20-70

  • EO 20-52 (March 9): declaring state of emergency in State of Florida

  • EO 20-51 (March 1): directing State Health Officer to declare public health emergency in State of Florida

What are the ramifications?

  • Local Government and state agency public meetings may be vastly altered statewide.

  • Bars and nightclubs are closed statewide. 

  • Gyms and fitness centers are closed statewide. 

  • Non-emergency and elective medical procedure appointments have been cancelled statewide, including dental and orthodontics. 

  • Restaurants are effectively closed statewide, other than the ability to serve take-out or delivery meals. 

The Governor has not yet issued a Stay-at-Home order mandating residents to shelter in place unless essential to leave their home. Various cities and counties in the State of Florida have issued “Safer at Home” or “Stay-at-Home” orders for their own residents, and more jurisdictions are currently considering the issuance of such an order. The orders that have been issued in many cases mandate the closure of “non-essential” businesses; the lists of essential businesses vary minimally per jurisdiction, and are provided in the text of the respective orders. In some cases, non-essential businesses may remain open if they can maintain adherence to CDC social distancing guidelines. 

CLICK HERE to access a chart documenting the measures taken by various jurisdictions of the State of Florida in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on jurisdictions in the greater Tampa Bay Area.

© 2007-2022 Hill Ward Henderson, All Rights ReservedNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 87

About this Author

Katherine E. Cole Land Use and Real Estate Lawyer Hill Ward Henderson

Katie is a Shareholder in the firm’s Land Use and Real Estate Group. Her practice primarily involves representing real estate owners in the development of commercial projects and residential subdivisions throughout Pinellas & Pasco Counties. Katie serves clients from the firm’s Clearwater office.

She handles development issues for clients including land use plan amendments, zoning map amendments, planned developments, local government site plan approvals, drafting development agreements, negotiating resolutions for Code Enforcement cases, environmental permitting at the local...

 Kamala E. Corbett  Land Use and Real Estate Lawyer Hill Ward Henderson

Kami is a Shareholder in the firm’s Land Use and Real Estate Group. 

She has extensive experience in the areas of land use, comprehensive planning, annexation, Developments of Regional Impact (DRI),  zoning , variances, tree removal permits, design exceptions, subdivisions, sign permitting, alcoholic beverage permitting, concurrency agreements, development agreements and all aspects of governmental permitting, including stormwater and environmental permitting.  In addition to her land use practice, Kami also has experience with matters relating to, real...

Scott McLaren Commercial and Real Property Litigation Attorney Hill Ward Henderson

Scott is a shareholder in the commercial and real property litigation groups.  He currently serves on the firm’s Management Committee, and is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in both Civil Trial Law and Business Litigation.  Scott is licensed in Florida and Georgia, and concentrates his practice on litigation involving business disputes, real estate and land use issues, as well as complex commercial litigation.  Scott has extensive experience in prosecuting and defending lawsuits involving zoning and land use issues, claims for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, deceptive and unfair trade...

Robert A. Shimberg Commercial Litigation Attorney Hill Ward Henderson

Robert is a Shareholder in the firm's Litigation Group. His primary practice areas include commercial litigation, corporate compliance, cybersecurity, governmental relations and corporate investigations. He was formerly a prosecutor with the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office.

Robert has provided compliance-related services and training to over 300 businesses around the country. He has defended businesses against consumer claims, class action lawsuits, and provided representation in connection with government agency inquiries and investigations and...

Jaime R. Maier Land Use and Real Estate Attorney Hill Ward Henderson

Jaime is an associate in the firm’s Land Use and Real Estate group. She serves clients from both the Tampa and Clearwater offices.

Jaime graduated in the top ten percent of her class at UCLA School of Law, and was elected for membership in the Order of the Coif. She was a six-time recipient of the Masin Family Academic Excellence Gold Award, which is awarded to students who achieve the highest grade in a competitive law school class. She received this award in Contracts, Constitutional Law, Taxation of Business Enterprises, Professional Responsibility, Business Bankruptcy, and...