Florida’s state of emergency extended as COVID-19 continues posing threat

Governor: 'Impact of COVID-19 poses a continuing threat' to Floridians

FILE - In this Thursday, May 14, 2020, file photo, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference in Doral, Fla. A federal appellate court has stayed a lower court ruling that gave impoverished Florida felons the right to vote. The order issued Wednesday, July 1, 2020, disappointed voting rights activists and could have national implications in November's presidential election. In May, a federal judge ruled that Florida law cant stop disenfranchised felons from voting because they cant pay back any legal fees and restitution they owe. DeSantis immediately appealed to the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting a stay of the ruling and a review of the case by the full appeals court. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) (Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis has extended the state of emergency in Florida as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb statewide.

On Tuesday, DeSantis signed an executive order extending the state of emergency, which was first declared on March 9, just days after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in Florida.

[Timeline: The spread of coronavirus in Florida]

The state of emergency was extended in mid-May before Tuesday’s order, which extended it another 60 days.

According to state officials, declaring a state of emergency allows the governor to direct funds as necessary for supplies, equipment and personnel needs.

The extension comes just days after Florida set a new statewide record for the most cases reported in a single day with more than 11,000 reported Saturday. Since then, Florida also surpassed the grim milestone of 200,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“The impact of COVID-19 poses a continuing threat to the health, safety and welfare of the State of Florida and its residents,” the order read, in part.

EO 20-166 by Brianna Volz on Scribd

After a statewide shutdown in April, Florida remains in phase two of reopening its economy, though leaders in some parts of Florida have started to roll back reopening plans in response to the recent spike in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

[READ MORE: These Central Florida cities, counties have face covering requirements | Florida’s largest county closes restaurants as COVID-19 spikes]

Several counties have also issued mask mandates requiring face coverings to be worn in public in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

On Monday, Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran signed an executive order stating Florida plans to reopen all brick-and-mortar schools for at least five days a week for all students beginning in August.

At last check, more than 213,700 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed statewide, as well as 16,425 total hospitalizations.

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