Seminole County social distancing order goes into effect as COVID-19 cases rise

Officials say this is not a stay at home order

Social distancing order to go into effect for Seminole County
Social distancing order to go into effect for Seminole County

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – An executive order enforcing the CDC guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19 goes into effect tonight in Seminole County.

The order starts at 12 a.m. on March 30.

[TIMELINE: The spread of coronavirus in Florida]

The order is forcing some businesses who are unable to follow the federal recommendations to close, including Bonnie Bright's business Waxing the City in Altamonte Springs.

Bright said she is extending her store hours on Sunday to try to see as many clients as she can before she is forced to shut down.

“We’ll be here until 9 o’clock tonight trying to fit in as much business and get our clients ready for the two-week layoff,” Bright said.

Bright co-owns the studio with her daughter. She said they have to close after Seminole County leaders signed an executive order on Friday to enforce social distancing.

Bright said they cannot follow all of the guidelines at her business.

“We’re doing everything possible to follow the CDC rules. The only one that I couldn’t follow was the 6-foot distance,” Bright said.

County leaders said they were getting calls from workers in the area that said their businesses were not following the social distance guidelines.

The executive order requires everyone to follow the recommendations, including keeping customers and employees 6 feet apart, limiting groups to less than 10 people, reducing occupancy inside businesses to 30% maximum capacity, and making sure checkout lines and storefronts maintain proper distance by placing markers on the floor.

News 6 saw a Seminole County Publix placed tape 6 feet apart on the floor at the check out lines and a shipping store placed tape markers inside the business.

"I know we're all together as a community and we're working hard to follow all the CDC rules," Bright said.

The county has not said how long the social distancing order is in place, but Bright said she hopes she can reopen on April 10 after Orange and Osceola counties end their stay at home orders.

Bright said she estimates she will lose $25,000 during the closure. But she hopes if everyone follows the rules, the community can flatten the curve.

“I think if we all take the two weeks off and get back to business, all will be good,” she said.

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About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!