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What to know about the county’s latest (and slightly less confusing) emergency order

Virginia Gil
Written by
Virginia Gil

Yesterday, we unpacked Mayor Frances Suarez’s shelter in place order, which requires people living within the City of Miami to stay home unless they’re conducting essential business.

It confused many of us because just last week, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez seemingly issued a different order—only it wasn’t. It was the exact same thing only his roundabout explanation referred to an “emergency order” that asked people to “stay safer at home.”  

According to Gimenez, who published a statement on his Facebook page, “shelter in place orders should only be used for hurricanes, tornadoes and active shooter incidents.” It seems Mayor Suarez used the wrong term to echo what Mayor Gimenez had already stated.

Below is the county mayor’s full explanation, where he also highlights the section of his order that points to an amendment that...well, yeah, he lost us, too. Plus, here’s what we were able to cull from the orders, plus new information for the elderly folks.

On quarantining when you’re not sick:
–Mayor Gimenez wants you to act as though you have coronavirus and stay home. This will help the virus from spreading, especially between people who may have it and not show symptoms.

On driving:
–If you can’t stay home because, say, you have to work, you can only drive to and from work.
–You can also drive to conduct “essential business,” such as picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy and going to the grocery store for food.

On boating:
–Marinas and docks are closed save for commercial fishing (this is essential, because food)
Click here to dig deeper if you own a boat.

On being outside:
–You may walk around your neighborhood and/or immediate surroundings but keep a distance of at least six feet between you and the people around you.

On what’s an essential business:
–Anything car-related: car dealers, mechanics, and service departments
–Places that sell food: bodegas, grocery stores, restaurants (for takeout and delivery only)
–Places that grow or raise food—think farmers
–Healthcare professionals
–Media: TV, newspapers, radio—basically reporters informing you about what’s going on
–Laundromats and drycleaners
–Professional services like law firms/essential legal practices
–Hardware stores
–Contract workers keeping you safe, keeping areas clean (that’s why you’ll still see city workers mowing medians, for instance)
–Places that send or receive mail: like the post office or UPS
–Places that sell office supplies and other items necessary to work
Click here for a full list.

On the elderly:
–On Wednesday evening, March 25, Mayor Gimenez signed an order urging people ages 65 or older to stay home and compelling their employers to allow them to work remotely.

As always, the latest orders can be read online here, but we’ll be back to help you make sense of it all.

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