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  • March 1, 2020—Governor DeSantis signed an executive order directing the state health officer to declare a public health emergency and take any actions needed to protect the public health.
    • The order directs the Florida Department of Health to actively monitor all persons meeting the CDC definition of a Person Under Investigation (PUI) for at least 14 days or until the PUI tests negative for COVID-19. Active monitoring will include at least: a) a risk assessment within 24 hours of when the individual meets the criteria for a PUI and b) twice daily temperature checks.
    • The executive order also designated the Florida Department of Health as the lead agency to coordinate emergency response activities.
  • March 9, 2020—Governor DeSantis declared a state of emergency allowing nurses and doctors from other states to work in Florida and pharmacists to issue emergency 30-day prescriptions. The order also allows officials to activate the Florida National Guard, purchase medical supplies more swiftly, and establish field hospitals.
  • March 12, 2020 – Florida activated of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations.
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Florida Division of Emergency Management under direction of the Governor deployed three field hospitals across the state to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • March 17, 20202 – The Governor ordered bars and nightclubs in Florida to close for 30 days and directed restaurants to operate at 50% of their maximum capacity to allow for social distancing.
  • March 17, 2020 – Florida state school officials closed K-12 public schools until April 15 and announced the suspension of mass campus gatherings, including sports events.
  • March 17 – Florida received federal approval for a Section 1135 waiver to provide more flexibility for the health care delivery system to respond to increased cases of COVID-19. The waiver allows Florida to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, lift prior authorization requirements, allow the provision of facility services in alternative settings, and extend fair hearing timelines.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order requiring those who travel to Florida from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to self-isolate for 14 days upon entering the state.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor sent a letter to President Donald Trump formally requesting that he declare a Major Disaster.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor announced President Donald J. Trump has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Florida and ordered federal assistance to supplement the state, tribal, and local recovery efforts.
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor directed the Department of Children and Families to waive work requirements to allow more participation in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) & Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order expanding a previous directive that airline travelers from the New York City area self-quarantine for 14 days to include people from Louisiana who enter the state on Interstate 10.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor announced he would suspend vacation rentals for two weeks.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor announced that he is issuing a stay-at-home order for the southern portion of the state including Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Monroe counties through the middle of May.
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