President Donald Trump Wednesday declared Florida a "major disaster" zone, two days after Governor Ron DeSantis requested that designation.
This opens the door for Florida to receive federal funding & assistance to deal with the COVID19 / Coronavirus pandemic.
Florida is one of the states with the highest number of cases and deaths in the United States due to the coronavirus. As of Wednesday afternoon the state reported 1,977 COVID19 cases.
DeSantis insists he does not plan to order a state-wide quarantine. However, several counties and cities, including Miami-Dade County,which has highest number of COVID19 cases, have ordered their residents not to leave their homes and closed non-essential businesses and most public places.
In other news, the popular Brightline train service serving the Tri-County are ceased operations temporarily yesterday due to the coronavirus pandemic, causing 250 employees to be laid off.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, in his daily video briefing, called Wednesday a “day of action” as the county tries to control the spread of the virus which as of Wednesday had affected 491 residents. The Mayor said the county was taking “swift action against businesses and residents who are not following my emergency orders.”
Gimenez said Metro Police and code enforcement officers would be out in full force “issuing warnings and shutting down repeat offenders.” also reminding county residents that “six-feet between all people is not a suggestion but rather the rule of law”
The county, according to the Mayor, will be receiving 10,000 new testing kits today that will be used to do a "demographic study of the virus" in the county, working with University of Miami. No details of the study were provided. Gimenez said these kits are different in that the results would be available half an hour after collecting the sample.
COVID-19 is the name of the illness caused by the coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization. It is a respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection.