Today, I issued an Emergency Declaration requiring residents of the city to Fort Lauderdale to stay at home in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19.
Fort Lauderdale and cities across Broward County came together to take unprecedented action to protect the people of our communities. This mandatory order is critical because we are at a tipping point in the fight against this deadly and contagious virus. Now is the time to stay at home. If we do not do so, the virus could spread rapidly through our community and overwhelm our hospitals. Without concerted action, people are at risk and lives at stake.
Under the Emergency Declaration, travel in the city of Fort Lauderdale is restricted to visiting essential businesses only, including but not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare providers, gas stations, and childcare facilities. Residents and visitors may also support restaurants offering drive-thru, delivery, and take-out services.
Essential businesses are strongly encouraged to remain open provided that they follow the employee screening guidelines and cleaning protocols outlined in the declaration. Screening guidelines include, but are not limited to, prohibiting employees from entering work premises if they have returned or been in contact with someone who has returned from international travel or been on a cruise in the last 14 days; been in any gathering of 50 or more people in the last 14 days; traveled to any cities with high numbers of COVID-19 cases; or exhibited any of the COVID-19 symptoms.
In addition, essential businesses will be required to follow strict cleaning guidelines including but not limited to: disinfecting check out areas, cash registers, and credit card areas; hourly disinfection of public door handles; disinfection after each customer uses a pen, stylus or screen to sign a receipt; and daily disinfection of all areas of a business that customers may touch or come into contact. Employees will also be required to wash and/or disinfect their hands at least once per hour.
The declaration also includes specific criteria for social distancing in public including requirements that individuals stay at least six feet apart whenever practicable. Additionally, individuals exhibiting flu or COVID-19 like symptoms should not enter any public place; should contact their medical provider by phone before visiting the medical provider’s office; and use the drive thru or delivery service to receive their prescription or medications.
The City of Fort Lauderdale’s Emergency Declaration will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, March 28 and will remain in effect up through and including April 16.
Also, please remember my townhall forum tonight, March 27, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and our local response. Information is below.