Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS

DeSantis orders checkpoints near northern border

April 1, 2020
By NATHAN MAYBERG ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

An executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis March 27 will put up checkpoints around the state's northern border to enforce a mandatory 14-day quarantine for those entering Florida from states of substantial community spread of COVID-19, which will now include those traveling on roadways from Louisiana, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. The enforcement of the new order will mean police checkpoints expected to run along Florida's border focusing on the area near Alabama to identify migration from Louisiana. In addition, DeSantis issued an emergency order which will step up the enforcement of social-distancing restrictions on Florida waterways.

The quarantine order arrives with the most complex set of components out of the executive orders announced March 27 by DeSantis meant to help stop the spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

According to a copy of the March 27 order provided by the Governor's office, the latest declaration will not affect commercial vehicles or those engaged in health or infrastructure response.

Among the directives involved in the quarantine order are the establishment of "checkpoints on the roadways for those entering Florida and to require those persons to provide information, including in a written form, regarding the origin of their travel and on the address of their location of isolation or quarantine for a period of 14 days."

The order doesn't specify where the checkpoints would be though DeSantis said in response to a question at a press conference that they would be aimed at "whatever would be the main thoroughfares to come in from other parts of the Gulf Coast. And I think what it will end up being is there will probably be a diversion for folks with certain license plates. You register just like we're doing at the airports."

DeSantis said they would probably be along the I-10 and U.S. Route 90 corridor at its northern border. "Just having that there just lets people know that we are serious about keeping Floridians safe." The generality of the response as well as the broad language of the order left the location of where the checkpoints will be located and how they would be used open to question. A question left with the communications office of the governor's office was not immediately answered pertaining to the executive order.

The governor further directed the Florida Department of Transportation to "facilitate locations for appropriate checkpoints, including at welcome centers and rest stops, and to facilitate the placement of road signs and advisories to provide information on this Order and to direct traffic to the appropriate checkpoint."

DeSantis also declared that all persons who enter Florida from a state of substantial community spread (Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York) must inform any individual in Florida with whom they have had direct physical contact in the past 21 days that they traveled from an area with substantial community spread.

Individuals in violation could be subjected to a misdemeanor charge.

Louisiana was added to the list of states with a substantial community spread of coronavirus after a recent spike in COVID-19 positives among residents and people who traveled there.

Food assistance for families

In a separate announcement March 28, DeSantis said that he was taking steps to increase the maximum amount a family of Florida can receive through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program will now offer a family of four the maximum amount of $509, an increase from Florida's current offering of $449. States have flexibility in choosing the maximum amount of SNAP benefits they can offer citizens. Florida's unemployment assistance program also offers laid-off workers a weekly amount that is even further below the maximum allowable.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web