Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has yet to issue a shelter-in-place order for the state.
Florida has 67 counties, of which 20 have yet to report a coronavirus case. Two counties, Miami-Dade and Broward counties, have each reported cases in the hundreds.
The Republican governor has been careful to issue statewide measures to protect the economy.
In a Monday evening press conference, he explained his decision, saying, "This is not a virus that is impacting every corner of the state."
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called for closures of bars and gyms and limited restaurants to takeout and delivery — but he has yet to issue a shelter-in-place order for the state, even with coronavirus outbreaks in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Miami and Fort Lauderdale, two major spring break destinations in Florida's most impacted counties, coordinated their city shutdowns to avoid flooding other cities with tourists, but the party persisted elsewhere. A video of a Clearwater beach packed with people on March 18 drew outrage from viewers.
DeSantis explained the decision to hold back on a statewide shelter-in-place order in a Monday night news conference.
In the news conference, DeSantis, who has been the governor of Florida since January 2019 and served as Republican congressman from 2013 to 2018, called a potential shelter-in-place order "a very blunt instrument."
"When you are ordering people to shelter in place, you are consigning a number — probably hundreds of thousands — of Floridians to lose their jobs," DeSantis said. Florida's population tops 20 million.
—WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) March 23, 2020
"If you look at Florida's situation right now, this is not a virus that is impacting every corner of the state," he continued. "We have 20 counties that have zero cases at all and about 25 counties that really only have a few cases."
Counties in North Florida near Tallahassee like Jefferson and Wakulla have no reported cases, but two counties in South Florida, Miami-Dade and Broward, have hundreds.
Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower previously reported that Florida's unique mix of retirees and young tourists puts the state at a higher risk for the novel coronavirus, but DeSantis has been careful not to enforce measures that could hurt the state's economy.
"You do have an outbreak in Miami-Dade and Broward counties," DeSantis said in his Monday evening conference, "but those are different from places like northwest Florida."
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