Pinellas: Commission Issues “Safer at Home” Order

AT A GLANCE

-BCC extends local state of emergency and issues “Safer at Home” order.

-Residents are ordered to follow CDC guidelines, stay home as much as possible save for essential needs.

-Non-essential businesses are ordered to close storefront operations and customer foot traffic unless they are able to comply with CDC guidelines.

-Places of public assembly are ordered to close, including: movie theaters, museums, pool halls, bowling alleys, country clubs and others

-County public parks will stay open; however, playgrounds within the parks will be closed.

READ THE FULL ORDER HERE

The spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to pose a significant health risk to our community. As a result, the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday extended its local state of emergency declaration another week and adopted a “Safer At Home” Order for individuals, business owners, and any place of public assembly to slow the spread of the virus. The Order is effective starting Thursday, March 26, 2020, at 12 p.m. and will continue so long as there is a declared local state of emergency in Pinellas.

“It’s important for us to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections in Pinellas County while balancing the needs of our community and we are exercising every reasonable power to slow the spread,” said Commission Chair Pat Gerard. “These actions, with the cooperation of our Pinellas residents and businesses, will help us prevent worse scenarios in the future.”

WHAT THE ORDER MEANS

RESIDENTS

Pinellas residents are ordered to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines of social distancing (6 feet of separation from others and no group gatherings of more than 10), stay home as much as possible and limit non-essential activity. Residents can still leave their homes to meet essential needs such as food, healthcare, laundry and outdoor recreation. Essential activities include:

a.Direct care or support of family members

b.Healthcare and medical services

c.Pharmacies, health care supply stores, and health care facilities

d.Groceries

e.Meal take-outs from local food establishments (including food banks)

f.Essential work duties that cannot be performed from home

g.Primary or emergency care or direct care support for a family member or relative

h.Banks and related financial institutions

i.Laundry services, laundromats

j.Essential home repairs and maintenance (lawn care, plumbing, roofing, etc.)

k.Outdoor activity while following CDC guidelines (examples include: walking pet, hiking, biking).

l.Veterinarians and pet boarding facilities

m.Gas stations, auto-supply and auto-repair facilities

PLACES OF ASSEMBLY

Places that facilitate public assembly, whether indoors or outdoors are ordered to close to the public. This includes, places like public play grounds, publicly accessible children’s play centers, bowling alleys, movies and other theaters, country clubs, social clubs and fraternal organizations. Any gatherings involving groups of 10 or more will be told to disperse.

County public parks will stay open, however all playgrounds within the park will be closed. For more information about parks visit http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/default.htm.

BUSINESSES

Non-essential businesses are ordered to close storefront operations and customer foot traffic if they can’t meet CDC guidelines. However, businesses may continue internal and minimum basic operations required to maintain the businesses. Businesses are still required to enforce the CDC social distancing guidelines.
Essential businesses may continue operations following the appropriate guidelines to the maximum extent possible. Examples of essential businesses include the following:

-First Responders, Police and Fire, Jails and Prisons

-Hospitals, clinics and other healthcare operations

-Community based organizations providing meals and social services

-Human Service operations

-Garbage and Sanitation workers

-Transportation: including airports and public transportation such as PSTA

-Utilities, Public Works and essential infrastructure

-Critical trades: (Plumbers, Electricians, Exterminators, Security personnel, etc.)

-Government essential service workers

-Gas Stations

-Food: (grocery stores, food banks, restaurants: delivery, take-out or curbside delivery)

-Banks and financial institutions

-Laundromats

-Funeral Services

-Hotel and lodging

-Hardware and supply stores

-Post offices and shipping services

See full list of essential businesses.  

Businesses that do not comply with the order will be subject to the appropriate enforcement action up to and including orders to close and criminal charges.

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