Sheriff says no curfew for Okeechobee County, shares information about essential businesses

The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office has shared the following information about Gov. Ron DeSantis’s executive order asking Floridians to “stay at home.”

As of 12:01 a.m. on Friday, April 3, a stay-at-home order will be in effect for the state of Florida. That means non-essential businesses should close and all non-essential activities should cease.

At this time, there is NO CURFEW in effect for Okeechobee County. We will monitor activity and determine if one needs to be enacted in the future.

Grocery stores, gas stations and drug stores will remain open. There is no need to rush to the store and buy 30 days worth of supplies.

Essential activities are defined as:
• Attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship (while practicing social distancing);
• Participating in recreational activities (consistent with social distancing guidelines) such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, or swimming;
• Taking care of pets;
• Caring for or otherwise assisting a loved one or friend; and
• Working at an essential business.

Other essential activities may be added to this list with the approval of the State Coordinating Officer, in close coordination with the State Health Officer. The State Coordinating Officer shall maintain an online list of essential activities, as specified in this Order along with any approved additions.

A social gathering in a public space is not an essential activity. Local jurisdictions shall ensure that groups of people greater than ten are not permitted to congregate in any public space.
All non-essential retail and commercial establishments are ordered closed.

Essential retail and commercial businesses, which may remain open, are:

• Healthcare providers, including, but not limited to, hospitals, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, urgent care centers, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, physical therapists, mental health professionals, psychiatrists, therapists, and pharmacies;
• Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This authorization includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences;
• Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
• Businesses that provide food, shelter, social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
• Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
• Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;
• Banks and related financial institutions;
• Hardware stores;
• Contractors and other tradesmen, appliance repair personnel, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other structures;
• Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
• Private colleges, trade schools, and technical colleges, but only as needed to facilitate online or distance learning;
• Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
• Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but subject to the limitations and requirements of Emergency Order 3-20. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;
• Businesses that supply office products needed for people to work from home;
• Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate, and which do not interact with the general public;
• Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods, or services directly to residences
• Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services via automobile, truck, bus, or train;
• Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
• Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and adult day care centers, and senior residential facilities;
• Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;
• Landscape and pool care businesses, including residential landscape and pool care services;
• Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, childcare facilities should operate under the following mandatory conditions:
— Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 10 or fewer (inclusive of childcare providers for the group).
— Children and child care providers shall not change from one group to another.
— If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix or interact with each other.
• Businesses operating at any airport, seaport, or other government facility, including parks and government offices;
• Pet supply stores;
• Logistics providers, including warehouses, trucking, consolidators, fumigators, and handlers;
• Telecommunications providers, including sales of computer or telecommunications devices and the provision of home telecommunications;
• Provision of propane or natural gas;
• Office space and administrative support necessary to perform any of the above listed activities;
• Open construction sites, irrespective of the type of building;
• Architectural, engineering, or land surveying services;
• Factories, manufacturing facilities, bottling plants, or other industrial uses;
• Waste management services, including collection and disposal of waste; and
• Any business that is interacting with customers solely through electronic or telephonic means, and delivering products via mailing, shipping, or delivery services.
• Private and municipal marinas and boat launches, docking, fueling, marine supply and other marina services:

This order does not affect or limit the operations of the county, any public utility, any municipality, the school district, or any State or Federal office or facility, except that such entities shall abide by the restrictions of any County, Municipal, State or Federal emergency order, as applicable

This order does not limit the number of persons who may be physically present performing services at any location where an essential business is being conducted except as expressly set forth herein or otherwise governed by any State or Federal order or regulation. Employers and employees are urged, but are not required, to practice social distancing, such as keeping six feet between persons and limiting group size to less than 10 people.

This order does not limit the number of persons who may be physically present at any religious service. Persons attending religious services are urged, but are not required, to practice social distancing, such as keeping six feet between persons and limiting group size to less than ten people.

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