All “non-essential” businesses in Palm Beach and Broward counties must shut as part of containing the coronavirus, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday afternoon.
DeSantis has developed a plan to help the two counties craft orders to shut down those businesses by Friday.
Among businesses considered essential are grocery stores, gas stations, day care facilities and pet supply stores. Non-essential businesses, like restaurants and retail stores, are required to close or convert to take-out only.
The governor made the announcement while visiting a new drive-thru testing site at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines.
As of Thursday evening, the state has 432 positive cases of coronavirus, with 29 in Palm Beach County, 96 in Broward County, and 101 in Miami-Dade County. That makes South Florida the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the state. Officials increased Florida’s death toll to nine after a patient died in Duval County. They added there are no mandatory quarantine or isolation orders in the state at this time.
The revised count includes one new case of the coronavirus in Indian River County.
The state’s website says that patient is a woman, but it is unclear if the case is travel related.
Earlier on Thursday, health officials confirmed the Treasure Coast’s first case of the virus in Martin County.