By: Tara Tedrow. Rebecca Wilson & McGregor Love
On March 24, 2020, Mayor Jerry Demings signed Orange County, Florida Emergency Executive Order 2020-04. The order, which will become effective on Thursday, March 26 at 11 p.m. and will expire on April 9, sets new standards for the conduct of individuals and businesses in response to the public health crisis caused by COVID-19.
While employees of all businesses may continue to work from home, the order provides that all “non-essential retail and commercial businesses” must close, while businesses listed as “essential” may remain open.
Who may not go to work? Employees of non-essential businesses. Businesses specifically listed as non-essential are those that provide entertainment or recreational services. Accordingly, amusement parks, carnivals, water parks, public pools, zoos, museums, arcades, movie theaters, country clubs, social clubs, playgrounds, and bowling alleys are all closed to the public during this time.
Who may go to work? Employees of essential businesses. A much more significant portion of the order is dedicated to providing a comprehensive list of essential businesses that may remain open, which includes construction sites, licensed contractors and other tradesmen, and architectural, engineering, and land surveying services. Car dealerships, distributors that supply beverages to restaurants, and construction sites may continue to operate as well. The order also lists as essential “businesses that supply other essential businesses with support and supplies necessary to operate.” (For a full list of businesses considered non-essential and essential, consult the order.)
Aside from restrictions on business operations, residents of Orange County will be able to conduct the following activities through April 9:
- Visit a health or veterinary care professional, obtain medical supplies or medication
- Obtain food, grocery items, or other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences
- Pick up food at restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food
- Fill up vehicles at gas stations
- Conduct business at banks and related financial institutions
- Expect service from waste management services, including collection and disposal of waste
- Engage in outdoor activities and recreation, including, without limitation, golfing, walking, hiking, running, cycling, using scooters, roller skates, skate-boards, or other personal mobility devices
- Shop at hardware and home improvement stores
- Use airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers
- Shop at pet supply stores
- Purchase propane or natural gas
- Shop at auto supply and related facilities
- Go to laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry-service providers
The order notes that the list of permissible activities should be conducted while practicing social distancing in order to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the community.
For any questions on this order, the attorneys at Lowndes are available to help.
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