Updated: Apr 2, 2020
The State Board of Health has designated COVID-19 to be a disease of epidemic potential, a threat to the health and welfare of the public, or otherwise of public health importance.
1. Effective today, March 19, 2020, at 5:00 P.M., all gatherings of 25 persons or more, or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons, are prohibited. This Order shall apply to all gatherings, events or activities that bring 25 or more persons in a single room or single space at the same time.
2. Effective today, March 19, 2020, at 5:00 P.M., all beaches shall be closed. For purposes of this section, the term "beach" means the sandy shoreline area abutting the Gulf of Mexico, whether privately or publicly owned, including beach access points.
3. Effective Friday, March 20, 2020, all Senior Citizen Center gatherings shall be closed. Senior Citizen Centers and their partners are urged to assure that their clients continue to receive needed meals via curbside pick-up or delivery.
4. Effective at the close of school or business today, March 19, 2020, the following shall be closed:
a. All schools, public and private, including but not limited to: elementary, secondary, post secondary, technical, or specialty schools, and colleges and universities. This school closure order is not intended to prevent any employers from making continued necessary staffing decisions. Employers are authorized to advise employees to work from home or maintain flexible work schedules. If working from home is not feasible, the employee should practice social distancing, maintaining consistent six-foot distance between persons, for the duration of this order and follow public health guidelines.
b. Preschools and childcare centers.
(1) This shall not apply to childcare centers operated for the exclusive benefit of essential employees of the following categories of employers: State and Local Governments, First Responders (including EMS and Fire Services), Law Enforcement, Hospitals, Nursing Home/Long Term Care Facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities), End Stage Renal Disease Treatment Centers, Pharmacies and Grocery Stores. For this exception to apply, the childcare center must be employer-operated and located on the premises of, or in the immediate vicinity of, one of these enumerated categories of employers, and a parent or guardian of each child shall be readily available. The childcare center must meet local and state fire and health requirements.
(2) This shall also not apply to licensed childcare centers that contract to provide services exclusively to the above-named employers, or that provide services exclusively to children of ess