Florida Lagged Behind Dozens of States on Coronavirus Restrictions

Share:
People on Clearwater Beach on March 18, 2020. City officials ordered all public beaches to close for at least two weeks beginning at 6 a.m. on March 23 to limit the spread of coronavirus.

People on Clearwater Beach on March 18, 2020. City officials ordered all public beaches to close for at least two weeks beginning at 6 a.m. on March 23 to limit the spread of coronavirus. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times)

March 24, 2020

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases ballooned over the last week, states across the country put aggressive restrictions on businesses designed to slow the virus’ spread.

Florida has lagged behind dozens of them, a Tampa Bay Times analysis has found.

Gov. Ron DeSantis was part of an early wave of state executives to order the closure of bars and nightclubs Tuesday, bringing the revelry to a halt on St. Patrick’s Day.

But he was slower than at least 35 other governors to suspend in-person dining at restaurants and behind at least 22 in closing gyms and fitness studios.

DeSantis took both steps Friday afternoon.

As of Saturday, DeSantis had not taken the more extreme step of closing movie theaters and bowling alleys, as had governors in Arizona, Colorado and Ohio.

Governors in four of the six largest states — New York, California, Pennsylvania and Illinois — had gone as far as to issue statewide directives closing all non-essential businesses and telling residents to stay home.

Only Florida and Texas had not.

Some of the states that moved more aggressively than Florida had fewer positive tests for the virus.

Continue reading on Tampa Bay Times.


Kathleen McGrory, Tampa Bay Times

Neil Bedi, Tampa Bay Times

In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

blog comments powered by Disqus

More Stories

COVID-19 and the Most Litigated Presidential Election in Recent U.S. History: How the Lawsuits Break Down
A FRONTLINE analysis found that more than 400 election-related cases have been filed in the U.S. this year, making 2020 the most litigated presidential election in recent U.S. history — largely due to concerns involving COVID-19.
October 28, 2020
Trump Stokes Fear in the Suburbs, but Few Low-Income Families Ever Make It There
In an effort to appeal to suburban voters, President Trump has promised to keep low-income housing out of their neighborhoods. But in the 50 years since the Fair Housing Act was passed, families with low incomes have not flooded the suburbs.
October 28, 2020
Cheat Codes: Students Search For Shortcuts as Virtual Schooling Expands
Cheating has always been an issue in schools, but there is little getting in the way for students today. Shared answers have become even more accessible as districts have adopted or expanded their use of popular online learning programs.
October 23, 2020
As Purdue Pharma Agrees to Settle with the DOJ, Revisit Its Role in the Opioid Crisis
The proposed $8.3 billion settlement between Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, and the federal government is the latest in a battle over who is responsible for the nation’s opioid crisis, as covered by FRONTLINE in "Chasing Heroin" and "Opioids, Inc."
October 21, 2020