Miami Issues Stay-At-Home Order; 'If You're Coming From Spring Break, Go Home,' Mayor Says

Miami, Florida Mayor Francis Suarez announced a stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus pandemic for his city in a video posted on Twitter Tuesday.

Residents will still be permitted to perform essential tasks such as shopping for food or picking up prescriptions. Essential businesses will also remain open.

"We are putting in a shelter in place or stay at home order in today," Suarez said. "I've been trying to do it for the last week. Unfortunately, I've been getting resistance internally. We're hoping that people get the message to stay home and if you're coming from spring break, go home."

Yesterday, I was retested as part of the official process to be released from quarantine. Here are my results as well as some major announcements regarding new testing and safety measures in the @CityofMiami.

— Mayor Francis Suarez (@FrancisSuarez) March 24, 2020

Newsweek reached out to Mayor Suarez's office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Recent data indicated Miami had the most cases of coronavirus in South Florida with 181 individuals tested as positive. After being confirmed to have contracted the virus, Mayor Suarez placed himself under self-quarantine.

"Yesterday, I was supposed to take my first exam to come out of the protocol based on the CDC requirements, the most conservative requirements of how to come out of quarantine protocol," Suarez said Tuesday. "Unfortunately, my results came back positive so I have to wait a little bit longer before I can come out of quarantine. I'm going to take another test later on this week."

francis suarez
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who has tested positive for coronavirus, issued a stay-at-home order for his city effective Tuesday. Eric Espada/Getty

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis closed all state parks in Florida on Monday, including some popular beaches, because of the threat of community spread coronavirus during spring break.

DeSantis had previously tried to quell the influx of students coming to Florida for spring break by telling Fox News on Thursday that "the party's over in Florida."

"The bars are closed so you're not going to have a place to congregate there, so we would just tell those folks maybe come back next year when things are better," DeSantis said, "but that is not what we're looking for here in the state of Florida."

Although the Florida Department of Environmental Protection had attempted to whittle down the crowds and promote social distancing, those efforts were ineffective.

"Unfortunately, this has not resulted in the reductions needed to best protect public health and safety as Florida continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," read a message on Florida's state park website.

Air travelers from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut who have flown to Florida within the last three weeks must undergo a 14-day self-quarantine according to an executive order announced Tuesday by DeSantis.

"If you look at what happened in New York," DeSantis said to reporters Monday, "when they did the stay at home order, what did people do? Well, a lot of people fled the city. We're getting huge amounts of people flying in."

White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said during a Tuesday press conference that New Yorkers should be self-quarantining "no matter where they have gone."

"To everyone who has left New York over the last few days because of the rate of the number of cases," Birx said, "you may have been exposed before you left New York."

According to recent data, Florida has 1,467 confirmed reported cases of coronavirus. In the U.S., 54,808 cases have been confirmed with 775 deaths attributable to the illness and 378 individuals listed as totally recovered.

This infographic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 in the U.S. as of March 24. Statista