Florida – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions taken to date. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


  • Florida Department of Health coronavirus resource page.
  • March 1, 2020—Governor DeSantis signed an executive order directing the state health officer to declare a public health emergency and take any actions needed to protect the public health.
     
    • The order directs the Florida Department of Health to actively monitor all persons meeting the CDC definition of a Person Under Investigation (PUI) for at least 14 days or until the PUI tests negative for COVID-19. Active monitoring will include at least: a) a risk assessment within 24 hours of when the individual meets the criteria for a PUI and b) twice daily temperature checks. 
    • The executive order also designated the Florida Department of Health as the lead agency to coordinate emergency response activities. 
  • March 9, 2020—Governor DeSantis declared a state of emergency allowing nurses and doctors from other states to work in Florida and pharmacists to issue emergency 30-day prescriptions. The order also allows officials to activate the Florida National Guard, purchase medical supplies more swiftly, and establish field hospitals. 
  • March 12, 2020 – Florida activated of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. 
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Florida Division of Emergency Management under direction of the Governor deployed three field hospitals across the state to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • March 17, 20202 – The Governor ordered bars and nightclubs in Florida to close for 30 days and directed restaurants to operate at 50% of their maximum capacity to allow for social distancing.
  • March 17, 2020 – Florida state school officials closed K-12 public schools until April 15 and announced the suspension of mass campus gatherings, including sports events.
  • March 17 – Florida received federal approval for a Section 1135 waiver to provide more flexibility for the health care delivery system to respond to increased cases of COVID-19. The waiver allows Florida to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, lift prior authorization requirements, allow the provision of facility services in alternative settings, and extend fair hearing timelines.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order requiring those who travel to Florida from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to self-isolate for 14 days upon entering the state.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor sent a letter to President Donald Trump formally requesting that he declare a Major Disaster.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor announced President Donald J. Trump has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Florida and ordered federal assistance to supplement the state, tribal, and local recovery efforts. 
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor directed the Department of Children and Families to waive work requirements to allow more participation in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) & Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).  
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order expanding a previous directive that airline travelers from the New York City area self-quarantine for 14 days to include people from Louisiana who enter the state on Interstate 10.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor announced he would suspend vacation rentals for two weeks.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor announced that he is issuing a stay-at-home order for the southern portion of the state including Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Monroe counties through the middle of May.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor issued a statewide stay-at-home that will go into effect Thursday, April 2 at midnight and last for at least 30 days.
  • April 2, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order to override restrictions put in place by local governments from shuttering churches and synagogues during the outbreak.
  • April 3, 2020 – The Governor ordered all foreclosures and residential evictions in the state halted for 45 days. In addition, blocking the evictions of Florida renters for nonpayment of rent.
  • April 6, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order on documentary stamps for SBA Loans suspending the assessment and collection of taxes.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor announced Project: VITAL to provide elders in assisted living facilities and nursing homes with tablets to safely connect them with their loved ones.
  • April 2, 2020 — The state chief financial officer and the Governor announced that first responders who are exposed to COVID-19 on the job will be eligible for workers compensation.   
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor issued executive order, extending his suspension of vacations rentals in the state to April 30, 2020.
  • April 11, 2020 – The Governor announced more than 32,000 laptop computers are being distributed to 34 mostly small, rural school districts throughout Florida and the Florida A&M University Developmental Research School to support distance learning.
  • April 14, 2020 – The Governor announced an “stage two” task force to explore what stage two of the state’s coronavirus response will be, including reopening of the state’s schools, restaurants and other businesses will look like after weeks of lockdown.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order suspending biweekly reporting requirements for unemployment compensation recipients.
  • April 20, 2020 – The Governor announced the executive committee of the Re-Open Task Force.
  • April 21, 2020 – The Governor announced the members of the Re-Open Task Force Industry Working Group on Tourism, Construction, Real Estate, Recreation, Retail and Transportation.
  • April 29, 2020 – The Governor announced phase one of Florida’s “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step.” Plan for recovery. 
  • April 30, 2020 – The Governor announced the extension of good cause for the month of May and the submission of a federal waiver, to assist Floridians participating in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
  • May 1, 2020 – The Governor announced that, beginning May 4, 2020, Florida State Parks will re-open access to trails, and some day use areas, including some beach access with limited facilities. Visitors will be asked to practice proper social distancing and to limit group size to 10 or less and to stay six feet apart.
  • May 6, 2020 – The Governor announced that Florida has launched the only state-sponsored rapid-test mobile lab that they are aware of in the country.
  • May 6, 2020 – The Governor directed the Health Care Administration to issue an emergency rule requiring hospitals to test all individuals that will be discharged to a long-term care facility and requiring long-term care facilities to transfer COVID-19 positive residents if the facility is not equipped for appropriate care.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order extending the ongoing state of emergency for another 60 days.
  • May 14, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order that extends mortgage foreclosure and eviction relief until June 2.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor announced Florida’s Full Phase 1 begins Monday, May 18. All 67 counties can now begin re-opening as the state continues to implement the #SafeSmartStepbyStep Plan for Florida’s recovery.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor announced Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs has partnered with Department of Business & Professional Regulation and Restaurant & Lodging Association to match the needs of the elderly and meal delivery services.
  • May 18, 2020 – The First Lady announced that the Department of Children and Families (DCF) has received a $1.9 million emergency grant to address behavioral health disorders resulting from the current public health emergency.
  • May 27, 2020 – The Governor announced federal approval for the implementation of Florida’s Pandemic EBT Program (P-EBT) to automatically issue benefits during the month of June to more than 2.1 million children who have temporarily lost access to free and reduced-price school meals during COVID-19-related school closures.
  • May 27, 2020 – The Governor announced federal approval for the implementation of Florida’s Pandemic EBT Program (P-EBT) to automatically issue benefits during the month of June to more than 2.1 million children who have temporarily lost access to free and reduced-price school meals during COVID-19-related school closures.
  • May 29, 2020 – The Governor announced the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has partnered with Home Depot and Publix to establish six additional COVID-19 testing sites.
  • June 1, 2020 – The Governor announced the extension of his statewide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures to July 1.
  • June 3, 2020 – The Governor announced bars, tattoo shops, massage parlors, tanning salons, and movie theaters are allowed to open in select areas at half capacity starting Friday as most of Florida moves into the second of the state’s three-phase re-opening.
  • June 11, 2020 – The Governor announced recommendations for local communities to safely reopen their education systems.
  • June 17, 2020 – The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) announced the waiving of service limits and expanding coverage for Medicaid recipients.
  • June 17, 2020 – The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) announced the waiving of service limits and expanding coverage for Medicaid recipients.
  • June 25, 2020 – The Governor announced $250 million in CARES Act funding for rental and mortgage assistance for Florida families.
  • June 26, 2020 – The Governor ordered the shutdown of bars with the spike of cases across the state.
  • June 25, 2020 – The Governor announced $250 million in CARES Act funding for rental and mortgage assistance for Florida families.
  • June 26, 2020 – The Governor ordered the shutdown of bars with the spike of cases across the state.
  • June 30, 2020 – The Florida Department of Health issued an emergency order allowing the suspension of statues, rules, and orders made necessary.