Why was Florida's "State of Emergency" Extended by DeSantis?

Malinda Fusco

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Governor Ron DeSantisPhoto Credit to Tampa Bay Times

On Tuesday, April 27th, Governor DeSantis decided to extend Florida's "State of Emergency" due to COVID-19. Some Floridians are questioning why. Although vaccines are widely available, only 25% of the state is fully vaccinated, which in part, went into the decision behind the extension. However, that's not the only factor...

This article discusses why the state of emergency was extended and how it will impact Florida residents.

Why extend the state of emergency for Florida?

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Emergency PullPhoto by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Again, only 25% of the state is fully vaccinated at this time. 40% of residents have received at least one dose and are working towards full vaccination. (The tracker for vaccination percentages can be found on USA Facts by clicking here.)

“The impact of COVID-19 poses a continuing threat to the health, safety and welfare of the State of Florida and its residents." - Executive Order to Extend the State of Emergency

Since COVID is still making people ill and claiming lives, Florida is still in a state of emergency from the deadly pandemic. Also, extending the emergency helps the Florida government and DeSantis in two main ways.

1. A state of emergency gives DeSantis more power during this hardship as the Florida government can operate the Florida emergency operations center and,

2. A state of emergency allows DeSantis to employ the use of the National Guard for assistance if needed.

Without a state of emergency, the above actions are far more difficult.

COVID-19 deaths and illnesses still happening as the state works towards getting everyone fully vaccinated, so this state of emergency and the additional help (which is optional) from the emergency operations center and National Guard is useful.

What does the extension mean for Florida residents?

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MaskPhoto by Mark Konig on Unsplash

A state of emergency helps our government get help from the federal government and put policies into place that will better benefit most citizens. That said, what does this extension mean for residents? DeSantis has already forbidden fines and major consequences for anti-COVID measures. However, it is up to local governments and decision-makers to regulate COVID-19 safety.

Many local governments have mask mandates in place, as well as specific establishments. This is likely the last extension on Florida's state of emergency, but for now, just be sure to follow the rules set in place in your communities and local governments.

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