On March 27, 2020, the EXECUTIVE ORDER OF THE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY EMERGENCY POLICY GROUP SAFER-AT-HOME ORDER IN RESPONSE TO A COUNTY WIDE THREAT FROM THE COVID-19 VIRUS (hereinafter the Safer-at-Home order) was executed. The order took effect on effective no 10:00 p.m. on March 27, 2020.
As a general rule, the Safer-at-Home order requires residents to stay at home as much as possible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, except in those circumstances outlined below. The order contains numerous exceptions to that general rule for employees of essential businesses or those performing essential services.
A violation of the order could result in an arrest and be charged as a second degree misdemeanor pursuant to the provisions of Florida Statute Section 252.50.
The provisions of Section 252.50, F.S., are found in Title XVII for military affairs and related matters found in Chapter 352 for emergency management.
Section 252.50 provides that: Any person violating any provision of ss. 252.31-252.90 or any rule or order made pursuant to ss. 252.31-252.90 is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
Attorney in Hillsborough County, FL
The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent individuals and business navigating the rules for staying at home or leaving their home for the reasons listed in the Safer-at-Home order.
We understand how curfews and health orders for isolation and quarantine are enforced in Hillsborough County, FL, and the best ways to comply with the letter and spirit of the orders.
Call 813-250-0500 to discuss your case.
Penalties for Violating the Safer-at-Home Order
What are the penalties for violating the Safer-at-Home order in Hillsborough County? Section 14 of page 11 of the Safer-at-Home order provides:
It is the intent of this Order to seek voluntary compliance with the provisions contained herein and to educate and warn of the dangers of non-compliance.
However, in the event voluntary compliance is not achieved then in that event and as a last resort, a violation of this Order, pursuant to the provision of section 252.50, Florida Statutes, may be prosecuted as a second degree misdemeanor punishable as provided in section 775.082 or 775.083.
Statutory Language in the Stay-at-Home Order
The order is listed below:
EXECUTIVE ORDER OF THE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY EMERGENCY POLICY
GROUP SAFER-AT-HOME ORDER IN RESPONSE TO A COUNTY WIDE THREAT FROM THE COVID-19 VIRUS
Upon motion by Commissioner Kimberly Overman, seconded by Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, the following Executive Order was adopted by a vote oof 8 to 0 voting NO:
WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020 the Governor of the State of Florida issued Executive Order Number 20-51, declaring that a public health emergency exists throughout the State ofFlorida as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 virus; and
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020 the Governor of the State of Florida issued ExecutiveOrder Number 20-52, declaring that a state of emergency exists throughout the State of Florida as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 virus and its imminent threat to health and welfare of the citizens of Florida; and
WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group did convene and issue its Executive Order declaring a local state of emergency for all of HillsboroughCounty, which Order was extended by the Emergency Policy Group on March 19, 2020, and again on March 26, 2020; and
WHEREAS, on March 17, 2020 the Governor of the State of Florida issued ExecutiveOrder Number 20-68, placing restrictions on certain businesses and public gathering locations throughout the State of Florida as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 virus and its imminent threat to health and welfare of the citizens of Florida; and
WHEREAS, all three Executive Orders of the Governor remain in effect and are forecast to remain so for the foreseeable future; and
WHEREAS, the State of Florida and Hillsborough County are continuing to experience increased reports of illnesses and persons testing positive for the virus; and
WHEREAS, on March 20, 2020, Administrator Order Number 20-05 entitledHillsborough County Administrator Order Updating COVID-19 Limitations for Establishments and Gatherings was issued and remains effective, incorporating by reference the Governor’sExecutive Orders 20-68 and 20-71, specifies all public or private gatherings, including community, civic, public leisure, faith-based events, sporting events, concerts and any similar events that bring together more than 10 people in a single room, single space, or any venue, at the same time are prohibited. This prohibition does not include venues that provide essential goods or services such as grocery stores, hospitals, medical facilities, pharmacies, gas stations, bank/credit unions, shelters, and government agencies and their meetings; and
WHEREAS, Administrator Order Number 20-05 specifies any gathering of 10 or less people should have the capacity to provide individuals with a 6 foot distance between each person.
WHEREAS, there has been no indication that the spread of COVID-19 is slowing in the State of Florida and Hillsborough County; and
WHEREAS, Hillsborough County must continue to take emergency action to lessen the spread of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, there is reason to believe that COVID-19 is spread amongst the population by various means of exposure, including the propensity to spread person to person and the propensity to attach to surfaces for prolonged periods of time thereby creating a dangerous physical condition spreading from surface to person and causing increased infections to persons, and also creating property or business income loss and damage in certain circumstances; and
WHEREAS, this Executive Order is being issued because of the propensity of COVID-19 to spread from person to person causing widespread infection and loss of life, and also becauseCOVID-19 is causing property damage and business income loss due to its proclivity to attach to surfaces for prolonged periods of time and thereby creating a dangerous physical condition; and
WHEREAS, as a governmental civil authority action, it is necessary to impose the regulations and restrictions set forth herein in response to the dangerous physical conditions that currently exists and to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading; and
WHEREAS, Chapter 252, Florida Statutes, and Hillsborough County Ordinance 06-13(Hillsborough County Code of Laws and Ordinances, part A, Chapter 22, Article II, Sections 22-19 Through 22-30), authorizes Hillsborough County to declare a state of local emergency; and
WHEREAS, Chapter 22, Article 1, Sections 22-22, Hillsborough County Code ofOrdinances and Laws (Hillsborough County Emergency Management Ordinance), and theHillsborough County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan delegates authority to declare a state of local emergency to the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group; and
WHEREAS, Section 252.38, Florida Statutes, authorizes Hillsborough County to declare a state of local emergency, and further authorizes Hillsborough County to take whatever prudent action is necessary to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community; and
WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group wants to take effective and reasonable steps to protect the health of residents and the community; and
WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group does not want to create long-term irreparable economic harm to our residents, businesses, and to the local and regional economy; and
WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group recognizes unified action is paramount to ensure the most effective results and cause the least confusion and panic in the community; and
WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group recognizes the categories and types of essential businesses and services that must remain open; and
WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group wants the types of businesses that by definition cannot continue to remain open because they are unable to maintain the required physical distancing to keep customers safe to close; and
WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group wants a measured, reasonable and unified direction for the entire county by the EPG as the elected representatives of residents; and
WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group wants personal responsibility by businesses and residents to observe the mandatory behaviors that have been proven to mitigate the spread of the virus; and
WHEREAS, the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group has determined that a Safer-At-Home Order applicable throughout Hillsborough County is a reasonable and prudent action to take in order to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of HillsboroughCounty; and
WHEREAS, a Safer-At-Home Order of the Hillsborough County Emergency PolicyGroup is an Order that:
- Is less restrictive than total lockdowns or shelter-in-place regulations which prohibit movement outside of the home or a particular location until further notice;
- Encourages citizens to stay at home as much as possible during the continued COVID-19 crisis and allows travel outside the home to essential activities (e.g. grocery shopping, outdoor activities, doctor’s and pharmacy visits, and providing essential infrastructure and utility services);
- Allows non-essential activities, so long as social distancing and other CDC Public Health Mitigation Strategies requirements are followed;
- Applies to all of the unincorporated and incorporated areas of Hillsborough County
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE EMERGENCY POLICY GROUP OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA, IN A MEETING ASSEMBLED THIS 26th DAY OF MARCH, 2020 THAT:
1. A Safer-At-Home Order is hereby established within all incorporated and unincorporated areas of Hillsborough County, effective as of 10:00 p.m, on March 27, 2020. Safer-At-Home means all residents are directed to stay at home as much as possible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, except in those circumstances outlined below. This Safer-At-Home Order shall continue on a daily basis until this order expires or is rescinded.
2. Residents are permitted the unlimited ability to get the necessary food, medicine and essentials. Residents are also permitted to recreate and enjoy the outdoors at any time as long as physical distancing is observed along with the other recommended sanitary requirements.
3. This Safer-At-Home Order shall not apply to the following essential individuals, businesses and services:
a. Essential federal employees and military personnel who are acting within their employment responsibilities, and are already governed by directives of their respective federal agencies.
b. State and local government employees providing services to carry on government functions during this state of emergency and persons attending government meetings.
c. School district employees providing services to carry on school district functions during this state of emergency.
d. Private colleges, trade schools, and technical colleges, but only as needed to facilitate online or distance learning, perform critical research, or perform essential functions, and university, college, or technical college residence halls, but only to the extent needed to accommodate students who cannot return to their homes.
e. Medical and health related personnel while actively pursuing medical or health related activities. This includes personnel employed in the production of medical or health related products.
f. Healthcare providers and public health operations (except to the extent precluded by the Governor’s Executive Order 20-72 or any subsequent Executive Order), including but not limited to: hospitals; doctors’ and dentists’ offices; urgent care centers, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities; physical therapists; mental health professionals; psychiatrists; therapists; research and laboratory services; blood banks, medical cannabis facilities; medical equipment, devices, and other healthcare manufacturers and suppliers; reproductive health care providers; eye care centers; home healthcare services providers; substance abuse providers; medical transport services; and pharmacies
g. Mass transit personnel while pursuing employment functions.
h. Persons seeking medical treatment, persons transporting people seeking medical treatment, or caregivers traveling to assist another person with medical or caregiving needs.
i. Fire/Rescue, Law Enforcement, or other First Responder personnel pursuing, or traveling to or from work related activities.
j. Individuals preparing or delivering food and drink items pursuant to County Administrator Order 20-05.
k. Persons commuting directly to and from places of employment.
l. This Order shall not prohibit a person from walking a companion animal in the vicinity of their residence so long as social distancing guidelines are observed. Animal care staff (including volunteers) traveling to provide support, obtain care and/or supplies for one’s own companion animals or the companion animals of another, or in the course of fostering animals.
m. Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, baby products, pet supply, liquor, fresh or frozen meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products(such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences and other structures.
n. Newspapers, television, radio, delivery and other media services.
o. Gas stations, auto and recreational vehicle supply and repair, auto repair, new and used vehicle sales and related facilities.
p. Businesses engaged in food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing.
q. Businesses that provide food, shelter, social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals.
r. Hardware, gardening, and building material stores.
s. Contractors, utility workers and other tradesmen, building management and maintenance (including janitorial companies serving commercial businesses), home security firms, fire and water damage restoration, public adjusters, appliance repair personnel, exterminators, pool and lawn care and golf course maintenance, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other structures.
t. Businesses primarily providing mailing, logistics, pick-up, and shipping services, including post office boxes, logistic providers, including warehouses, trucking, consolidators, fumigators and handlers.
u. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers. Businesses engaged in providing home-based care for seniors, adults, or children, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, adult day care centers, and home-based and residential settings for adults, seniors, childrenand/or people with disabilities or mental illness.
w. Businesses engaged in the provision of office space and administrative support necessary to perform any of the above-listed activities.
x. Businesses that primarily supply office products needed for people to work from home, but not including businesses that primarily sell or lease furniture.
y. Hotels, motels, other commercial lodging establishments, and temporary vacation rentals.
z. Veterinarians and pet boarding facilities.
aa. Mortuaries, funeral homes, and cemeteries including funeral and cremation services.
bb. Firearm and ammunition supply stores.
cc. Any business that employs five (5) or fewer persons, including management / ownership, where the employees do not come in regular contact with the general public in the regular course of business.
dd. Moving, storage and relocation services.
ee. Private and municipal marinas and boat launches, docking, fueling, marine supply, and other marine services.
ff. Individuals whose residences are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are permitted and urged to leave their residence and stay at a safe alternative location. For purposes of thisOrder, residences include hotels, motels, shared rental units, shelters, and similar facilities.
gg. Janitorial personnel.
hh. Personnel supporting educational needs.
ii. Religious personnel.
jj. Any parent or guardian transporting a child or children pursuant to a custody sharing agreement or Order.
kk. Airlines, taxis and other private transportation providers providing transportation services via, automobile, truck, boat, bus or train.
ll. Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, these childcare facilities should operate under the following conditions: Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 10 or fewer (inclusive of childcare providers for the group); children and child care providers shall not change from one group to another; if more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix or interact with each other. All play equipment used by one group of children must be cleaned and sanitized before use by another group of children. Any child exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 illness shall not be allowed to stay in the childcare facility.
mm. Animal care staff (including volunteers) who own, operate, or work in the capacity of providing continued care of animals at rescue organizations, boarding facilities, veterinarians and similar businesses, whether or not housed in a shelter.
nn. Attorneys and all personnel associated with supporting essential court proceedings including all federal, state, and county personnel.
oo. Persons commuting directly to or from an exempted activity.
pp. Personnel employed by an entity identified as one of the sixteen critical infrastructure sectors by the Cyber-Infrastructure Security Agency(CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security when pursuing work related functions, or traveling directly to or from work and their respective residents. The CISA essential infrastructure guide is attached to and made a part of this Order. See pages 5-11 of the CISA essential infrastructure guide for detailed descriptions of these critical infrastructure sectors.
4. Essential Infrastructure. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to offer, provision, operate, maintain and repair Essential Infrastructure. Essential Infrastructure includes, but is not limited to: food production, distribution, and sale; construction; building management and maintenance; airport operations; operation and maintenance of utilities, including water, sewer, and gas; electrical (including power generation, distribution, and production of raw materials);distribution centers; roads, highways, railroads, and public transportation; cybersecurity operations; flood control; solid waste and recycling collection and removal; and internet, video, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services). Essential Infrastructure shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to essential infrastructure, broadly defined.
5. Businesses which are not described above in paragraph 3, and are able to maintain the required physical distancing (6 feet) may operate.
6. Businesses which are not described above in paragraph 3 and which, by the nature of their business cannot remain open because they are unable to maintain the required physical distancing (6 feet) to keep employees and customers safe, must close.
7. Businesses providing essential services whose function and safety allow them to maintain the required physical distance (6 feet), and those businesses that are able to maintain the required physical distancing (6 feet) shall:
a. Insure employees are adhering to social distancing and other health care guidelines as established by the Florida Department of Health in regards to such categories as: Individuals and Families at Home; Schools, Charter Schools,Special Needs Schools and Childcare; Assisted Living Facilities, Senior LivingFacilities and Adult Day Care Programs; Workplace; Community and Faith-Based Organizations; Health Care Settings and Health Care Provider – including outpatients, nursing homes/long-term care facilities, inpatients, and telehealth.
b. Continue using best practices, as set forth by the Centers for DiseaseControl (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), to reduce the risk of worker exposure to coronavirus or COVID-19 in workplaces and prevent widespread transmission in communities, including, but not limited to:
i. Promoting frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing a place to wash their hands or providing alcohol-based h and rubs containing at least 60% alcohol.
ii. Maintaining regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment, including providing trashreceptacles, as needed.
iii. Exploring creative and flexible policies and practices for flexible worksites and flexible work hours to increase the physical distance among employees and others in the workplace;
iv. Promoting social distancing requirements (about 6 feet or 2meters).
v. Discouraging workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
vi. Taking employees’ temperatures with a thermometer to try and ward off the spread of the coronavirus.
vii. Encouraging employees to stay home if they are sick.
viii. Encouraging respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
ix. Considering requiring employees to complete a travelquestionnaire to assess risks of contamination in the workplace.
c. Direct workers to telecommute when that is feasible.
d. Use best efforts to provide employment opportunities to those who lose jobs because of this emergency by working directly with Career Source and other designated employment and job agencies.
8. Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt from this Order, but are strongly urged to obtain shelter, and governmental and other entities are strongly urged to make such shelter available as soon as possible and to the maximum extent practicable and to use intheir operation COVID-19 risk mitigation practices recommended by the U.S. Centers forDisease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health.
9. Hotels, motels, other commercial lodging establishments, and temporary vacation rentals, subject to the limitations stated in the Governor’s Executive Order 20-70. Hotels, motels, and other commercial lodging establishments shall give reservation priority to Essential Lodgers.”Essential Lodgers” are defined as: (a) healthcare professionals; (b) first responders; (c) National Guard members; (d) law enforcement; (e) local state and federal government employees; (f)airline crew members; (g) patients; (h) patients’ families; (i) journalists; (j) others providing direct services in response to COVID-19; (k) displaced residents or visitors; (1) persons utilizing hotels as transitional living arrangements; (m) persons sheltering in hotels due to domestic violence; (n) hotel employees, service providers, and contractors; or (o) individuals who, for any reason, are temporarily unable to reside in their home due to exigent circumstances.
10. Local businesses that produce and provide essential necessities such as food, medicines, medical equipment and supplies will make best efforts to prioritize those goods forthe use of Hillsborough County.
11. Local businesses that have the ability to do so shall alter their production and manufacturing in Order to provide products to meet the need in the County for critical testing, collection, protective gear and treatments.
12. Those with the financial means are encouraged to increase their financial support to local charities and organizations that provide direct social service and employment services to displaced workers.
13. This Order is an addendum to the Executive Order adopted by the EmergencyPolicy Group of Hillsborough County, Florida, in its special meeting of March 12, 2020, as extended on March 19, 2020, and March 26, 2020, and is incorporated into that Executive Order as it may be amended.
14. It is the intent oof this Order to seek voluntary compliance with the provisions contained herein and to educate and warn of the dangers of non-compliance. However, in the event voluntary compliance is not achieved then in that event and as a last resort, a violation of this Order, pursuant to section o252.50, Florida Statutes, may be prosecuted as a second degree misdemeanor as provided in section o775.082 and 775.083, F.S.
EXECUTED this 27th day of March, 2020.
Lesley “Les” Miller, Jr.
Emergency Policy Group, Chair
I, PAT FRANK, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Ex Officio Clerk of the Board of the County Commissioners of Hillsborough County, Florida, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing Order has been filed with this office as an attachment to the Executive Order adopted by the Emergency Policy Group of Hillsborough County on March 12, 2020.
WITNESS my hand and official seal this 27th day of March, 2020.
Clerk of Circuit Court
APPROVED BY THE COUNTY ATTORNEY
By: Christine M Beck
Approved as to Form and Legal Sufficiency
This article was last updated on Saturday, March 28, 2020.