Governor DeSantis Issues Statewide Stay-at-Home Order 

Governor DeSantis issued a 30-day stay-at-home order today that will go into effect at midnight Thursday. The order indicates that residents should stay indoors except for “essential services or activities”. Some of the industries deemed ‘essential’ include: healthcare providers, grocery stores, gas stations, banks, hardware stores, restaurants that serve takeout food, childcare, landscape and pool care, pet supply stores, and critical infrastructure jobs, among others. Businesses not identified as essential can remain operational if their employees can work remotely. Florida joins the other seven states with over 5,000 cases in placing its residents under stay-at-home orders. 

Testing at Raymond James Stadium Resumes 

Drive-thru testing resumes at Raymond James Stadium today after Hillsborough County Emergency Management secured 1,500 more testing kits from the state. The site will operate from April 1 – April 3. As before, testing is only available to symptomatic patients who pre-registered through Hillsborough County’s call center and scheduled an appointment.  

Cruise Ships to Remain at Sea 

The U.S. Coast Guard has directed all cruise ships to remain at sea and treat sick passengers on-board. Foreign vessels were warned to first try a medical evacuation to their country of register. The ships reportedly have been told that they may be sequestered indefinitely.  

SNAP Benefits to Increase for April 

In response to increased need during this time of crisis, the Department of Children and Families will temporarily increase SNAP recipients’ benefit amounts to the maximum monthly allotment based on household size. Those already receiving the maximum allotment will not receive an increase. 

No April Fools’ From Google 

Google has cancelled its April Fools’ tradition this year and will not publish any jokes or tricks out of respect for those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Google reportedly had concerns that the misdirection and misinformation associated with April Fools’ pranks could cause confusion that would be harmful during this pressing worldwide crisis.  

Updated Numbers 

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is now over 200,000. The number of U.S. deaths from coronavirus has exceeded 4,400, higher than China’s official count. In Florida, total cases have nearly reached 7,000, with 309 in Hillsborough County. There have been three deaths in Hillsborough County. For updated data, visit: https://fdoh.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/8d0de33f260d444c852a615dc7837c86

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