Jane Castor: Stay-at-home order will go into effect Wednesday

Residents could still go for a walk or ride a bike.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will move forward with a stay-at-home order despite the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group decision Monday not to impose its own order at this time.

The order will likely go into effect late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Speaking on NoticiasYa Tampa Bay, Castor reiterated terms of the order.

It will require nonessential businesses that are unable to adhere to social distancing recommendations to close. Essential businesses, like grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and banks, as well as any business that can shift its workforce to remote work, would be permitted to stay open.

“There are individuals walking around with the virus right now that don’t even know that they have it,” Castor said, noting the city, county and state’s lack of testing capabilities.

Castor said she made the decision to move forward with a citywide order after Monday’s emergency policy group meeting in which members voted 6-2, with Castor being one of the two no-votes, to instead implement a countywide curfew. That order could take effect as soon as Thursday and will require residents to stay home between 9 p.m. until 5 a.m.

The details of that order have not been finalized, but individuals who work during that time in essential jobs will likely be carved out.

Castor said her move is necessary to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, especially because so little data is available on the scope of the outbreak as testing remains elusive.

Castor said under her order individuals would still be able to do things like go for walks or bike rides, but social distancing recommendations would be enforced and anyone congregating in groups would be broken up.

“Some people will say we’ve already taken steps toward that, but individuals are not complying,” Castor said.

Her order would force compliance, she said.

Castor hopes that Hillsborough County and other neighboring communities will follow her lead since Gov. Ron DeSantis has so far refused to take statewide action on a stay-at-home order.

The issue has emerged as a partisan divide.

All of the Hillsborough County group’s Republicans — Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, Temple Terrace Vice Mayor Andy Ross, Plant City Mayor Rick Lott and Hillsborough County School Board Chair Melissa Snively — as well as Democratic Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller voted in favor of the curfew over the stay at home order.

Castor and Hillsborough County Commissioner Kimberly Overman, both Democrats, were in favor of a stay at home order and against the curfew.

Castor said not only is the curfew less effective than a shelter in place order, but it’s also more restrictive.

“Law enforcement from all four jurisdictions have had conversations about this,” she said. “It isn’t going to be as onerous as putting a curfew in place.”

That’s because the curfew would open the door for law enforcement to have to stop individuals breaking the mandate while the stay at home order would be more of a self-policing policy, bolstered by nonessential businesses shuttering and reducing the need for workers to physically go into work. A curfew would also prohibit individuals who work late from doing things like picking up food on their way home.

Pinellas County Commissioners are still discussing that county’s order, but no decisions have been made.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman issued a statement on social media Monday saying he was open to issuing his own order for St. Pete residents, visitors and businesses. He doubled down on that Tuesday during a virtual news conference but stopped short of issuing his own order. An order in St. Pete, based on Kriseman’s comments, seems inevitable.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


  • G j

    March 24, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    So she doesn’t like what the Other elected Officials said so she is going to do it herself.
    Glad she is not my mayor

    • Tampa Mike

      March 24, 2020 at 3:40 pm

      Glad you don’t live our city, “G j.”

  • Jeffrey Shane

    March 24, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    Why a curfew? What is the curfew going to do? Nothing is open anyway. Just seems like overreaching/power grab. Bet she’s a Democrat. Her statement that people are walking around who don’t know they have the virus…exactly. There are three groups of people. The high risk, medium risk, and low risk. Let families make decisions on who can shelter in place or not. The panic needs to be controlled because the virus is a bad flu, nothing more, nothing less.

    • Kate

      March 24, 2020 at 4:15 pm

      Read the entire article. She’s not in favor of implementing a curfew, but rather a less restrictive stay at home order. Bet you’re a Republican based on your comments.

      • Kim

        March 24, 2020 at 7:41 pm

        I am not a Republican and i agree with what he said.. Is not going to do anything. If you not a clean person and you don’t wash your hands or respect others to stay home sick then you need to be put in quarantined.

    • Linda Edwards

      March 25, 2020 at 1:31 pm

      …A Bad Flu, are you serious. This virus does not care about your political affiliation. I hope you are consistently praying that it does not hit your household.

  • Diana

    March 24, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    She is doing the right thing! Too bad our govenor is brave enough to do whats right. He is choosing money over lives.

  • chris maida

    March 24, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    27000 Americans died as a result of the flu last year. Did we shut down the country for the flu, no. This is the main stream media creating sensationalism with their yellow journalism. Alcohol kills millions, yet nothing is done about that. This is natural selection, and either you build up immunity or die. You cannot control what virus evolves. So we wreck our economy for a few thousand deaths that would happen eventually to those with weakened immune systems. Why not put them in a bubble so we can lead productive lives. If I get it, I intend to still go out, we need to build up immunity towards this as it is. Stop the panic.

  • Dave

    March 24, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    Each day brings new data. Last week I would’ve said shut it down. This week we have more data from verified sources and countries that are weeks ahead of us. We DO NOT need any more shut downs, restrictions, or closed businesses. The American people need to get back to work. ALL OF THEM! No more restrictions. The latest data shows that only those with VERY weakened immune systems are at risk. Those people need to stay home, the rest of us need to go back to work.

  • Manny

    March 25, 2020 at 6:05 am

    She’s a dumb bitch.

  • Mike

    March 25, 2020 at 7:18 am

    Does Florida politics ever get anything right as media? Constantly putting out articles that aren’t true

  • Jack Rambo

    March 25, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Nazi democrats limiting our freedoms and playing politics at our expense

  • Clay Rosenberg

    March 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Maybe they could proofread this story again and get the grammar and words right. Can ‘not’ be moved to remote will be able to stay open.

  • Harvey Zachem

    March 26, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    When was the last curfew in Tampa? Not in the Vietnam War, Korean War, WWII nor WWI?! Neither was one exacted to combat the most deadly pandemics in recorded history: Yellow Fever in 1905, Spanish Flu in 1918, Diphtheria in 1920’s, Polio- 1916-1955, Small Pox in 1949, 2nd Measles- 1981-1991, H1N1 influenza in 2009, Whooping cough in 2010-14. All of these were declared pandemics by the W.H.O.

    Given current legal precedent Hillsborough County & the City of Tampa will be held responsible for the economic effects of their actions. There is substantial authority and incontrovertible medical data that holds that the “Safe-at-Home” pronouncement is misguided at best.

Comments are closed.


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