Gov. DeSantis extends Florida’s COVID-19 state of emergency order, at the last minute
Image via Colin Hackley.

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DeSantis has until the end of Tuesday to extend the order in place since March 2020.

Since this story published, DeSantis has since signed an order extending the state’s state of emergency. The following is our original reporting.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has not yet opted to extend the declared “State of Emergency” through Executive Order 20-52. If he does not do so, it will likely have an impact on mask-wearing in your city, county and school district.

For the order to be extended, it must be signed by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27. His office has made no announcements nor posted an updated executive order on websites for the State of Florida. But Meredith Beatrice in DeSantis’ communications office noted he has today to make a decision.

Since March 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis has been extending his original emergency order in 60-day increments, declaring a public health emergency.

Declaring a state of emergency activated the state’s emergency operations center and has allowed the state to receive assistance from the federal government. The order has also allowed the Governor to deploy the Florida National Guard to help. 

DeSantis had until midnight Monday to extend the year-long emergency order declaring a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The original order was issued on March 1, 2020, and has continued to be extended in increments of 60 days.

The order facing extension was filed on Feb. 26, and, 60 days later, the clock is ticking down on its renewal. The Governor has remained silent as time winds down.

On Monday, the Department of Health reported 3,513 new known cases of COVID-19 in the state and 66 new deaths related to the pandemic. Since the virus surfaced here last March, a total of 2,212,097 cases have been recorded, including 2,170,655 Florida residents. A total of 35,600 deaths have been tallied by health officials, 34,912 of those Floridians and the remaining 688 visitors who died here.

The latest version of the order continues the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19, and states that “the impact of COVID-19 poses a continuing threat to the health, safety and welfare of the State of Florida and its residents.”

The order also states that as Florida continues to recover, the Governor is “committed to providing all available resources to assist Floridians and local communities with their efforts.”  

Under the order, state and local agencies are given leeway to take additional precautions to keep people safe from exposure, like implementing mask mandates.

It has also allowed licensed health care workers certified in other states to practice in Florida — expanding the availability of care.

Not extending the order could also affect those who are filing for unemployment.

On Saturday, the Governor’s Work Search Requirement waiver expired after an extension was not passed. Now, the Department of Economic Opportunity is requiring those filing for unemployment to start showing proof they are searching for a job. 

Currently, tens of thousands of Floridians are still missing all of their payments and many other people are experiencing a variety of issues with the CONNECT system, which shut down April 15.

Those looking to claim payments will now have to show proof they’ve applied for at least five jobs per week in the state’s CONNECT system every two weeks. Those who live in counties with less than 75,000 people only have to prove they’re searching for three jobs per week.

A number of local mask ordinances were also tied to the statewide state of emergency and sunset at its expiration.

Over the past few weeks, the state has continued to report higher cases of COVID-19, averaging around 5,000 to 7,000 daily cases.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


46 comments

  • Birdie provo

    April 27, 2021 at 12:55 am

    Public transportation isnt even on a regular schedule yet.
    I honestly think its ex
    cruel for him not to extend as well as hide from even discussing it leaving everyone in a panic.
    Parents still have kids distance learning and Florida is only 25 percent vaxed.
    I honestly believe this will cost him the governor ship : )
    He really needs a different pr team.
    Horrible marketing for the Gov. Hes our leader and while many are panicking hes posting his great day seeming oblivious to people’s lives who are going to be incredibly altered for the worse.
    Im very disappointed.

    • Jill

      April 27, 2021 at 6:33 am

      I understand your disappointment, but I see this from a completely different perspective. It’s an encouraging thing! It unmasks the precious children who struggle wearing them. It’s speaks of normalcy to return! Good things ahead! We’re no longer in a state of emergency! 🙌🏻 That took incredible courage on his part.

      • Shelly Alexander

        April 27, 2021 at 9:11 am

        Jill, I completely agree! There is no reason for unemployment checks to still be going out when restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, etc. are open. We need the normal to be back!
        I am proud and very thankful for our Governor for standing up and having courage!

        • pam

          April 27, 2021 at 9:23 am

          FOR ALL YOU ASSHOLES THAT SAY WE DO NOT NEED OUR UNEMOLYMENT GO WORK IN A GAS STATION YOURSELF ……FUCK YOU MASK PEOPLE AND YOUR KIDS THAT I STOOD UP FOR FUCK THEM LET THEM WARE MASK ALL DAY! I HAD A GOOD JOB NOT ONE AS A WATRESS AT 66 YEARS OLD AND I AM NOT WARING A FUCKING MASK MAKING LESS THAN 10 DOLLRS AN HOUR THAT WILL NOT PAY MY BILLS . A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE OWED UNEMPLYMENT AND DID NOT GET IT! ALL YOU FUCKING STAY AT HOME MOMS OR WORKERS GET YOUR ASS OUT AND MASK YOUR FACE FOR 10 HOURS AT A TIME !

          • James

            April 27, 2021 at 9:50 am

            Wow you seem extra salty today Pam. 1st of all there is no reason you can’t find work, it’s out there, many places are starting over 15/hr and you’re griping about not being able to work? 2nd of all to curse and damn people’s children shows who you are as a person, the spelling, all CAPS and shitty grammar tells the rest. 3rd at 66 years old you should have had some type of retirement set up, you are also eligible for retirement benefits, and if you can’t get any of these it’s because you never worked. So hate to break it to you but we’re not going to wear face diapers forever because a bitter uneducated old woman is triggered! But have a blessed day 🙂

          • William M Cronin

            April 27, 2021 at 10:46 am

            I am so tempted to correct Pam’s numerous spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors.

          • Linda

            April 27, 2021 at 1:16 pm

            Pam, I’m 70 and wear a mask 8 hours a day four days a week for $11. Good luck finding an office job when you’re on Social Security. I couldn’t despite decades of experience, so I am where I am to pay the bills.

          • Rick

            April 27, 2021 at 2:22 pm

            I am pretty sure COVID isn’t the reason for your unemployment.

          • Chad

            April 27, 2021 at 5:36 pm

            Somebody needs to take their meds, wash their mouth out with soap, and learn to spell. Doing so might garner more sympathy for your plight.

        • Terri

          April 27, 2021 at 11:34 am

          Because of the extra unemployment businesses can’t even get help. McDonald’s is offering a $50 bonus just to come in and fill out an application. I belong to a yacht club and they can’t even get servers. We need to move on with our lives. Thank you Governor DeSantis.

          • Bill

            April 27, 2021 at 1:11 pm

            Governor DeSantis has just extended the state of emergency for another 60 days and the work search requirement for unemployment till May 29th. So sorry Terri, looks like your precious yacht club will be short server slaves for another month. Now that’s a real tragedy, forget Covid! LMAO

          • Debra

            April 27, 2021 at 2:38 pm

            Gee Debra, your poor little bitch! Sorry , I call a spade a spade ! You are the problem with our country! Lazy ass that has your husband take care of your tanning needs at your entailed yacht club! By the way Pam is my mother-in-law ! Now, let me take you all on soccer moms! Me and Pam have been to protest for kids in school as you all go to yoga class and tell others how they should work! She put my husband through school and all military family assholes! She worked 27 years at Delta Ail Lines and lost pay in 2005 when they filed bankruptcy ….as now the support and give money to BLACK LIFES MATTER! She had a job all her life and husband died a veteran and never till this fake over rated virus came out did she not have job! She earned her unemployment that she never got till after 9 mouths of a broken system! Now, bitches please bring it on… I am so ready to take your unearned freedom from you! If she did not use spell check it is becuse she has been in the real battle for freedom as you sit in your chairs and work in your gas stations as the rest of use have been fighting for your brats that not even you have the backbone to show up at rallies against all this!!!!!!!!!! Now , please if you want to meet up and discusse this let me know! other wise sit and your fuking boat and shut -up and get your own towels and be what you are best at bitch!

        • Pam

          April 27, 2021 at 2:48 pm

          I will make sure to use spellcheck! You and your family can work in a gas station! It seems that is what you call a real job! you must live in a Trailer Park to think that pays the bills when we lost way more than what unemployment pays! NO I am not a part of mask me club to work or have freedom assholes! I have a dead husband so biches like you could come on here when really most have not gotten thier unemployment and I did not get mine for 9 mouths! I used all my own money saved to pay bils of 3,000 a month! now please bring it on! As far as your kid it not my duty to fight their battles ,but I did I did not see your kind there saying open schools or stop forcing mask on them and now I am done! So yes fuck you and your judgmental remarks…..I BET MONEY MOST OF YOU DO NOT HAVE A JOB THAT ON YOUR OWN WOULD SUPPORT EVEN A DOG!

      • Ruth

        April 27, 2021 at 9:18 am

        Agreed! Please unmask our kids and give everyone a choice for their own health safety measures!

        • Mary L

          April 27, 2021 at 5:56 pm

          ditto, Ruth. Unmask our kids!!! “… give everyone a choice….” DITTO Individual freedom is what the USA was founded on!

    • Eola

      April 27, 2021 at 8:32 am

      I disagree completely with you on everything you wrote.
      I’m thankful to live in this state under his leadership. My family from New York and New Jersey are moving to Florida because of how good we are doing

    • JC

      April 27, 2021 at 9:53 am

      Yet, he has still been more transparent then the current administration who seems more like OZ behind the curtain.

  • Stephanie

    April 27, 2021 at 6:44 am

    Thank you Desantis. Unmask our children!!

  • Suzette

    April 27, 2021 at 7:26 am

    About time!!! Get people back to work instead of collecting unemployment, get masks off of our kids and Florida back to normal!! We all have one life to live and it should be dictated on what others think is best. We have a higher man in the sky who knows when it’s our time to go. If someone is that worried about getting sick, live like a hermit crab but the rest of us live in faith not fear!! Mask do not work, and that’s been proven time and time again. Thank you Ron DeSantis for fighting for Florida!

    • Shelly Alexander

      April 27, 2021 at 9:15 am

      👍❤️🇺🇸🙏🏖Florida!

    • JP

      April 27, 2021 at 10:25 am

      Ah….another graduate of facebook medical college…..SMH

    • Pam

      April 27, 2021 at 3:05 pm

      Yes, you are right! But, even the unemployment is working from home, Duke Energy is working from home, The Federal Courts are not open! The list goes on and they all get paid….The White House Hot Line is shut down gee…Covid might come thru the phone! Shall I share more as we are told to take shit jobs as we are waiting for our real jobs to reopen? I do not feel I have ware a mask to make anyone feel good, as I see them buy booze, smokes, weed, over weight like most of Florida ,I never understood that! I see a lot of women on here thinking I and others should flip hamburgers and we live at home at 66! Sorry I am not your basment kid! WE NEED TO STOP ALL MASK BEING FORCED AT WORK AND IN SCHOOLS! IF A PERSON NEEDS IT TO FEEL SAFE FINE NOT AT MY EXPENSE OF FINDING WORK!

  • Stephanie Perry

    April 27, 2021 at 8:01 am

    So many of us here in Florida cannot wait for election time. We only pray there are enough votes to get him out of office.

    • William Michael Cronin

      April 27, 2021 at 8:42 am

      Believe it or not, better than fair chance he’ll be President in 3 years! Plus, in Florida his approval is his highest st 53%.

    • zhombre

      April 27, 2021 at 9:22 am

      There aren’t enough votes. He’s a great governor and his detractors are a pack of partisan fools. If you don’t like it here, get the hell out. Move to New Jersey or some other blue state where your whining is welcome.

    • Ruben

      April 27, 2021 at 9:58 am

      Who are you praying to?

    • your momma

      April 27, 2021 at 11:30 am

      Here’s an idea Steph, move up to NYC I’m sure you’ll fit in better there. You honestly think forcing people to wear a disgusting, bacteria ridden face diaper all day is the solution?! I mean if it was the solution why didn’t it stop the spread? Why are we still having new cases?! Oh yea its a fkn VIRUS! It travels by way of contact, it affects me differently than you, it can make me sick and kill you. It’s not able to be reasoned with, masks won’t stop it, and if you truly believe that they will you’re delusional! But if you believe that he’s a bad Gov you’re part of the problem!

    • Proud Floridian

      April 27, 2021 at 1:43 pm

      So you would rather have:

      A shut down Florida
      Lockdowns
      Mask gestappo
      Failing businesses
      Schools closed
      Unopposed rioting
      Exodus and falling property values
      More taxes
      Crackhead governor*

      What brain disease do people have when they can’t appreciate quality of life for themselves or anything nice that is good for society? I’m very serious. This isn’t two sides of the same coin, let’s grab a beer after. This is absolutely fundamentally opposed positions which translate to good vs bad, freedom vs tyranny in no uncertain terms.

      *That’s literally what you would have gotten if DeSantis lost.

    • Buddy

      April 28, 2021 at 4:17 am

      Most states would welcome DeSantis…. Most states would not welcome the likes of the whiners one here.

  • William Michael Cronin

    April 27, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Florida covid deaths are +14%, hospitalizations +27% last 14 days…DeSatanist will kill people for his own political gain.

    • Jennifer Zamora

      April 27, 2021 at 12:45 pm

      Stop it! 99% of Covid deaths are people that were already dying!!! (Like my dad!). We are all onto this scare tactic! If you don’t like it, stay home and hide! And I am not understanding the reason people need Unemployment anymore?? Everything is 100% open and help wanted signs Everywhere! Indeed.com

  • Terri Ernissee

    April 27, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Please stop the MASKS! It has been long enough. We all know it’s politically charged. Let us make our own decisions, please!

    • james

      April 27, 2021 at 9:56 am

      AMEN!!

  • James

    April 27, 2021 at 9:55 am

    God Bless Gov. DeSantis and his office! We’ve listened to the “guidelines” we’ve tried to make sense of it but once it stops making sense…what are we doing? I’ve never one time worn a mask, I had Covid in March 2020 before the masks, before the social distancing, etc… I had no issues. My 78yr old cancer survivor uncle JUST had it and he made it just fine. I know about 50 people who have had it and lived just fine. I believe in choices! If you want to mask by all means do so, but don’t force it on me and my kids. So Thank you Gov. DeSantis! Definitely will vote for you again!

  • JC

    April 27, 2021 at 9:56 am

    I am from Idaho and we have not been wearing masks for several months and in my area there has not been a surge of cases. In fact, there have not been any cases reported in my local area. We are realists and our Governor is like Desantis. He doesn’t drink the koolaid.

    • David

      April 29, 2021 at 10:42 am

      You’re a CLOWN! I live in Idaho too! Canyon County. We wear masks out here. Just because our REPUG Governor chicken s**t Little got rid of the mask “mandate” doesn’t mean people dont wear them! And tell me where you live, because EVERY COUNTY has reported numbers!!! Dont try to come comment with your unintelligent, NON-FACTUAL “BS”!!!! Typical Idahoan scrub.

  • Your computer

    April 27, 2021 at 10:44 am

    14%, hospitalizations +27% last 14 days if me or one if my family members dies due to covid and already lost my grandmother to it I will give Desantis little frat boy a big as law suit , get your shit together and normalize unemployment who millions of families with kids depend on it because shit is still a shit show and millions have still not gotten paid because if the system and now your just going to crash the while unemployment portal where millions claim their weeks , also get the metro buses in order get the cases in order get the court offices open there are still millions of businesses closed by because the SBA is also a shit show not providing what they promised millions and businesses closing left and right because of it you think the harm that was done you can just wipe your hands clean like nothing happened and just open it up and crash all assistance your really gonna messs millions of families if you do

    • your momma

      April 27, 2021 at 11:26 am

      You won’t do shit! Its a disease, it spreads however it wants to. There is no way to factually 100% prove where it was caught from and whether or not that it was contracted from someone NOT wearing a mask. So go back to being unemployed and lazy. How about instead of griping about unemployment you go find one of the billion empty jobs that are open because lazy folks would rather suck at the Gov’s teat than work! You cannot blame the success or failure of businesses, or lost jobs on a human! The disease caused widespread panic which was perpetuated by our shitty media to make it out to be WAY worse than it was. This resulted in a knee jerk panicked reaction that closed businesses and cost millions of jobs! If you wanna sue someone sue whoever thought it was a good idea to lock down businesses and good hard working people from being able to earn a living. Instead of sitting on your fat uneducated butt maybe go be proactive and run for office. I mean obviously YOU have all the answers…..computer!

  • Freedom loving Floridian

    April 27, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Thank you, Gov DeSantis, for doing what is in the best interest of our children. They deserve to BREATHE!

    Masks are useless – that is a scientific fact.

  • Martha Addison

    April 27, 2021 at 11:26 am

    I am thankful I live in A state where our Governor has common sense and cares about the people not politics. Please Governor Ron De Santos free our kids. God created them we gave birth to them you can make a difference in their oxygen intake. Let us see those beautiful faces.

  • Karen Murphy

    April 27, 2021 at 11:30 am

    Between several effective therapeutics as well as the vaccines available to Florida residents, there is absolutely no reason to continue the State of Emergency order. For those in fear of Covid, you have many choices to protect yourself, just as those not in fear have the choice to live a normal life. It takes strength, courage and objective thinking to defy typical political narratives. Thank you, Governor DeSantis for listening to several different experts and compiling specific data (other than cdc.gov or numbers on the TV screen) when making decisions for us. Rationale and facts must win over fear.

  • Tammy Ketchum

    April 27, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you Governor DeSantis for all you have done for our state! Please let our children free; unmask them! We as Americans have many choices to protect ourselves now and no one should be forced into anything.

  • Isa

    April 28, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    Had many loved ones die from COVID . They believed in Trump and no mask and his dumb rallies. It’s okay people don’t let the government own you so don’t wear masks, oh and don’t wear car seat belts either. The reason Trump lost was that mostly all the Trumpers that would have voted for him went to his rallies mask-less and believed the virus was all a hoax like he stated and now they are amongst the COVID numbered of deaths reported. Oh and I won’t came back to read any comments related to my post.. Stay Safe!

  • Wayne Clark

    May 2, 2021 at 7:28 am

    Desanntis is an overbaring not caring idiot and only cares about his political joby

  • DM

    May 5, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Get bent. You want to be a puss and wear a mask feel free.

    I don’t want to wear one. Give me my fucking freedoms back, you communist fucks.

Comments are closed.


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