Pinellas County is now the first area in the Tampa Bay region to officially enact a stay-at-home order for residents. The decision was reached during an emergency meeting held Wednesday morning.
The order asks residents to stay at home except for essential activities, which includes trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, healthcare, and for any occupation that is essential.
You’re not confined to your home. Residents are permitted to go outside to walk their pets, and get exercise, officials ask that you adhere to social distancing guidelines and not gather in groups.
Spots that can remain open include grocery stores, restaurants offering takeout only, hospitals, and gas stations, among other essential spots.
This directive is set to go into effect on Thursday, March 26 at noon.
Non-essential businesses can stay open under the order, but have to self-police and strictly adhere to CDC guidelines, which means no more than 10 customers in a store/place of business at once, and all must be at least 6 feet apart from one another.
Violating these terms is punishable as a Second Degree Misdemeanor “punishable with up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine”, according to a report by the Tampa Bay Times.
Tampa is considering enacting a similar safer at home order on Thursday, too.