Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference at CB Smith Park yesterday and announced that all non-essential businesses in Broward and Palm Beach Counties will be closed in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Essential businesses include grocery stores and gas stations. Non-essential businesses such as restaurants must close or offer takeout service.

See open restaurants offering take-out and delivery here.

The announcement was made just before the opening of a COVID-19 testing site at CB Smith Park. The Florida National Guard nurses and medics are working with doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals at Memorial Healthcare System to provide testing. There will be five drive through lanes so people can drive through and receive a test. The goal is to test healthcare professionals, people over age 65, those showing symptoms of COVID-19 and individuals who have been in contact with a person with the virus.

DeSantis praised members of the National Guard and Memorial Healthcare System health professionals for their work in setting up the testing site. Guard members have been working this week to create the testing site.

“Broward County is at the epicenter of the outbreak. We need people to practice social distancing. There are areas in Florida where no coronavirus cases have been reported. If we can contain coronavirus and prevent it from spreading, we can get back to normal sooner,” he said.

He emphasized that groups no larger than ten should be together. He did encourage people to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. He encouraged college students many of whom might want to enjoy spring break activities to not participate in social gatherings.

DeSantis said that one problem has been a shortage of supplies need to test for coronavirus, protect healthcare professionals and care for people who suffer from the virus. There is a need for swabs, protective equipment for healthcare professionals and ventilators.

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David Volz
David Volz has been a reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2011 and has worked for numerous community news publications throughout South Florida over the past two decades including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal. He is a Professor in the Business department at Broward College and the editor of the Coral Springs Connection, an online community news website. He covers city government, schools, sports events, cultural activities, faith groups and workplaces.

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