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Gov. DeSantis: Residents 65+, or with underlying conditions encouraged to stay inside for 2 weeks amid COVID-19 outbreak

The order, which will be issued later Tuesday, will also apply to people of all ages with underlying conditions.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis says a health advisory from the state's Surgeon General will encourage Florida residents ages 65 and up to stay at home for the next two weeks to protect them from the spread of COVID-19.

"We want to make sure that those folks are protected," DeSantis said, referencing the elderly. "The message has been for us from the beginning that if you are in that category, avoid crowds, avoid close contact. You should assume that anyone you come in contact with may be infected, so make sure you keep that safe appropriate distance of six feet or more. Obviously, the easiest way to do that is to simply stay at home as much as possible."

The order, which will be issued later Tuesday, will also apply to people of all ages with underlying conditions such as (but not limited to) severe obesity, moderate to severe asthma or cancer.

DeSantis also announced other measures that will be in place to stop the spread of the virus. 

One measure targets social gatherings at private residences, saying groups must maintain 10 or fewer people no matter if they are at a private home or public space. 

"We [initially] banned any of these groups from beaches but we didn't necessarily do that for areas like town squares or private residences," he said. "I'm going to expand that guidance ... you should not have any social group of 10 people or more. Just because it's a private residence, you should not right now be having 50 people for a party."

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DeSantis also expanded an order he made Monday that made it mandatory for travelers from the New York-New Jersey area to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival to Florida. Those travelers will now have to also provide the address of where they will self-isolate as well as a list of any close contacts they've had with anyone within the state of Florida.

"This is important because, after all our hard work, we don't want it to now get ceded as people flee the hot zone [of COVID-19 outbreaks]," he said.  

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