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Why Did Florida Wait To Issue A Statewide Stay-At-Home Order? Lt. Gov. Nuñez Answers On Sundial

Miami Herald
Spring breakers in South Padre Island, TX and Miami Beach, FL partied on beaches on March 18, 2020 despite a state of emergency declaration in Texas and advice from health officials to keep a distance of six feet between people.

On this Thursday, April 2, episode of Sundial:


Lieutenant governor breaks down the statewide ‘stay at home’ order


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered a statewide order for people to leave home only for essential services or work for the next 30 days. 

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Some of those essential jobs and services include hospital workers, groceries and religious services. Critics say the governor’s decision should have come sooner. 

“The governor’s rationale really throughout the past couple of weeks is looking at the state as a whole," Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez told WLRN host Luis Hernandez on Sundial.  "As you know very well, Florida is a very diverse state. What we’ve been seeing, and what we’ve seen through all the numbers and data... many counties have zero cases or 10 or fewer cases,” Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez told WLRN host Luis Hernandez on Sundial. 

 What are the rights of "essential" workers and their employers?

The governor may have enacted a statewide Stay-at-Home order Wednesday, but most of South Florida has been under these orders for a while. That means employees in essentialworkplaceshave regularly been placed in potentially dangerous scenarios. 

“The focus on everybody’s mind now is employee safety,” says Christina Gornail an attorney at Phillips, Richards and Rind P.A., which represents unions across South Florida.   

“We are seeing firefighters, healthcare workers who don’t have the option to stay home like many of us do. Do they have the proper equipment, is there social distancing if they do have to go to the workplace and what are their rights to protect themselves in these circumstances.” 

Gornail joined attorney Charles Caulkins at the firm Fisher and Phillips on Sundial. Caulkins is also the chairman of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. They answered listener questions about workers and employers rights during this coronavirus pandemic.

WLRN Producer Alejandra Martinez assisted in the production of this episode.

Chris knew he wanted to work in public radio beginning in middle school, as WHYY played in his car rides to and from school in New Jersey. He’s freelanced for All Things Considered and was a desk associate for CBS Radio News in New York City. Most recently, he was producing for Capital Public Radio’s Insight booking guests, conducting research and leading special projects at Sacramento’s NPR affiliate.