Jacksonville/State of Florida Safer at Home Order FAQ's

Posted By: William Jaycox Community, Industry,

Updated: Wednesday, April 1st

Jacksonville’s Safer-At-Home Order No. 2020-5 and the State of Florida’s Safer-At-Home Order No. 20-91 1.

 Please click here for a copy of Jacksonville’s Safer-At-Home Order No. 2020-5 2.

Please click here for a copy of the State of Florida’s Safer-At-Home Order No. 20-91

The First Coast Florida Apartment Association is providing the following resource to help our members navigate the “safer-at-home” orders issued by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Governor Ron DeSantis in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource may change as more information is made available, and should not be considered comprehensive. It is still important for your company to stay up to date with any new announcements or press releases made available to the public by your local government.

Please note it is your community or company's responsibility to make operational, policy, or staffing decisions based on a thorough internal review and consultation with counsel. Nothing contained within this article should be considered legal advice or official guidance.

On April 1st, 2020 Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry issued a safer-at-home order for all non-essential employees within the Consolidated City (including the Beaches and Baldwin). The order became effective on Friday, April 1st at 12:01 AM and will last until the expiration of the existing State of Local Emergency, unless terminated by a subsequent Emergency Order. Under this order, non-essential businesses are required to stop operations and close.

On April 1st, 2020 Governor Ron DeSantis issued executive order 20-91, which declared a state-wide stafer-at-home mandate. This directive orders all persons in Florida to limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities until April 30, 2020. This order includes a more comprehensive list of essential businesses and activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why has this order been issued?

A. The purpose of this order is to restrict or stop the community spread of COVID-19 by limiting person to person interaction. Please access the City of Jacksonville’s COVID-19 resource page for more information.

Q. Are multifamily property management and maintenance personnel considered “essential?”

A. 1). Yes. Executive order 2020-5 includes the following as essential businesses: a. “i. Contractors and other tradesmen, appliance repair personnel, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other structures;" 2). Executive Order No 20-91 also encompasses the list detailed by the US Department of Homeland Security’s determination of an Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Essential personnel includes: b. Workers responsible for the leasing of residential properties to provide individuals and families with ready access to available housing. c. Workers responsible for handling property management, maintenance, and related service calls who can coordinate the response to emergency “at-home” situations requiring immediate attention, as well as facilitate the reception of deliveries, mail, and other necessary services. d. Workers performing housing construction related activities to ensure additional units can be made available to combat the nation’s existing housing supply shortage. e. Workers supporting the construction of housing, including those supporting government functions related to the building and development process, such as inspections, permitting and plan review services that can be modified to protect the public health, but fundamentally should continue and serve the construction of housing (e.g., allow qualified private third-party inspections in case of government shutdown).

Q. Is the employer mandated to stay open if they are deemed essential?

A. 1). No. This order only allows certain businesses to remain open. The decision for a business to remain open is a business decision that must be made in consultation with your company policies and legal counsel. 2). It is important to note that Governor DeSantis’ executive order no. 20-91 confirms that individuals are allowed to and encouraged to work from home during the duration of the order.

Q. Do all employees have to appear for work if their business is deemed essential?

A. No. It is up to the employer to determine whether or not the employee living in the City of Jacksonville should appear for work. Employees and contractors should not report to work if they are exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19, if they have been in contact with someone who has been infected, or if they are sick.

Q. If you are 65 or older and deemed “essential” do you have to go to work?

A. No, in fact the Governor orders those in that age group to stay home. However, they are allowed to work from home if their job permits. Executive Order No 20-91 states, "Senior citizens and individuals with a significant underlying medical condition (such as chronic lung disease, moderate-to-severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immunocompromised status, cancer, diabetes, severe obesity, renal failure and liver disease) shall stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19."

Q. Are there requirements that essential personnel must follow?

A. Yes, although they may continue working, the employees must maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet apart from other people), as well as all other measures advised by the CDC, and maintenance personnel should use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Q. Is there a limit on how many employees can be essential personnel?

A. No, but gatherings of 10 or more people are discouraged and should practice social distancing and other measures advised by the CDC.

Q. My business is not included on the list of essential businesses and I can’t perform my work remotely, can I appeal for an exemption?

A. 1). The Mayor reserves the right and ability to amend the city’s list of essential businesses. At this time, it is unknown how to apply for an exemption or request to be added to the list of essential businesses. This document will be edited when more information is available. 2). Essential services may be added under executive order 20-91 with the approval of the State Coordinating Officer in coordination with the State Health Officer.

Q. Does this apply to all municipalities in Duval County?

A. Yes, however, the various municipalities may impose more stringent requirements.

Q. Does this mean the City of Jacksonville has declared a curfew?

A. No, not at this time.

Q. Do I need to halt construction on my residential property?

A. It does not appear so. The essential workers list in executive order no. 20-91 includes: a. “Workers supporting the construction of housing, including those supporting government functions related to the building and development process, such as inspections, permitting and plan review services that can be modified to protect the public health, but fundamentally should continue and serve the construction of housing (e.g., allow qualified private third-party inspections in case of government shutdown).”

Q. Can we leave our home for reasons other than our work (if work is deemed essential)?

A. 1). Yes. However, people should remain in their homes unless they are engaging in activities essential to their health and safety, obtaining necessary services or supplies for themselves or family, engaging in outdoor activity (exercise), performing operations for work, or leaving to take care of a family member, friend, or pet, among other activities. Please refer to the City of Jacksonville’s info sheet. 2). Order No. 20-91 states residents may also engage in the following “essential activities:” a. Attend religious services, b. Participate in recreational activities such as hiking, walking, biking, ect., c. Take care of pets, and d. Care for or otherwise assist a loved one or friend.

Additional Resources:

1. NAA “Shelter-In-Place” Guidance: Guidance for NAA Members Concerning Shelter-In-Place Orders

2. FAA COVID-19 Resource Page: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

3. Jacksonville’s Emergency Safer-At-Home Order No. 2020-5: https://www.coj.net/departments/fire-and-rescue/docs/emergency-preparedness/prepare dness/executive-order-2020-5_emergency-non-essential-bus.aspx

4. The State of Florida’s Executive Order No. 20-91: STATE OF FLORIDA

5. Jacksonville’s COVID-19 information page: https://www.coj.net/departments/fire-and-rescue/emergency-preparedness/preparedenss /covid-19-information#Information

6. Duval County Health Department’s Website: http://duval.floridahealth.gov/

7. Florida Department of Health’s Website: http://www.floridahealth.gov/

8. CDC’s Website: https://www.cdc.gov/