Hillsborough County (FL) Under Safer-At-Home Order
Hillsborough County (FL) recently issued a Safer-At-Home Order that went into effect at 10:00PM on March 27, 2020. The Safer-At-Home Order will be in effect on a daily basis until it expires or is rescinded. Currently, the Order does not include an expiration date. The Order is less restrictive than total lockdowns or shelter-in-place regulations, encourages citizens to stay home as much as possible, allows non-essential activities – so long as social distancing and other CDC Public Health Mitigation Strategies requirements are followed – and applies to all of the unincorporated and incorporated areas of Hillsborough County.
The Order permits essential individuals, business, and services to continue operating. The Order lists 42 categories of “essential businesses” that may remain open and continue operations, including healthcare providers, grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants providing take-out services and gas stations. Other “essential businesses” include mass-transit personnel, businesses engaged in food cultivation, hardware stores, laundromats, moving, storage and relocation services, assisted living facilities, office-supply providers, and many others.
The Order also includes a catchall provision which includes any personnel employed by an entity identified as one of the sixteen critical infrastructure sectors by the Cyber-Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security when pursuing work related functions, or traveling directly or from work and their respective residents. The CISA essential infrastructure guide is attached to and was made a part of the Order.
Businesses which are not described in Paragraph 3 of the Order, and which by the nature of their business are unable to maintain the required physical distancing of six feet, must close. However, businesses that are able to maintain the required physical distancing of six feet shall:
- Insure employees are adhering to social distancing and other health care guidelines as established by the Florida Department of Health.
- Continue using best practices as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control.
- Direct workers to telecommute when that is feasible.
- Use best efforts to provide employment opportunities to those who lose jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic by working directly with CareerSource and other designated employment and job agencies.
Penalties For Violations
The intent of the Order is to seek voluntary compliance with the provisions contained in the Order. However, in the event voluntary compliances is not achieved then in that event as a last resort, a violation of the Order could be prosecuted as a second-degree misdemeanor.
We will continue to monitor this rapidly developing situation and provide updates as appropriate. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ alert system to gather the most up-to-date information. For further information or advice, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney or any attorney in our Tampa office, or any member of our COVID-19 Taskforce. You can also review our Comprehensive And Updated FAQs For Employers On The COVID-19 Coronavirus.
This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific county law. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.