• Florida Sen. Rick Scott urged residents and visitors to keep away from the beaches to curb the spread of COVID-19
  • Scott's comments followed Gov. Ron DeSantis' order that groups larger than 10 people are prohibited at the beaches
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there is no plan to impose a shelter in place order, despite warnings from New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio for residents to be ready for one

Florida Sen. Rick Scott urged residents Thursday to stay away from the beach to help curb the spread of COVID-19 while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo shot down the idea of a shelter-in-place order earlier in the week.


Scott spoke about beachgoers continuing to flock to Florida’s beachfronts despite warnings about potential coronavirus exposure. He said the risk of exposure was too high on the beaches and that ignoring the guidelines puts many people at risk, especially older residents.

“Get off beach, I mean unless you can figure out how to be completely isolated from anyone else,” Scott told CNN. “Don't take a chance that you're going to be the one to cause your grandparent or your parents or another friend from school to get sick.”

Scott’s comments followed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis saying he won’t close beaches despite the risk of infection. However, DeSantis did order that groups larger than 10 people not be allowed on the beaches. He also ordered businesses selling alcohol to cut occupancy in half.

The order, itself, was in response to videos that emerged online of large crowds at the beaches despite the health risk.

As of Thursday, there have been 390 confirmed cases and eight deaths in Florida from COVID-19.

New York

Cuomo dismissed speculation about a shelter-in-place order after New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio advised residents to be ready for one.

Cuomo told CNN: “My job is to make sure that the state has a coordinated plan and it works everywhere. I don't think shelter in place really works for one locality. I'm a New York City boy, born and raised if you can't tell, and we're very good at getting around the rules. You say shelter in place if you stay in New York City, I'll go stay with my sister in Westchester, right? I'll go stay with a buddy in the neighboring suburb of Nassau. So I don't think you can really do a policy like that just in one part of the state. So I don't think it works.

“As a matter of fact, I'm going so far that I don't even think you can do a statewide policy.”

New York has reached out for aid from the federal government to address the high number of COVID-19 cases across the state. Cuomo requested for the Army Corps of Engineers to build temporary medical facilities to treat the rising number of patients, and one of two Navy medical ships was sent to New York City to provide treatment and support the hospitals in the city.

Cuomo also joined New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday to declare a ban on gatherings of over 50 people.

There have been 4,152 confirmed cases and 21 deaths from COVID-19 in New York, with most cases concentrated in New Rochelle.

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