KEY POINTS

  • Florida's 'stay-at-home' order was set to expire at the end of April
  • Poll results showed 72% of Florida voters wanted to continue social distancing into May
  • 76% think the economy should be reopened when public health experts say it's safe

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was one of the last governors to enforce a "stay-at-home" order to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Now that the order was set to expire soon, a recent poll revealed the majority of Florida voters think it was not yet time to relax the social distancing rules.

Results of a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday (April 22) revealed 72% of Florida voters think the state should not loosen its social distancing rules at the end of April. Specifically, 90% of democrats, 69% of independents and 55% of Republicans think social distancing should coninue into May.

Further, 76% said the state's economy should only be reopened when public health officials say it is already safe, compared to the 17% who said the economy should reopen even if public health officials warn against it.

"The state's stay-at-home order is scheduled to expire at the end of the month of April, but nearly three quarters of Floridians are not ready to drop their guard," Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said.

The results came just a day after DeSantis said during an appearance on "Fox and Friends" that Florida already "flattened the curve" even without "draconian orders."

"Florida has flattened the curve," DeSantis said on Fox and Friends . "People have done a great job and I think we understand that you can do both, you can continue to fight COVID-19, but also get people back to work and have society function again."

According to the poll, 61% of voters said DeSantis could have responded to the outbreak sooner, while 34% said he responded "quickly enough." Of the respondents, 50% approve of the way DeSantis is handling the coronavirus outbreak while 41% disapprove.

So far, Florida has yet to announce steps on how it would lift the current coronavirus restrictions. However, several beaches have already reopened to the public, albeit just for certain hours of the day and with social distancing guidelines still in place.

As of April 22, the Florida Department of Health has recorded total of 28,576 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, 27,791 of which are of Florida residents while 785 are of non-Florida residents. The state has already reported 927 deaths.

Social Distancing Social distancing guidelines recommend people to keep at least 6 feet (2 meter) distance between each other. Photo: Pixabay