Seminole County Enacting a “Social Distancing” Order

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Instead of enacting a “stay at home” order like it’s neighbors, leaders in Seminole County are trying something new to stop the spread of coronavirus.

  • Seminole County enacting “social distancing” order
  • Order to make sure residents, businesses are following CDC guidelines

On Friday, county leaders announced they’ll be enacting a social distancing order for its residents and businesses, which will go into effect Monday at midnight.

These new rules are an attempt to slow the spread of the virus down without needing to close businesses down.

Over the coming days, businesses will be required to make changes to ensure they’re protecting both their customers and staff.

“We see that businesses are following the rules but clearly there were some that were making individuals work right next to each other. In one case, we had a call that they were told to come in even if you’re sick, which I can’t even imagine in this climate that someone would say something like that. But we’re going to follow up on those complaints and if we need to, take appropriate action,” Alan Harris, Seminole Co. Emergency Manager said.

“The large gatherings of individuals really have been at hardware stores and grocery stores and we want them to stay open but we want them to practice social distancing. We’ve been in contact with regional managers from most of the large grocery chains and they actually like the order and they’re going to take steps to make sure this order is followed in our county.”​

Businesses will have to practice social distancing, staying at least six feet apart. Group meetings and training must be limited to 10 people or less. And businesses will be required to limit the occupancy to 30 percent of the maximum capacity.

County leaders say they’re hopeful this new order will make a difference in reducing the virus’ spread.

“We feel that this order is going to have the greatest effect on reducing exposure. It’s going to limit gatherings of no more than 10 people and I’m going to suggest you never do that,” Sheriff Dennis Lemma said.

Checkpoints and staging areas, include storefronts, must be monitored for these requirements to ensure they are social distancing.  They’ll need to mark floors to show they are meeting those six foot social distancing requirements.

First responders, health care workers, and childcare providers are among those who will be exempted from this.

County leaders say code enforcement and the sheriff’s office will be making the rounds to check on compliance and responding to complaints.

While there may be fines for non-compliance, leaders say this is mostly about educating people and making sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do to stay safe.