Updating Breaking News: Alachua County and Gainesville issue Stay at Home Orders

Updated at 6:30 with a release from the City of Gainesville:
Effective 12 a.m. (midnight) March 24, 2020, an Emergency Stay-at-Home and Non-Essential Business Closure order will go into effect.(EMERGENCY ORDER NO. 2020-09)
Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe and Alachua County Commissioner Robert Hutchinson came together today for joint announcement at 3 p.m. on the latest emergency declaration for our area.
Questions continue to come in regarding what does and does not qualify as an “essential business.” Neighbors and business owners are advised to read the order in its entirety. 
The order outlines who is impacted in general terms. If after reading the language clarity is still needed, please submit the following form to the county to determine if you are or can be designated as an essential business: https://tinyurl.com/t3vsqlk
We ask for your patience as we continue to update our FAQs and other documentation to reflect the recently announced order.

Updated at 5:30 PM

From Alachua County:

Many questions continue to come in regarding what does and does not qualify as an “essential business.” Please read the order in its entirety in the note below. This order outlines in general terms who is impacted. If after reading the language you still need clarity as to whether or not your business qualifies as essential, please submit the following form: Request for designation as essential business.

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To read the entire Stay at Home Order, go here.


Alachua County issued an executive Stay At Home Order effective at 12:01am on March 24th, and the City of Gainesville followed its directive.

“It closes non-essential businesses and gathering places,” said the Board of County Commissioner Chair Robert Hutchinson. 

“We can no longer wait for the Governor of Florida to join the other states,” he  added and said that the decision is based on orders already instituted for citizens and businesses located in major epicenters of COVID-19 such as New York City.

Businesses classified as essential will continue to be allowed to operate, he said and those include healthcare providers, grocery stores, convenience stores, farms and farmers market, news media and broadcasting stations, hardware store, shipping and mailing services, work-from-home businesses, college and trade schools that need to continue critical research and restaurants and kitchens for take out and pick up only.


“It closes non-essential businesses and gathering places. We can no longer wait for the Governor of Florida to join the other states.”

–Robert Hutchinson, Alachua County Board Chairman

Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe announced that he will mirror the order for Gainesville starting at midnight as well.

“Alachua County has the highest rate of infection per capita than any Florida county,” Hutchinson said.

“There is only one way to reduce the transmission of this disease, and that is to stop its spread from one person to another by isolating ourselves for its incubation period.

“If we all do this, lives of hundreds of thousands of our loved ones will be spared.”

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