Published On: Mon, Mar 30th, 2020

Delray Beach City Officials ask Everyone to Stay Home for 18 Days

By Staff Reports

As part of the ongoing effort to limit the spread of novel coronavirus in Delray Beach, people are asked to stay home for at least 18 days, making the city the 2nd municipality in Palm Beach County to do so.

The order will exist in conjunction with a curfew that will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 30. The order will be in place at least until Thursday, April 16. The curfew will be in effect from midnight to 6 a.m. daily.

“The ‘stay at home’ order does not require residents to confine themselves to the interior of their homes,” according to the order. “Residents may make use of all exterior portions of their homes such as patios, porches, yards and driveways.”

The order does not restrict residents to stay indoors. They are permitted to travel to supermarkets, medical facilities and essential businesses and workplaces. Residents are also allowed to walk their dogs within 250 feet of their homes and to exercise.

Delray Beach is also the  second municipality in the county to institute a curfew, following the town of Palm Beach, which has a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. restriction. The city of Boca Raton has issued a stay-at-home order but no curfew.

City leaders have mixed opinions on implementing a curfew.

Commissioner Adam Frankel thinks the curfew is reasonable considering that people from Broward and Miami-Dade counties, where countywide stay-at-home orders are in place countywide, were flocking to the city’s beach, bars and restaurants.

“We are trying to strike a balance between keeping people safe while allowing our businesses to operate somewhat in what is … a very difficult time,” Frankel told the Palm Beach Post.

“We are trying to strike a balance between keeping people safe while allowing our businesses to operate somewhat in what is … a very difficult time,” he said, adding that the edict is a strong recommendation to deal with a very serious situation.

“If you violate it, there is no criminal penalty, it just authorizes the police department to say, ‘Go home,’” Frankel continued. “It helps the first responders.”

Vice Mayor Shirley Johnson thinks a curfew may be an overkill.

“Some of the things that are happening are near-hysteria,” she told the newspaper.

Johnson raised concerns about the enforcement of a curfew.

“That is what always gets me when they put out these declarations,” she added. “If it doesn’t say anything about enforcement what is the difference from what we were already doing.”

Meanwhile, two city firefighters have quarantined themselves after concerns they were possibly exposed to coronavirus.

The firefighters were sent home after not feeling well. Both were tested and are awaiting results, a Delray Beach Fire-Rescue spokesperson said.

Information from The Palm Beach Post was used to supplement this report.

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