Broward, Miami-Dade Urge Residents to Stay at Home Amid Pandemic

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Officials in Broward and Miami-Dade issued orders Thursday urging residents to stay at home, with the exception of engaging in essential activities, amid the growing coronavirus pandemic.

In Broward County, officials implemented a so-called "Shelter in Place: Safer at Home" policy. County residents are "strongly urged to remain home other than to engage in essential activities" or patronize what's considered essential to the county, such as going to the doctor's office and the grocery store. Residents can also engage in outdoor activities while maintaining social distancing.

The order took effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday. Read the full order here.

"The only way you really prevent the spread of anything is to keep people at home as much as possible," Broward Commissioner Mark Bogen said.

In Miami-Dade County, Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued a similar order and called it a "Safer at Home" policy. Residents were urged to stay in their homes other than to engage in essential activities, effective immediately. Read the full order here.

As of Thursday, South Florida had more than 1,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with over 650 in Miami-Dade County and 500 in Broward County.

Some of Florida's harder-hit municipalities have issued similar stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders. City of Miami officials ordered residents to stay at home and "non-essential" travel within the city is prohibited, while a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew was also put in place.

"We can’t afford to allow ourselves to come out and be self-centered during this time. It’s not about an individual, it’s about an entire community," Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said. 

This is a developing story. Check back with NBC 6 for updates.

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