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00000177-b32b-d5f4-a5ff-bbfb6e660000Here is the information you need to know about COVID-19 in Northwest Florida. We will keep this post updated with the latest information from local, and statewide agencies. For inforamtion from Centers for Disease Control and prevention: cdc.gov/coronavirusFor updates on Florida cases of coronavirus, visit the FDOH dashboard.The COVID-19 call center is available at 24/7 at 1-866-779-6121

Gov. DeSantis Signs Bill To Suspend All COVID Emergency Orders

Governor Ron DeSantis suspended all local government coronavirus emergency orders on Monday, as he signed a bill that makes permanent his ban on COVID-19 vaccine passports.

While the governor’s executive order won’t block businesses from requiring customers to socially distance or wear face masks, DeSantis declared void local restrictions and said COVID-19-related fines cannot be collected by local governments.

“My message is that the vaccines protect you. Get vaccinated, and then live your life as if you are protected. You don’t have to chafe under restrictions infinitum.” 

Democrats call the executive order premature. House co-minority leader Evan Jenne (Jenny) thinks it will pressure businesses into lifting their COVID-19 restrictions to avoid confusion.

“What you are going to see is more of those viral moments on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram of people absolutely freaking out, saying ‘you don’t have the right to do this, the governor has lifted all executive orders, you can’t do this to me’.”

The legislation signed Monday, which takes effect July 1, will also allow DeSantis and future governors to override local orders during future health crises if they are determined to unnecessarily restrict individual rights or liberties.

The highest-profile part of the bill would prohibit businesses, schools and government agencies from requiring people to show documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccinations or post-infection recovery before gaining entry.