COVID-19 question of the day: ‘What is the difference between a shelter in place order and a stay at home order?’

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we know you have questions, and we want to help you get answers. Call WKRG News 5’s coronavirus hotline at 251-662-3055 and leave us a message with your question. We’re answering them each weeknight on News 5 at 10.

Wednesday night’s question is: “What is the difference between a shelter in place order, and a stay at home order?”

The goal is the same– stopping the spread of coronavirus.

Wednesday, Mississippi’s governor issued a shelter in place order, and the governors of Florida and Pennsylvania issued stay at home orders.

The actual meaning of ‘shelter in place’ according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is to “stay put inside a building or vehicle” during an emergency. Although health officials are calling the coronavirus pandemic a “public health emergency,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the term “shelter-in-place” can invoke panic– that’s why most governors are signing orders for everyone to “stay home,” only leaving for essential tasks, such as shopping for groceries, work, doctor appointments, or going outside to get fresh air. Even then, we’re all supposed to maintain a 6-foot distance between ourselves and everyone we encounter.

The best way to find out exactly what’s included in the order in your state is to go to your state’s website.

You can read Florida’s Executive Order here.

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