Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said 200 deputies and officers hit the streets Thursday, posting 14,000 yellow “safer at home” orders on businesses.

The order calls for businesses that remain open to strictly adhere to CDC social distancing guidelines. For businesses that don’t comply?

"If you don't adhere to this, then an option would be that we take enforcement action,” the sheriff said. “We shut down that business and if it's prevalent enough the board of county commissioners is going to come back and act and they're just going to shut everybody down." 

The “safer at home” order also calls for all Pinellas pools that are non-residential to be closed. The sheriff says it's a necessary step after the beach closures because they saw a lot of people just move to community pools.

The Pinellas County “safer at home” order will be in effect for seven days.


Pinellas County officials on Wednesday issued a "safer at home" directive for residents as the coronavirus outbreak continues.

"We’re imploring our businesses to take this seriously and our residents to take this seriously because I don’t think we fully understand the impact that if this spreads that we quickly could become (what is happening) in New York, said Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton.

They have released a breakdown of what it means for residents, businesses and places of assembly.

What the directive means:


Pinellas residents are ordered to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines of social distancing (6 feet of separation from others and no group gatherings of more than 10), stay home as much as possible and limit non-essential activity. Residents can still leave their homes to meet essential needs such as food, healthcare, laundry and outdoor recreation.

Essential activities include:

Direct care or support of family members

Healthcare and medical services

Pharmacies, health care supply stores, and health care facilities


Meal take-outs from local food establishments (including food banks)

Essential work duties that cannot be performed from home

Primary or emergency care or direct care support for a family member or relative

Banks and related financial institutions

Laundry services, laundromats

Essential home repairs and maintenance (lawn care, plumbing, roofing, etc.)

Outdoor activity while following CDC guidelines (examples include: walking pet, hiking, biking).

Veterinarians and pet boarding facilities

Gas stations, auto-supply and auto-repair facilities


Places that facilitate public assembly, whether indoors or outdoors are ordered to close to the public. This includes, places like public play grounds, publicly accessible children's play centers, bowling alleys, movies and other theaters, country clubs, social clubs and fraternal organizations.

Any gatherings involving groups of 10 or more will be told to disperse. County public parks will stay open, however all playgrounds within the park will be closed. For more information about parks visit


Non-essential businesses are ordered to close storefront operations and customer foot traffic if they can't meet CDC guidelines. However, businesses may continue internal and minimum basic operations required to maintain the businesses. Businesses are still required to enforce the CDC social distancing guidelines. Essential businesses may continue operations following the appropriate guidelines to the maximum extent possible. Essential businesses include the following:

-First Responders, Police and Fire, Jails and Prisons

-Hospitals, clinics and other healthcare operations

-Community based organizations providing meals and social services

-Human Service operations

-Garbage and Sanitation workers

-Transportation: including airports and public transportation such as PSTA

-Utilities, Public Works and essential infrastructure

-Critical trades: (Plumbers, Electricians, Exterminators, Security personnel, etc.)

-Government essential service workers

-Gas Stations

-Food: (grocery stores, food banks, restaurants: delivery, take-out or curbside delivery)

-Banks and financial institutions


-Funeral Services

-Hotel and lodging

-Hardware and supply stores

-Post offices and shipping services

Businesses that do not comply with the order will be subject to the appropriate enforcement action up to and including orders to close and criminal charges.