The Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services (hereinafter the “Board”) is statutorily mandated to adopt rules establishing a procedure for licensure and license compliance, including matters regarding facilities used by licensees. The Board is authorized to condition inspections, as narrowly and necessarily required for licensure and facility compliance regarding the impacted license by application for licensure and change of location. Pursuant to this authority, the Board has promulgated rules setting forth the requirements for licensure and licensing compliance related matters. Section 497.103(1), Florida Statutes, grants rulemaking authority to the Board regarding licensure matters, including requests for change of location and the authority, in pertinent part, to specify standards of operation applicable to licensees regarding required facilities utilized by licensees. On March 1, 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order Number 20-51 which directed the State Health Officer and Surgeon General, Dr. Scott Rivkees, to declare a public health emergency pursuant to the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). On March 9, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order Number 20-52 (Emergency Management - COVID-19 Public Health Emergency) and officially declared that a state of emergency exists in the State of Florida. COVID-19 is a severe acute respiratory illness that can spread among humans through respiratory transmission and presents with symptoms similar to those of influenza. The Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) recommends mitigation measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 such as staying home when sick, keeping away from others who are sick, staying home when a household member is sick with respiratory disease symptoms, and for those who are at higher risk, including older adults and those who have serious chronic medical conditions, to avoid non-essential air travel and to avoid crowds as much as possible. As of March 24, 2020, there were over 1400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the State of Florida. As of July 30, 2020, in the State of Florida, there are over 400,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 6,000 resulting deaths. Furthermore, as of July 2020, due to the surge of positive cases and number of deaths resulting from COVID-19, the status of the public health emergency is such that the State of Florida had been identified as an epicenter of the pandemic. Florida’s professionals charged with regulatory compliance and providing services for the removal, embalming, and burial of the deceased, are uniquely impacted during the pandemic. The need to inspect facilities as required for licensure and license compliance under the authority of this Board, and those who come in contact with them, should not be unnecessarily put at risk during this healthcare emergency. Accordingly, the Board, by emergency rule, will waive the inspection deadlines. The Board finds that these actions are a measured regulatory approach that helps to mitigate the threat of exposure to COVID-19.