Florida Surgeon General: Social Distancing Could Continue for Another Year
At yesterday’s cabinet coronavirus meeting, Florida Department of Health Secretary and Surgeon General Scott Rivkees told reporters to expect continued social distancing measures until a vaccine against coronavirus is approved, which could take “probably a year if not longer”. Rivkees was removed from the meeting by the Governor’s Communications Director, Helen Aguirre Ferré, shortly after his statement.
Hillsborough County Officially Under Curfew
Yesterday afternoon, Hillsborough County’s Emergency Policy Group voted to enact a 9PM to 5AM curfew. The order was issued after the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department received “over 200 complaints about residents not following the safer-at-home order”. The curfew is to be enforced mainly through “education and encouragement”, but law enforcement will detain violators if necessary. Essential activities (including visiting pharmacies and grocery stores) are still allowed during curfew hours. The Emergency Policy Group will hold a vote on whether or not to make masks mandatory on Thursday.
Jacksonville Mayor Extends Emergency Declaration
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has extended his emergency declaration through mid-May. This emergency declaration has been in effect since March 13 and keeps public places like parks and libraries closed. The Jacksonville stay-at-home order remains in place through the end of April.
Pinellas County Commission May Ease Beach Restrictions
On Thursday, members of the Pinellas County Commission will decide whether or not to ease restrictions on beaches. Before the Thursday virtual meeting, commissioners will discuss the issue with Pinellas County Sheriff Gualtieri. A county-wide state of emergency has been extended through the end of the week.
St. Augustine Distributes Smart Thermometers
The City of St. Augustine has distributed 600 smart thermometers to monitor and help stop the spread of COVID-19. Over a million of the thermometers have been given out around the country. According to the city, the thermometers will be given out in accordance to need, with “priority…given to underserved communities, households of first responders, and large families”.
There are now 21,367 cases throughout the state of Florida and 524 deaths. In Duval County, there are 716 cases and 13 deaths. In Hillsborough County, there are 819 cases and 17 deaths. In Orange County, there are 1,033 cases and 13 deaths. In Pinellas County, there are 491 cases and 14 deaths. In Polk County, there are 277 cases and 10 deaths. For updated data, visit: https://fdoh.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/8d0de33f260d444c852a615dc7837c86.
Florida Department of Health: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/
U.S. Chamber of Commerce: https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus
Florida Chamber of Commerce: https://www.flchamber.com/follow-facts-not-fear/
Tampa Chamber of Commerce: https://www.tampabaychamber.com/Your-Chamber/Newsroom/coronavirus-updates.aspx
Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce: https://jaxchamber.com/coronavirusbusinessresources/
Lakeland Chamber of Commerce: https://www.lakelandchamber.com/covid-19-resources/