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COVID Update – 4/16

By April 16, 2020COVID-19, Crisis, News

Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program Out of Funds 

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which had a $349 billion budget, has disseminated all of its funds. Over a million loans were approved through the program. The SBA has announced that no new applications will be accepted and no new lenders will be enrolled. This program could receive additional funds in a bill that is currently in the Senate. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program has also disseminated all of its funds.  

New Leadership for Florida’s Unemployment System  

Governor DeSantis has replaced Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson with Department of Management Services Secretary Jonathan Satter to oversee Florida’s CONNECT online unemployment system. DeSantis explained that his goal is to get assistance out as fast as possible. This change comes after complaints about the online system have abounded amidst record numbers of new claims due to workplace disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Hillsborough County Removes Curfew, Makes Face Masks Mandatory 

This afternoon, the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group decided to remove the curfew that went into place on Monday. Since the order went into effect, legal concerns have been raised, with State Attorney Andrew Warren commenting that clarification was needed. The Emergency Policy Group also passed an order making face coverings mandatory in public spaces. The order goes into effect tomorrow.  

Jacksonville to Form Advisory Council for Reopening Local Businesses 

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is organizing an advisory council to determine how to prepare to reopen local businesses. The council will focus on determining how the city can help to get residents back to work when it is safe to do so. The current stay-at-home order has not been lifted at this time, though discussions are in place to reopen outdoor recreational spaces, like beaches and parks. The mayor has stated that large gatherings will likely not be allowed until at least the end of May, at which time these protocols will be reevaluated.  

Sarasota and Manatee Sheriffs Enforcing Stay-at-Home Order Through Education, Not Criminal Charges 

The sheriff’s offices of Sarasota and Manatee counties are enforcing the statewide stay-at-home order through education, rather than issuing criminal charges. Under the order, law enforcement can choose their preferred method of enforcement. No citations or arrests have been made in either county in connection to social distancing violations.   

Hillsborough County School District to Make Food Distribution Program Safer 

The Hillsborough County School District has taken steps to make its food distribution program safer. To minimize contact between staff and recipients, food will now only be given out on Wednesdays between 9AM and 1PM. Officials believe this will help to reduce the spread of coronavirus while ensuring that students remain nourished and prepared to learn. 

Updated Numbers   

There are now 22,235 cases throughout the state of Florida and 633 deaths. In Duval County, there are 769 cases and 14 deaths. In Hillsborough County, there are 873 cases and 18 deaths. In Orange County, there are 1,089 cases and 19 deaths. In Pasco County, there are 190 cases and 3 deaths. In Pinellas County, there are 520 cases and 14 deaths. In Polk County, there are 293 cases and 10 deaths. For updated data, visit: https://fdoh.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/8d0de33f260d444c852a615dc7837c86.  

Resources    

WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public    

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html    

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/ 

St. Pete Chamber of Commerce: https://www.stpete.com/resource-guide-for-coronavirus-covid-19/ 

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