White House COVID-19 Task Force to Wind Down, Shift Focus
Yesterday, President Trump announced that the White House COVID-19 Task Force would be winding down. Earlier today, he clarified that the task force will not be shut down, but will shift its focus to economic revitalization. According to Trump, the task force will now be focused on “safety & opening up our country again”.
Florida Emergency Management Director Discusses Options for Hurricane Evacuations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz discussed ideas for counties that will soon have to deal with hurricane season in addition to the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. A variety of new approaches to hurricane emergency response were identified, including encouraging a stay-at-home order instead of an evacuation order, using hotels as shelters instead of schools, and using Ubers instead of buses for evacuations. He will finalize his plan with guidance for counties later this month.
Malls Reopen Around Florida
Malls around the state have reopened, including St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville, International Plaza in Tampa, University Town Center in Sarasota, Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg, Tampa Premium Outlets in Lutz, The Avenues in Jacksonville, Ellenton Premium Outlets, and St. Augustine Premium Outlets. Westshore Plaza in Tampa and Lakeland Square Mall will reopen on Friday and Westfield malls will reopen on May 15.
St. Petersburg Encourages Outdoor Seating
Yesterday, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman announced that local restaurants will be able utilize outdoor spaces, including parking lots, to expand their outdoor capacity. This effort is intended to help restaurants comply with the ‘Phase 1’ guidelines enacted by the governor that mandate reduced capacity for customers to encourage social distancing. Interested restaurants can email their proposed plans to email@example.com.
COVID-19 Data: Compare Countries’ Peaks
The Financial Times has launched a data visualization tool to compare the trajectory of the pandemic in different countries around the world. Use the tool here: https://ig.ft.com/coronavirus-chart/?areas=usa&areas=gbr&cumulative=0&logScale=1&perMillion=0&values=deaths.
There are now 38,002 cases throughout the state of Florida and 1,539 deaths. In Duval County, there are 1,077 cases and 26 deaths. In Hillsborough County, there are 1,331 cases and 33 deaths. In Orange County, there are 1,460 cases and 36 deaths. In Pasco County, there are 285 cases and 8 deaths. In Pinellas County, there are 801 cases and 50 deaths. In Polk County, there are 564 cases and 30 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/
St. Pete Chamber of Commerce: https://www.stpete.com/resource-guide-for-coronavirus-covid-19/