TreasureCoast Covid-19 update April 14 2020
The coronavirus death toll in Florida is now at 499. The Department of Health is reporting more than 21-thousand confirmed cases.
Miami-Dade and Broward counties continue to account for about half of those cases.
Florida’s deadliest day for the coronavirus could be later than previously thought. Scientists from the University of Washington now say the most deaths in Florida could come on May Third. Earlier, they predicted the deadliest day would be a week from today.
Governor Ron DeSantis is updating the state’s preparations for possible COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes.
DeSantis is directing the Florida National Guard to create additional strike teams to ramp up testing at assisted living and long term care facilities.
State leaders are looking at some encouraging data when it comes to hospitalizations for COVID-19 that may suggest the curve is flattening. Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees is stressing the need to stay vigilant.
Dr. Rivkees says until there is a vaccine, which is a while off, we need to continue to protect ourselves.
Floridians thrown out of work by the pandemic are having a tough time dealing with the state unemployment system. But Governor Ron DeSantis said the money is starting to go out.
DeSantis says more Floridians filed for benefits in the past 3 weeks than during all of 2019.
Officials in one Central Florida county are removing the penalties from their new mask ordinance. Violators in Osceola County had faced fines and possible jail time, but officials worried the penalties would turn Osceola into a police state and possibly expose inmates to the coronavirus.Even without the penalties, the county is still encouraging people to cover their face. It doesn’t have to be a mask, the order said simply to use some sort of covering.
The Treasury Department said nearly 80 million Americans will get their coronavirus stimulus payment this week and most eligible Americans will get their payments in the next two weeks. Payments will be up to $1200 for qualifying individuals, $2400 for married couples, and $500 for each qualifying child.
The payments are a much-needed crutch during times of growing unemployment and job insecurity. The payments are also supposed to help boost the economy.
People who have already filed their tax return and authorized direct deposit will be the most likely to see the money soon.
If you do not typically file a tax return, you can enter your information on the IRS website, www.irs.gov
If you are a taxpayer who does not use direct deposit, you will be able to enter your bank information later this week.
If you receive veteran’s disability compensation, a pension, or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or your income level does not require you to file a tax return, then you need to submit information to the IRS to receive an Economic Impact Payment.
Otherwise, paper checks will take significantly longer to receive.
Social Security recipients should also expect a check by the end of the month.
By April 17, the IRS should have a new online tool available to show you the status of your stimulus payment.
“The coronavirus is not making people commit domestic violence,” said Tom Bakkedahl, Chief Assistant State Attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit. “My guess is, it has exposed what has already been transpiring in our community behind closed doors.”
Bakkedahl’s circuit includes Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.
Between March 6 and April 6, compared to the same time frame last year, domestic battery cases have increased 18 percent in Palm Beach County.
In the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee counties, domestic violence cases have increased a whopping 79 percent during that same time frame.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder has also noticed an increase.
“We are seeing this kind of noxious mixture of excessive alcohol use, coupled with people staying home under conditions they are not used to,” Snyder explained. “It has resulted in a marked increase in domestic violence calls.”
While cases everywhere are going up, officials at Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse in Palm Beach County, otherwise known as AVDA, say their hotline calls have more or less stayed the same.
Florida’s Department of Agriculture launched a new website Monday in an effort to help the state’s farmers and ranchers amid the coronavirus crisis.
The new Keep Florida Growing webpage, announced in a social media video by Commissioner Nikki Fried, is a portal that provides food and agriculture-related information.
The page also features information on economic assistance, such as SBA loans, USDA assistance and state emergency bridge loans, along with state purchasing programs for agricultural commodities.
For consumers, they can find access to food-related information, including a U-pick farm locator where produce can be found, helping to reduce transportation costs for agriculture producers.
Consumers can also find information on the department’s food assistance programs, including summer food service programs for children during school closures and food assistance locations for low-income families.