TreasureCoast Covid 19 Update April 24 2020
For the second day in a row, Florida is reporting another 60 coronavirus-related deaths. The statewide toll is now 987 a nearly 29-thousand cases statewide.
COVID-19 is insidious and asymptomatic people are walking around hospitals and elsewhere shedding the virus. That according to Tampa General Hospital President and CEO John Couris, who told the Re-Open Florida Task Force that hospitals aren’t ready to resume normal operations.
Mast Statement on Passage of Additional Funding For Small Businesses
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States House of Representatives today passed additional funding to support small businesses, hospitals and coronavirus testing sites. This vote comes after Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18), for several weeks, has been calling on Speaker Pelosi to bring the House of Representatives permanently back into session to do the work that is necessary to help the American people. Rep. Mast issued the following statement after the vote:
“The House of Representatives was finally in session today to pass small business funding, more PPE distribution and increased testing. This is absolutely critical and a much needed lifeline for small businesses and hospital workers.
But this should have happened much sooner. Instead of working with the urgency that this crisis deserves, Congress played political games for weeks, which cost countless jobs and an immeasurable number of businesses undoubtedly closed as a result. There are still improvements that need to be made to the federal government’s response, so all 435 Members of the House of Representatives should be working around the clock on this instead of burying their heads in the sand for another several weeks or more. Congress needs to skip the partisan gridlock and do our jobs!”
The bill has already passed the United States Senate so it will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
Re-Open Florida Task Force to Hold Four Meetings
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Re-Open Florida Task Force will hold four meetings via conference call on Friday, April 24thregarding the re-opening of Florida’s economy.
Meeting agendas are provided online at www.flgov.com/COVID-19.
WHAT: Re-Open Florida Task Force Meeting: Industry Working Group Related to Agriculture, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Management and Professional Services
WHO: Members of the Task Force
WHEN: Friday, April 24th at 10:00 AM
WHAT: Re-Open Florida Task Force Meeting: Industry Working Group Related to Administrative, Education, Information & Technology, Manufacturing, Utilities and Wholesale
WHO: Members of the Task Force
WHEN: Friday, April 24th at 11:00 AM
WHAT: Re-Open Florida Task Force Meeting: Industry Working Group Related to Accommodation, Food, Tourism, Construction, Real Estate, Recreation, Retail and Transportation
WHO: Members of the Task Force
WHEN: Friday, April 24th at 12:00 PM
WHAT: Re-Open Florida Task Force Meeting: Executive Committee Meeting
WHO: Governor Ron DeSantis and Members of the Task Force
WHEN: Friday, April 24th at 3:00 PM
City of Fort Pierce Commission to Hold Special Meeting on Tuesday, April 28
The City of Fort Pierce is developing a citywide COVID-19 recovery plan to help rebuild our economy with the well-being of Fort Pierce residents and businesses at the forefront. The recovery plan will be presented at a special City Commission Meeting on Tuesday, April 28 at 2pm, followed by a Fort Pierce Redevelopment Agency Board Meeting at 4pm. If approved, the plan will include a series of grants supporting businesses, residents and community-based efforts. The public may attend the meetings in person at Fort Pierce City Hall (100 North US Hwy 1, Fort Pierce, FL) or provide comments in writing, including your name and address, to: firstname.lastname@example.org no later than noon on Tuesday. All meetings are broadcast live on TV Channel 27 and streamed online at: www.cityoffortpierce.com.
“The City of Fort Pierce is optimistically looking ahead to the recovery phase, even though we remain focused on following the Governor’s Safer-At-Home order and CDC guidelines,” said Mayor Linda Hudson. “We are grateful for all the people who are working for us while we continue to be Safer At Home. We remain vigilant and hopeful.”
St. Lucie County Public Information:
Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center:
St. Lucie Public Schools
211 Community Helpline
211 is a community helpline and crisis hotline that provides suicide prevention, crisis intervention, information, assessment, and referral to community services for people of all ages.
State of Florida Emergency Coordinating Officers
Florida Community Health Centers / Fort Pierce
Cleveland Clinic Martin Health
Governor Ron DeSantis is planning to announce his proposal to re-open Florida today.
Florida scientists might have come up with a breakthrough in the fight against coronavirus. A husband and wife team of doctors at Scripps Research in Jupiter discovered an important protein in the virus that could be the foundation for a vaccine.
It looks like a majority of Floridians aren’t ready to get their economy moving. A Quinnipiac (Quinn-AH-PEE-ACK) University poll shows 72 percent don’t want the state to reopen when the stay-at-home order expires April 30th.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House is returning 20-million-dollars in small business loans. Winter Park-based Ruth’s Hospitality Group is giving back the money to the government after coming under fire for accepting two ten-million-dollar loans. The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to help small struggling businesses that have seen their revenues plummet due mandatory closures caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
In Palm Beach County, the district claims roughly 350 students remain off the grid for various reasons ranging from device and wi-fi issues to parents with language barriers. But for the hundreds of thousands of students attending Florida classes from home, Linda Kearschner of Florida’s PTA Association is concerned.
“We’re concerned about the academic impacts of the COVID 19 challenge. What does it mean in terms of learning loss,” Kearschner said.
National studies show learning loss is typical over summer months with declines ranging from a few weeks to a few months.
Kearschner said with classroom education changing to e-learning, Florida educators need to prepare for students to return to the classroom but need additional time to catch up.
While Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said parents will have the right to hold their children back a year as a result of e-learning, educators warn parents not to rush to those decisions. Instead, parents are advised to stay engaged, be supportive but not worry too much about pushing their kids too hard. They also advise parents to communicate directly with teachers before making any decisions about holding their child back a year. Instead, parents are advised to stay engaged and be supportive, but not worry too much about pushing their kids too hard. They also encourage parents to communicate directly with teachers before making any decisions about holding their child back a year.
Florida’s self-employed and independent contractors out of work due to COVID-19 continue waiting on the state to connect them with federal unemployment aid. The group doesn’t qualify for state benefits but can get at least $600 a week through the CARES Act.
Officials with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity are currently developing a system to link unemployed workers with federal dollars. At last check, they say it could be a few more days before the new application system is working.
Hairstylist Arielle Ricotta has already waited weeks for the federal benefits to arrive. She’s now tapping into her life insurance policy to make ends meet, wondering if funds will ever come.
For now, Florida’s gig and self-employed are being told to use the current CONNECT system. Their claim applications will be rolled over when the new system is running.
It’s still unclear when the federal dollars will arrive. Even with a new application portal for self-employed and gig workers in the works, officials are busy processing an unprecedented number of other unemployment claims.
The latest total is more than 1.7 million filed since mid-March when COVID-19 restrictions began.
Florida Department of Management Services Secretary Jon Satter, who recently took over the state’s unemployment benefits system, is promising to cut checks as quickly as possible. The average time before the surge had been three weeks.
In Satter’s first seven days, he’s provided more transparency to the backlog of claims at DEO and helped cleared some legal logjams slowing down the process.