TreasureCoast Covid-19 Update April 9 2020
The Florida Department of Health reported Wednesday evening there are now 323 deaths in the state as a result of the coronavirus, including the first fatality in Martin County. According to data from the state, the Martin County victim was a 77-year-old man and not travel related. As of Wednesday at 6 p.m, the latest figures show Martin County has 108 COVID-19 cases. Ages of the people affected in the county range from 19 to 90 years old. Across the state of Florida, there are now 15,698 cases of the coronavirus. Among the 323 deaths in Florida, Palm Beach County still has the most in the state with 69.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Florida is up by more than 700 since Tuesday to more than 15-thousand. Health officials also announced 13 new coronavirus deaths, raising the state’s death toll to 323. Lafayette and Liberty counties are the only two Florida counties without any confirmed cases.
CDC Director Robert Redfield announced on Wednesday that the CDC has new guidance for essential workers, eliminating previous guidance that called on workers to isolate for 14 days if they were exposed to someone with COVID-19.
The new guidance could allow many in essential fields of work, including healthcare, policing, and food supply, to continue working even if they have have come in contact with someone with COVID-19. The goal is to get people back to work in critical fields sooner.
Here is the new guidance:
- Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
- Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
- Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.
- Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
- Disinfect and Clean work spaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment routinely.
“A potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19,” the CDC said. “The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Dr. Deborah Birx explained why the White House and CDC considered the change.
No conventions, car or boat shows will be held anytime soon at the Miami Beach Convention Center—–it’s now being transformed into a temporary field hospital thanks to COVID-19 in Florida’s hardest-hit county.
Miami-Dade County has the most cases of coronavirus by far in the state with over 53-hundred-
A Florida congresswoman is calling on Governor Ron DeSantis to use his authority and increase the benefit amount for people who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus.
Democrat Kathy Castor says the 275-dollar weekly benefit is among the lowest in the country and the governor should raise it. Castor says putting money in peoples’ hands now will help fuel the economic recovery when the pandemic passes.
Orange County officials are trying to find more money to help residents pay rent. They got more than 250-thousand phone calls in two days requesting assistance, and there have been almost 25-thousand applications submitted online. But the county currently only has enough money set aside to cover about 15-hundred people.
With the introduction of paper applications, there is a glimmer of hope for Florida workers struggling to file for unemployment benefits.
FedEx locations across Florida are supplying the paper applications and shipping them free of charge overnight to the Department of Economic Opportunity in Tallahassee.
One worker at the FedEx location in Boynton Beach estimated as many as 200 applications went out on Wednesday.
South Florida U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala on Tuesday expressed concerns with the rush to the paper applications.
But for many, filling out a paper application is proving to be better than filing for benefits on the state’s website.
To apply for unemployment benefits in Florida, click here or call Florida’s Claims Assistance Center at 1-800-204-2418.
Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign for the Democratic nomination.
There are not enough words to say how much nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers are appreciated for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. So instead, dozens of people in Port St. Lucie wanted to show them how much they’re appreciated. Wednesday night, at least 50 cars lined up outside Cleveland Clinic Tradition Hospital, including some current and former healthcare workers. They drove in front of the hospital, honking their horns and flashing their lights. Some employees came outside to wave at the caravan.
Delta announced on Wednesday that it will start blocking the middle seat on flights as the airlines seeing fewer passengers flying due to the spread of COVID-19.
The plan announced Wednesday, which goes into effect from April 13 through May 31, is part of a broader plan to restrict the number of seats on board planes.
Delta also made the following announcements:
Reducing the number of customers on each flight.
Pausing automatic, advance Medallion Complimentary Upgrades. These will now be processed at the gate – still in priority order – to allow gate agents to determine how to best seat customers while considering social distancing and aircraft weight-and-balance restrictions.
Customers who want to practice social distancing can explore options via the Fly Delta App or at delta.com. Customers who prefer to be seated directly next to travel companions and family members or needing additional assistance should contact Reservations ahead of travel or talk to a Delta agent upon arriving at the gate.
Delta also announced that rebooking fees will be waived through the end of May 2022.
As if hurricanes and cyberthreats weren’t enough, Florida elections officials are now also contending with a viral pandemic as they prepare for elections in August and November’s crucial presidential contest.
Elections supervisors from across the state are asking Gov. Ron DeSantis for an executive order that would loosen some election rules so local officials can have more flexibility in where they put polling places and when people can vote.
With staffing an issue because of continuing worries over the coronavirus outbreak, elections officials say they will be pushing more Floridians to vote by mail, even as they acknowledge that the state is not prepared to conduct upcoming elections entirely through the postal service.
Florida officials have already had a taste of what’s to come: During the March 17 presidential preference primary, some polling places were thrown into disarray because some workers did not show up amid worries over the coronavirus. Some polling places lacked sufficient hand sanitizers and other health supplies.
By most accounts, Florida, now the home state of President Donald Trump, will again play a crucial role in the battle over the White House. And its history of close races and vote-counting glitches — as well as concerns over cybersecurity — will again place the state under national scrutiny.
Florida Democrats generally welcomed the move by elections supervisors, but expressed concern about limiting polling places, including the groups’ request to lift rules that require a polling place in every precinct.
The coronavirus pandemic can be scary and confusing for many, but especially for children.
A new coloring book is trying to help kids process the crisis. A team at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital put the book together for ages 5 to 9.
It explains how coronavirus spreads, what’s being done to keep young people safe and how to deal with worries they may have.
“We know the children really, really benefit from processing emotional and potentially scary information with parents and other trusted caregivers, so when we create a coloring book, it invites that opportunity for processing that together,” said Rachel Schmelzer with the St. Jude Child Life Program.
Schmelzer is a child life specialist at St. Jude. She says many parents feel lost. They don’t know where to start when it comes to explaining COVID-19 to kids.
The book’s illustrator, Emily VanGilder, says she wanted to make this situation easier for kids to picture.
She says along with helping kids with their emotions, coloring can be therapeutic.
You can find the book on the St. Jude website at together.stjude.org. The book is available in English, Spanish and Arabic. There’s also an activity book for preteens available and one for teenagers in the works.
We don’t yet know the full impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the state’s restaurants, but initial numbers aren’t good. Industry leaders expect they’ll get worse the longer virus protection measures stay in place.
The National Restaurant Association predicts the entire industry will lose $225 billion in the next three months along with five to seven million employees.
In Florida, restaurants and food service employ about 12% of the state. Eateries generate more than $50 billion in annual sales.
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association was uncertain of the total impacts to restaurants here, but says many full-service establishments are struggling to change over to curbside and delivery. Those are the only options available to customers until Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive orders are lifted.
Restaurants are just part of Florida’s pain, the hotel industry is hurting too. The most recent numbers showing COVID restrictions dropping revenue by more than $400 million compared to this time last year.
“It looks at degree of exposure and really making it clear that exposure occurs within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes, so really understanding where you shouldn’t be within 6 feet of people right now,” Birx told. “But if you’re in a work situation where you have to be, there will be a series of recommendations that if you had had a significant exposure of what specifically to do, and if you’ve had a less exposure what to do.”
A bakery in Finland says business is rolling in after it introduced a cake shaped like toilet paper. The bakery in Helsinki was at risk of financial ruin last month after all its orders were canceled. The coronavirus pandemic took a serious toll on business at the same time people in Finland were hoarding toilet paper. The bakery’s owner did some quick thinking and turned things around.
You might say it’s cleaning up.
The first five toilet paper cakes sold within an hour and the cake became a social media hit.
The bakery now has hundreds of orders. Its owner was even able to add two extra people to her nine-member team.
Baker owner Sanna Lampinen said, “For us it’s a game changer and I am relieved because I know that all my employees are safe for months now and I am hoping that the situation will stay.”
The toilet paper cake is made of oat batter, passion fruit mousse and covered with white fondant, a thick, creamy sugar paste.
Lights will stay dimmed on Broadway for at least two more months due to the coronavirus crisis. Shows in New York City will remain closed until at least June 7th. The decision was made in accordance with federal CDC guidelines and “the continued direction” of New York governor Andrew Cuomo. Broadway has been shut down since March 12th.