• SRC Emergency Management COVID-19 pandemic update 6 - Mar. 19

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    March 19, 2020
    See the full conference online here.
    ·  A state of local emergency has been declared in Santa Rosa County, which means the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners waives the procedures and formalities otherwise required of Santa Rosa County pertaining to:
    • Performance of public work and taking whatever prudent action is necessary to insure the health, safety, and welfare of the community.
    • Entering into contracts.
    • Incurring obligations.
    • Employment of permanent and temporary workers.
    • Utilization of volunteer workers.
    • Rental of equipment.
    • Acquisition and distribution, with or without compensation, of supplies, materials, and facilities.
    • Appropriation and expenditure of public funds.
    ·  Activation of ESF18 Business & Industry
    • Santa Rosa County has enacted ESF 18 in conjunction with the Economic Development Office to provide guidance and coordinate issues with Santa Rosa County’s business community in all phases of emergency management
    • SantaRosaReady.com has been created to serve as a clearinghouse for all business needs including information on how to apply for bridge loans
    • Even if you haven’t yet been impacted financially by COVID19 we encourage all business owners in Santa Rosa County to complete the surveys on SantaRosaReady.com and register with the SBDC.
    Normal operating hours for all libraries will continue through 5 p.m. tomorrow, Fri., Mar. 20. Beginning Sat., Mar. 21, libraries will be closed to the public until further notice. The following procedures begin Mon., Mar. 23:
    • Returning items
      • Patrons should place returned items in the book drops.
      • Employees will wear gloves when retrieving returned items.
      • Items will be sanitized before being checked back in.
    • Checking items out
      • Patrons can log in to their library accounts online to browse the catalog and place requests for items. For assistance with this, please call 981-READ.
      • Staff will wear gloves as they pull items from the shelves. Items will be sanitized before being checked out
      • Patrons will be notified when their holds are ready to be picked up. Pick up hours will be between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Mon. through Fri.
        • If you cannot pick up your items during this time frame, contact the library for assistance.
        • If someone else (a family member or friend) will be picking up your items, notify the library by phone.
      • Bring a photo ID to pick up items.
      • Pick up will be contactless. Patrons must show a photo ID at the door. Items will be placed on a table for the patron to retrieve.
      • All library items, except those received via ILL, will be renewed automatically unless another patron has a hold on the item.
    • Other services
      • Patrons who do not have internet access at home may sit in the parking lot to access the WiFi.
      • Although facilities are closed for browsing, the library website is being updated to include an “eSources for Everyone” page with links to free eSources cardholders can access from home, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, educational resources, and more.
      • If your account is blocked, preventing you from accessing these online resources, contact your library for assistance.
      • Donations of books and other materials will not be accepted until further notice. Do not leave them outside the libraries.
      • All bill payments must be made over the phone with a credit or debit card until further notice.
      • For any other questions, please contact your library at 981-READ (7323).
    Other County Updates
    • Animal Services is asking residents to avoid surrendering pets for the next four weeks. The shelter is also seeking 100 “on-call” emergency fosters. Adoption fees have been reduced to $10 for cats and $25 for dogs through the end of March. To make donations during this critical time, visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/animals.
    • Santa Rosa County continues to support the provisions of the governor's Executive Order 20-68 and encourages compliance.
    • The board of county commissioners (BOCC) will meet for its regular board meeting at 9 a.m., Thurs., Mar. 26. The agenda and supporting materials will be published Thurs., Mar. 19. public input form is available for input/comment on individual agenda items or to bring forward issues to be heard at public forum. The single meeting format (all business completed at regular meetings on Thursdays) will be continued through April. No decision has been made on the April Special Rezoning meeting.
    • Veterans Services is no longer seeing walk-in clients. Clients may drop off paperwork and request a call or appointment as necessary.
    • The following meetings have been cancelled:
      • The RESTORE meeting for Mar. 24 has been cancelled.
      • Land Development Code public forum on Thurs., Mar. 19 
      • BOCC Committee Meeting on Mon., Mar. 23 at 9 a.m.
      • BOCC Special Rezoning Meeting on Thurs., Mar. 26 at 6 p.m. 
      • Tourism Development Council on Thurs., Apr. 2
    • UF/IFAS Santa Rosa Extension programs, events, and meetings scheduled through April 30 have been postponed/canceled including Food Raising Friends. Any events, meetings or programs offered online or via video conference, Facebook etc. are still being held. Extension agents are available for consultation at the office, by email, or by calling 850-623-3868 (Milton)/850-675-3107 (Jay), Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Florida Department of Health
    • As of noon today (Wed., Mar. 18), Santa Rosa County has had one case and no community spread.
    • To keep Florida residents and visitors safe, informed and aware about the status of the virus, visit the DOH COVID-19 dashboard.
    • For the most up-to-date information, monitor the Florida DOH's COVID-19 webpage, call COVID-19 24/7 Call Center, (866) 779-6121 or email COVID-19@flhealth.gov

    Property Appraiser
    • All homestead applications and tangible personal property returns should be filed online at www.srcpa.org. Users will need the supplied credentials which were mailed to them in January.
    • Instructional videos are available on the web site to assist users with completing tangible personal property returns.
    • All eligible property and business owners are encouraged to file returns and/or homestead applications as soon as possible.
    • Please limit visits to offices and when possible, conduct business by phone. Visit www.srcpa.org for any changes in services or call 850-983-1880.

    Sheriff's Office
    • The sheriff’s office has suspended fingerprinting services until further notice.
      The 2020 Public Safety Coordinating Council Meeting scheduled for April 15 has been cancelled.
    • Jail intake procedures have been enhanced in order to provide a more intensive screening for new inmates.
    • The department has implemented ongoing enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of the detention department.
    • Deputies have been provided with PPE equipment as needed.
    • All volunteers have been restricted from entering the jail.
    • Hand sanitizers have been installed throughout the sheriff’s office.

    Tax Collector
    • The tax collector’s office is transitioning to online transactions only (or Milton drive thru) for tag renewals (stickers), property tax payments, business tax receipts, parking permit applications/renewals, hunting and fishing licenses, and lost /stolen license plates.
    • Jay office will be closed until further notice beginning Mar. 19.
    • Only Santa Rosa County residents will be served beginning Mar. 19.
    • No driving tests or concealed weapons services until further notice.
    • The tax collector has cancelled all appointments including CDLs (hazmat licenses), concealed weapons applications/renewals, driving tests, etc. until further notice.
    • Many transactions can be completed online at www.santarosatax.com. Citizens are urged to take advantage of this convenient option. 

    Clerk of Courts
    • Civil traffic infraction hearings scheduled for this Thursday, March 19th, in Santa Rosa County have been continued to Friday, April 24th, at 1:30 p.m. 
    • The Florida Supreme Court has temporarily suspended jury selection proceedings from Mar. 16 - 27. Jurors who are serving on trials that have already commenced should contact the office of the presiding trial judge for instructions.

    First Judicial Court
    • By order of the Supreme Court of Florida, the First Judicial Circuit will be moving to mission-critical functions only.
    • Civil traffic infraction hearings scheduled for Thurs., Mar. 19 have been continued to Fri., Apr. 24 at 1:30 p.m. 
    • All jury trials are officially suspended through Mar. 27 by the Florida Supreme Court.
    • Access to the courthouse and proceedings are limited effective immediately. Only those persons with business before the court, or with agencies within those facilities (Clerk of Court, State Attorney, or Public Defender) may enter the facilities. Only necessary participants are allowed into any hearing (witnesses, attorneys, and parties, essential court staff).
    • Proceedings for which more than 50 people are scheduled to be heard will be held at staggered intervals. Persons with no official business who are not necessary participants are not allowed in the facility. As possible, the Circuit will hold proceedings by video and telephonic appearances.
    • Persons entering court facilities will be allowed one small (no larger than two ounces) bottle of hand sanitizer. As available, each facility will provide sanitizer for public use. Individuals with known symptoms or exposures should make the judges aware prior to any appearance. Any attorney, litigant, or any member of the public having a specific need to be excused or any other request should make the judge aware of the circumstances. 

    School District
    • For more frequent updates, see: https://www.santarosa.k12.fl.us.
    • Students will remain out of school until April 15. Santa Rosa District Schools will be standing up a virtual learning curriculum for all of our students. Additionally, students without internet access will be provided alternate learning avenues to make certain all students are provided a high quality curriculum. 
    • Feeding sites will be set up throughout the county for any child up to 18, regardless of free/reduced lunch status.
    • Students must be present to receive a meal.
    • Parents/guardians can’t request additional meals for children at home.
    • Curbside service will begin 3/23 to 3/27 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
      • Milton High - Bus ramp on Raymond Hobbs Lane
      • Pea Ridge Elementary - Parent pick up line
      • East Milton Elementary - Bus ramp in front of school
      • Jay Elementary - Bus loop on Alabama Street
      • Berryhill Elementary - Bus ramp
      • Holly Navarre Primary - Bus ramp
      • TR Jackson - Parent pick up area
    • Twelve-month employees should remain in contact with the school or department during spring break to receive updates.
    • Teachers should plan on reporting to work on March 30. 

    City of Gulf Breeze
    • The City of Gulf Breeze declared a local state of emergency. 
    • The annual Quarterback Carnival and the Gulf Breeze Arts Festival are cancelled.
    • The Gumbo Fest is rescheduled to Sat., May 2.
    • Spring Fest is still tentatively scheduled for April 18.
    • Subscribe to the city’s e-news at: https://tinyurl.com/rokhtpg.

    City of Milton
    • Federal Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources are available for Florida and listed on the city's websiteCity of Milton supports the provisions of the governor's Executive Order 20-68 and encourages compliance.
    • The City of Milton  is cancelling all publicly-permitted events scheduled in the next eight weeks.
    • The City of Milton is currently operating at Pandemic Plan Level 3 (monitoring, preparedness and prevention) and will move to the next level as warranted.
    • The city is encouraging electronic transactions, limiting social interactions, disinfecting public surfaces regularly and ensuring accuracy of all disseminated information.
    • Milton Community Center and Milton Event Center are closed until further notice.
    • All city parks are open.
    • The city has cancelled all permitted events exceeding more than 50 people for the next eight weeks and discouraging gatherings of more than ten.
    • The committee of the whole is cancelled for March and a determination will be made on the executive committee meeting in April.
    • Advisory bodies will only meet if necessary.

    Santa Rosa Chamber
    • All scheduled Chamber meetings and events have been suspended through Monday, April 20.
    • The Business Showcase scheduled for April 30th has been re-scheduled for November 5th (If you are currently registered someone will be contacting you.)
    • The April 18th Glow Run sponsored by Leadership Santa Rosa Alumni will be re-scheduled (date to be announced soon).
    • For updates visit our website, call (850) 623-2339 or email: ceo@srcchamber.com.

    Council on Aging
    • We are using the sites of Bagdad and Chumuckla, however the participants are not congregating (socializing).
    • They are reserving their meals picking them up and taking them home.
    • Our two sites haven’t had any groups, (previously) of over 50 participants. Bagdad has come close to 50, but hasn’t surpassed it.
    • All seniors who received meals from the Milton Community Center can receive plated to-go meals from Council on Aging of Northwest Florida offices at 6860 Pooley St., Bagdad. Call (850) 432-1475 by noon the previous day to receive a meal.

    Baptist Health Care
    • Baptist Health Care asks that family members and friends not visit loved ones in the hospital or outpatient care areas, but communicate with them by mobile device, phone, FaceTime or Skype. Exceptions will be made for patients whose loved one is crucial to the delivery of their treatment and care. This caregiver must be well and not exhibiting any signs of illness. Visit the BHC website for details.
    • All onsite and offsite education and outreach events scheduled through April have been postponed including Golden Care seminars, Faith Health Network Academy classes and Wellness Wednesday classes.

    Escambia River Electric Cooperative
    • Jay Office: The drive-through is open to the public.
    • Walnut Hill Office: The post office mail receptacle area is mail or packages. Postage purchasing and large package drop-off will need to be handled at a full-scale post office facility.
    • Members are encouraged to utilize remote options for electric service. Payments may be made by mail, at www.erec.com, by phone autopay or depository.
    • Services such as opening or closing an electric, water or internet account; making changes to your services; inquiring about your account balance, service orders, etc. can all be handled by email or phone.
    • Contact memberservices@erec.com or call (850) 675-4521 / 1-800-235-3848 for assistance.

    Pensacola State College
    • College campuses are closed to the general public through the spring semester. 
    • Classes, in class and online, are postponed the week of March 23-29. 
    • The president will follow up with a separate communication as soon as possible with additional information regarding delivery of instruction for students for the remainder of the semester.
    • For PSC, this includes the theatre, pool, gymnasium, art gallery, library, fitness center, testing center, and planetarium.
    • On Monday, March 23, only employees directed by their supervisors will report to campus and all other employees will work remotely as assigned.

    Florida Forest Service
    • All campgrounds on Blackwater River State Forest will be closed for 30 days effective March 20 as well as Clear Creek Off-Highway Vehicle Riding Area and Krul Lake Recreation Area.
    • The forest remains open to hunting and fishing under the rules and guidelines of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    Gulf Islands National Seashore
    • Where it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance, park beaches, islands, hiking trails, fishing piers, and campgrounds remain open at this time. 
    • All ranger led programs have been cancelled.
    • Special use permits for activities with 10 or more people have been cancelled.
    • The Naval Live Oaks Exhibit Area at park headquarters is closed.
    • The restrooms in Clusters A & E at Opal Beach are closed.

    Small Business Development Center
    • The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program has been launched to support small businesses. The program will provide short-term, interest-free loans to businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period runs through May 8, 2020. More information is at FloridaDisasterLoan.org.
    • The governor has requested the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) make the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program available for Florida’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) stands ready to assist businesses in accessing this funding when available.
    • The Business Damage Assessment survey has been activated to assess the impact of COVID-19 on local business operations. The survey will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts on the local economy so actions to implement relief programs can begin. It is available at https://floridadisaster.biz.

    Emerald Coast Regional Council
    • The Emerald Coast Regional Council has postponed all upcoming transportation public meetings including meetings of the Florida-Alabama Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) and their committees.
    • Meetings will be rescheduled after May 1. Details will be sent out for public notice. For more information, contact PublicInvolvement@ecrc.org or 850-332-7976.
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    Chanda Ryan, Executive Director
    chandaryan10@gmail.com, (850) 939-3267