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    As we have for almost 50 years, we remain focused on our mission:

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  • Florida Chamber COVID-19 Update: Aug. 5, 2020

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    August 07, 2020
    COVID-19 By The Numbers
    Included in Today's Update:
    Latest COVID-19 Numbers • Complete Our August Florida COVID-19 Business Snapshot Survey
    • FL Chamber Small Business Council Chair Glenda Hood Urges Congress to Act Now
    • Add Your Signature to Support HEALS Act PPP Eligibility for 501(c)(6) Organizations
    • President Trump Signs New Executive Order Expanding Telehealth Opportunities
    • Part 3 of the Prosperity Initiative Webinar Series this Friday
    It's Day 156 and we have hit another one-day record in reported hospitalizations with 586. This is a very significant spike in that particular number, but like reported deaths, we are still seeing results that are a reflection of what was going on weeks ago. The fact that the average number of daily new cases has continued to trend downward is a sign that good safe practices like wearing masks and social distancing is making a different and we need to keep doing it.
    There was a much lower number of Florida cases reported with 5,446 - nearly half from the usual 10,000+ daily cases we have been seeing for several weeks. I do want to reiterate what I have said the past couple of days, the closure of several COVID-19 testing stations due to Hurricane Isaias this past weekend could be what is affecting these numbers. More on this in the coming days. Yesterday, I reported that 58 percent of Florida's cases have occurred in just the last four weeks. Furthermore, more than 50 percent of these cases have occurred in just four counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Hillsborough.
    As we keep things in perspective and follow the facts and not the fear, my ask of everyone is to keep operating safe and smart. There is nothing wrong with taking extra precautions, and at the very least we should be doing the basics as outlined in Governor DeSantis' One Goal, One Florida initiative: Protect the vulnerable, including the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions; practice proper hygiene, including washing your hands; practice social distancing by avoiding closed spaces and crowded places; and wear a mask if you are in close contact with others.
    As business leaders we should be leading by example and putting the safety and health of our workforce and citizens first while keeping our economy going. The COVID numbers are constantly changing and Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish and our research team continue to analyze COVID-19 data and report on it daily at www.TheFloridaScorecard.org with the goal of keeping you informed of the facts as we unite Florida business for good.
    Please find the latest COVID-19 numbers on Day 156 below:
    • Florida Cases: 497,330 (+ 5,446)
    • Avg. Daily New Cases: 9,106.9 (- 285.2)
    • Hospitalized: 27,952 (+ 586) Record
    • Total People Tested:  3,790,202
    • Percent Positive: 13.1% (+ 0%)
    • Florida Deaths: 7,402 (+ 245)
    Want to know how your county is trending?
    Our COVID-19 County Level Tracker is free and available 24-7, and is based on the latest data available.
    Florida’s job creators are going through unforeseen and unprecedented times. As we work with lawmakers to advocate the best course of action, please take a few minutes and give us a snapshot of what your business, and your employees, are going through. If your business has taken extraordinary measures, or if you have an employee you want to highlight who has gone above and beyond, we want to hear their story as well. Our August survey marks our sixth month since Florida’s first COVID-19 case and we need an updated “snapshot” of what job creators are doing, have done, and what your needs are going forward. We’re stronger together and we’re in this until we’re through it.
    Take the Survey
    Orlando Sentinel: Ex-Mayor Glenda Hood: Congress must act now to save small business
    Like many Americans who have had their lives upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, our small business community is suffering. The first wave of the pandemic, which saw large sectors of our economy shut down, dealt a serious blow to the livelihoods of millions. Today, and into the future, this will remain a crisis we must confront by projecting calm and looking to the future. You see, there’s a second wave on the horizon — not from the virus itself, but from the aftershocks of instability it created. We must take action now to combat it. READ MORE>
    President Donald Trump, earlier this week, signed a new executive order that aims to provide greater healthcare opportunities to rural and underserved communities and combat the spread of COVID-19 through the expansion of telehealth services. These new services will be especially beneficial to Americans living in rural communities who might otherwise not have access to as many healthcare options. In a statement accompanying the release of the executive order, the President also called expanded access to medical care through telemedicine “essential to fighting the virus.” The new rules promulgated by the executive order more than double the allowable telehealth services, greatly expanding access to high-quality care. The President is also taking action to extend the availability of certain telehealth services after the current public health emergency ends.
    The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Healthcare Partnership has longed advocated for the expansion of telehealth services. During the 2019 Legislative Session, in partnership with the Florida Chamber, Representative Clay Yarborough passed and Governor DeSantis signed into law legislation (HB 23, Telehealth) that expanded and codified telemedicine in Florida.
    If you have any questions about joining the Healthcare Partnership, please contact Matthew K. Choy at mchoy@flchamber.com or 850-521-1279.
    Local and state chambers have been on the front lines of helping local businesses stay open - advocating for them on main street, in Tallahassee and in Washington. Unfortunately, chambers of commerce and other 501(c)(6) organizations (trade associations, for example) are NOT currently eligible for any PPP funding to help keep their doors open and employees' paid during the crisis. If you can, please ramp up your support of a chamber near you. Strong chambers make Florida stronger (#ChamberStrong). In the Senate GOP's recently released Phase 4 HEALS Act, these organizations have been included in the expanded PPP eligibility criteria, however, there is no guarantee that these provisions will remain in any final, negotiated legislation.
    Join the Florida Chamber and leaders of the business community across Florida in urging members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation to support the broad-based eligibility of 501(c)(6) organizations under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and ensure that it is included in any final negotiated Phase 4 COVID-19 legislation. Read the letter.
    Add Your Chamber's Signature
    Friday, August 7th,
    10 a.m. – Noon
    The Florida Chamber Foundation has identified a lack of access to healthy foods and poor health outcomes as two of the ten root causes of generational poverty. For too many Floridians, the zip code they are born into has a disproportionately adverse effect on their overall health. Many communities simply don't have access to healthy foods or to basic health care facilities. With the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19, these issues are likely to spread.
    Our Florida Chamber Foundation's Prosperity Initiative is leading a statewide effort in Florida to create equality of opportunity and end generational poverty one zip code at a time. As business leaders you have the power to make the necessary change, and I hope you and your management teams will join us for Part 3 of this five-part webinar series and be part of the conversation.
    Please note these webinars are complimentary to Chamber members and anyone interested in joining the initiative. If you have questions or want to know how you can help, please contact Michael Williams, Executive Director of our Prosperity Initiative, for more information at mwilliams@flfoundation.org
    Tips for Social Distancing 
    When going out in public, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from other people and wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19. Consider the following tips for practicing social distancing when you decide to go out.
    Know Before You Go:
    Before going out, know and follow the guidance from local public health authorities where you live.
    Prepare for Transportation:
    Consider social distancing options to travel safely when running errands or commuting to and from work, whether walking, bicycling, wheelchair rolling, or using public transit, rideshares, or taxis. When using public transit, try to keep at least 6 feet from other passengers or transit operators – for example, when you are waiting at a bus station or selecting seats on a bus or train. When using rideshares or taxis, avoid pooled rides where multiple passengers are picked up, and sit in the back seat in larger vehicles so you can remain at least 6 feet away from the driver.
    Limit Contact When Running Errands:
    Try and stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household while shopping and in lines. If possible, use drive-thru, curbside pick-up, or delivery services to limit face-to-face contact with others. Maintain physical distance between yourself and delivery service providers during exchanges and wear a mask.
    Choose Safe Social Activities:
    It is possible to stay socially connected with friends and family who don’t live in your home by calling, using video chat, or staying connected through social media. If meeting others in person (e.g., at small outdoor gatherings, yard or driveway gathering with a small group of friends or family members), stay at least 6 feet from others who are not from your household. Follow these steps to stay safe if you will be participating in personal and social activities outside of your home.
    Keep Distance at Events and Gatherings:
    It is safest to avoid crowded places and gatherings where it may be difficult to stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household. If you are in a crowded space, try to keep 6 feet of space between yourself and others at all times, and wear a mask. Masks are especially important in times when physical distancing is difficult. Pay attention to any physical guides, such as tape markings on floors or signs on walls, directing attendees to remain at least 6 feet apart from each other in lines or at other times. Allow other people 6 feet of space when you pass by them in both indoor and outdoor settings.
    Stay Distanced While Being Active: Consider going for a walk, bike ride, or wheelchair roll in your neighborhood or in another safe location where you can maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other pedestrians and cyclists. If you decide to visit a nearby park, trail, or recreational facility, first check for closures or restrictions. If open, consider how many other people might be there and choose a location where it will be possible to keep at least 6 feet of space between yourself and other people who are not from your household.
    Chamber members can download our FREE “Returning to Work Safely During COVID-19” playbook which was compiled and is maintained by the safety team at the Florida Chamber Safety Council.
    The playbook is updated as of July 27, 2020 to include new CDC guideline on handling an exposed employee's reintroduction into the workplace (Page 13).
    In addition to the downloadable playbook, we also offer a free webinar on returning to work safely that correlates with the playbook. This 20-minute webinar will give you valuable information to help keep your employees and customers safe.
    Return to Work Safely Webinar
    For more information on keeping your workers safe, visit flchambersafety.com
    or contact Diego Sanchez, Senior Safety Manager at
    Please continue to read and share this update with your executive team, family, and friends, and encourage them to sign-up to receive their personal copy. The Chamber team is here to work with you as we unite Florida business for good and keep moving forward. If you have any suggestions or questions at any time, I invite you to email me directly at mwilson@flchamber.com.
    My best,
    Mark Wilson
    President & CEO
    Florida Chamber of Commerce www.FloridaChamber.com/Coronavirus