• We're proud to be the Navarre area's only independent professionally run Chamber of Commerce with an office located in the "Heart of Navarre" at 1804 Prado Street.  

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

    "To promote civic and economic prosperity throughout our community."

  • SRC Emergency Management COVID-19 UPDATE 3 - 03/16/2020

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    March 16, 2020
    Santa Rosa County is cancelling all publicly-permitted events in county facilities with anticipated participation of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. This action is taken out of an abundance of caution to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable members of our community. This only applies to events that are permitted through the county and does not include schools, churches or other private events. The President has advised that social gatherings in groups of 10 or more should be avoided. Event organizers are encouraged to use their discretion and follow the directions of officials from the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if event cancellations are necessary. This step will be reassessed in two weeks for continuation or to lift the cancellation of publicly-permitted events.
    • Santa Rosa County remains in the "None to Minimal" (monitoring and preparedness) phase of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Mitigation Strategy for Florida.
    • As noon today (Mon., Mar. 16), Santa Rosa County has had one case and no community spread. 
    • Health information, including locations of cases (whether active or not), is protected under HIPAA privacy rule.
    • As part of the county's pandemic plan, emergency dispatchers are screening callers for recent travel history and symptoms, and fire, law enforcement and EMS responders have appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
    County and County Facility Cancellations
    • The Land Development Code public forum on Thurs., Mar. 19, the BOCC Committee Meeting on Mon., Mar. 23 at 9 a.m. and the BOCC Special Rezoning Meeting on Thurs., Mar. 26 at 6 p.m. have been cancelled. Accommodations are being made and will be announced for citizens who would like to submit public comment via the web site on agenda items for the BOCC regular meeting on Thurs., Mar. 26 at 9 a.m.
    • UF/IFAS Santa Rosa Extension programs, events, and meetings scheduled through April 30 have been postponed/canceled per direction from the University of Florida. Any events, meetings or programs offered online or via video conference, Facebook etc. are still being held. UF/IFAS is working to reschedule postponed events. 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.
    • Santa Rosa County Libraries are open, however all library programs and meeting room reservations are cancelled and all Friends of the Library bookstores are closed until further notice.
    • AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, the volunteer-based tax preparation and assistance service, will suspend tax preparation services at all sites, including the Santa Rosa County Library System, until further notice. 
    • The West Florida Soccer Club has cancelled practices and games until Mar. 30.
    • Tiger Point Sports Association is canceling all sport games and practices, Mar. 16-27. 
    • The Spring Festival of Flowers - cancelled.
    • Note: the fishing pier and all parts of Navarre Park and Navarre Beach remain open.
    Santa Rosa County Department of Emergency Management is currently operating at a Level III, or monitoring, status and is participating in:
    • Conference calls with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM).
    • Daily updates and coordination with the Santa Rosa County DOH administrator.
    • Providing updates to Santa Rosa County first responders.
    • Preparation for pandemic response.
    • Providing updates to county leadership.
    • Assisting the Santa Rosa County DOH with social media messaging and rumor control.
    "We are in the preparedness phase of our pandemic plan and will adjust accordingly at the guidance of our lead agency, the Santa Rosa County Health Department." said Public Safety Director Brad Baker. "We encourage our residents to embrace facts, not fear, and follow precautionary steps to stay healthy."

    Supervisor of Elections
    Santa Rosa County Supervisor of Elections announced emergency polling location changes for the Presidential Preference Primary Election. On Election Day (Tues., Mar. 17), polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
    • Precincts 28 and 37 have been changed from Community Life United Methodist Church to the Tiger Point Community Center, 1370 Tiger Park in Gulf Breeze. 
    • Precinct 23 has been changed from Midway Fire District Station 37 to the Midway Baptist Church, 5471 Gulf Breeze Pkwy. in Gulf Breeze.
    • Visit www.votesantarosa.com to find the nearest early voting location.

    Sheriff's Office
    The sheriff’s office is currently implementing several policies to increase the safety of the citizens, inmates and employees:
    • 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.

    Clerk of Courts
    • 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.

    City of Gulf Breeze
    • The City of Gulf Breeze Pandemic Policies in the City Emergency Plan will be followed if needed, to ensure continuity of city services.
    • Fire and police have appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Any public permits for events over 500 will not be considered before the end of March. Two publicly permitted events in March have voluntarily canceled: The annual Quarterback Carnival and the Gulf Breeze Arts Festival. 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
    • Milton Community Center is closed until further notice.
    • 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., Pensacola. Seniors must call (850) 432-1475 by noon the previous day to receive a meal.
      The City of Milton pandemic policies in the city emergency plan will be followed as needed.
    • Fire and police have appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Publicly permitted events of over 250 have been cancelled, including the spring schedule of Bands on the Blackwater, and will be reviewed in the next few weeks.

    Santa Rosa County School District
    • By order of Governor De Santis, Santa Rosa Schools are closed through Mar. 27. All extracurricular activities including athletics (practice or play) are cancelled through Mar. 28. Employees should remain in contact with your school or department during the spring break to receive updates, and plan on reporting to work Mar. 23 until further notice.

    Pensacola State College
    • Pensacola State College will resume operations and classes following the spring break on Mon., Mar. 23. Should the situation change during the spring break (Mar. 16-22) by order of the Governor or a decision by the PSC Board of Trustees, PSC will alert faculty, staff, and students through the PSC Alert system, email, text messages, social media and local media.
    • The college administration recognizes that consideration should be given to individuals with special health circumstances and will address these situations on a case-by-case basis. Any employees, faculty and staff who return from travel to China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea or any other areas affected by COVID-19 are asked to self-isolate and not return to campus for 14 days after their return.
    • The college is not approving college-sponsored out-of-state travel until further notice. 
    • The NJCAA, PSC's national athletic association, has suspended all athletic competition until April 4.
    • Other college events will be assessed on a case-by-case basis for the next several weeks. 
    •  PSC students, faculty and staff are asked to check their emails and other information sources during spring break to get updates from the college administration that may change the decision to open on Mon., Mar. 23. 

    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.

    Florida Department of Health
    The Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County (DOH-Santa Rosa) encourages our residents and visitors to take steps to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses such as cold and the flu as well as COVID-19. Everyone can do their part to help. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow the spread of this virus.

    Screen Yourself and Call First
    If you become sick, review the screening criteria for COVID-19:
    • Are you over 65 years old with chronic medical conditions and are experiencing symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath? Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
    • Have you returned from international travel or been on a cruise within the last 14 days?
    • Have you been around someone diagnosed with COVID-19?
    If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, contact your healthcare provider or your local county health department (CHD). Call, do not visit, your health care provider and tell them about your symptoms and your travel history or exposure to a COVID-19 patient. It’s important to call ahead before visiting your health care provider. Offices must take proper steps to avoid further spread of COVID-19 when a concerned patient arrives for a medical evaluation.

    Take Steps to Protect Against Spreading Viruses
    If you are mildly ill, follow these tips to help prevent spreading it to other people:
    • Do not go to the emergency department if you are only a little sick. The emergency department should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill. The CDC has guidance on what to do if you are sick from a mild viral illness: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/treatment/takingcare.htm and https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html
    • Stay at home while you are sick and keep children out of school or daycare while they are sick.
    • Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing, or shaking hands.
    • Move away from people before coughing or sneezing.
    • Cough and sneeze into a tissue then throw it away.
    • Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs.
    The Florida Department of Health is strongly urging attendees of mass gatherings not to attend if they:
    • are a contact to a known or suspected case of COVID-19.
    • are over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions.
    • are immune compromised.
    • are ill.
    • have been exposed to someone with a respiratory illness in the last 14 days.
    • have chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease.
    • have traveled internationally within the last 14 days, especially to destinations under a level 3 travel advisory.
    • have traveled to or from a geographic area with widespread community transmission of COVID-19.
    COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets may land on objects and surfaces. Other people may contract COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

    Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure. Most people recover from COVID-19 without needing special treatment. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes are more likely to develop serious illness.

    There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus and use everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory diseases.

    At Home
    • Continue to practice good hand washing. Cover coughs and sneezes. Stay home from work if you are sick and keep children home from school when sick.
    • Remind family members not to touch their faces.
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, tables and handrails.
    • Open windows or adjust air conditioning to increase ventilation.
    • Treat vulnerable family members, such as those over the age of 65 or with chronic medical conditions, as though others are a threat to them. Practice good hygiene when caring for them. If they are sick, provide them with their own room, and keep the door closed.  
    At Work
    • Good hand hygiene is as important at work as it is at home. Encourage employees to clean hands at the door and send email reminders to clean hands throughout the day.
    • Stop shaking hands. Use other, non-contact methods of greeting customers and coworkers.
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
    • Open windows or adjust air conditioning to increase ventilation.
    • Consider videoconferencing for meetings whenever possible. When not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces.
    • Assess the risks of business travel.
    • Handle food carefully and limit food sharing.
    • Ensure cafeteria staff and their close contacts practice strict hygiene.
    • Allow employees to stay home if they are sick or have a sick family member. 
    • Stop shaking hands. Use non-contact methods of greeting.
    • Clean hands at the door and send employees email reminders to clean hands throughout the day.
    • Promote tap and pay to limit handling of cash.
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
    • Open windows or adjust air conditioning to increase ventilation. 
    • Avoid crowding by booking appointments to stagger customer flow.
    The CDC does not recommend that asymptomatic, healthy people wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

    A person that experiences a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from any destination under the recently updated CDC travel advisory should call ahead to their health care provider and local CHD and mention their recent travel or close contact.

    If a person has had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from this area or been in contact with a person with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, they should call ahead to a health care professional and the county health department. The health care provider will work with the Florida DOH to determine if the person should be tested for COVID-19.

    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. 
    Chanda Ryan, Executive Director
    chandaryan10@gmail.com, (850) 939-3267