Palm Beach County COVID-19 Briefing Summary #4

PALM BEACH COUNTY — At a news briefing at the Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Sunday afternoon (March 15), Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner advised that the EOC is activating to a Level 2, Monday, March 16, 2020. The partial activation means that selected county staff and partners will work from the EOC to support county operations dealing with COVID-19.

The United Way Palm Beach County is working on setting up a fund to be formalized Monday for individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 virus who need resources and assistance. He also said that the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties in partnership with philanthropists, business leaders and governmental entities has established the COVID-19 Response Fund to address the needs of our residents. Community health centers, homeless shelters, pre-school and after-school programs, food pantries and others will be impacted. Other social service providers may face increases in demand for services as well. To date, nearly $500,000 has been raised. Contributions may be made at their website.

The Emergency Information Center will open on Monday and will be open from 8am to 6pm for general questions regarding county operations. That number is 561-712-6400.

Palm Beach County offices and departments will be open Monday. County-operated libraries, parks, beaches, sports fields and courts, pools, golf courses, nature centers, and other recreation facilities remain open. Some county events have been cancelled, please check our website, www.pbcgov.com, for the latest information.

Circuit and County Courts are open Monday. However, all grand jury proceedings, jury selection proceedings, and criminal and civil jury trials scheduled to begin on Monday, March 16, are suspended through Friday, March 27. (Note: Court proceeding already in progress will continue at the discretion of the presiding judge.) Mayor Kerner also said that Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting will be held as scheduled.

Dr. Alina Alonso, director of the Florida Health-Palm Beach County stressed that social distancing is being emphasized: hand washing, teleworking, avoiding large crowds and social gatherings, and minimizing travel. Dr. Alonso added there was no shortage of coronavirus test kits locally, but more people were needed to administer the swab tests. Due to the fact that we have no new cases overnight shows no community spread at this time and the current protocols are working. The Health Department is now screening all patients that enter their clinics.

School District of Palm Beach County Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy updated that for now Palm Beach County Public Schools will closed for at least two weeks beginning Monday, March 16 and the district will evaluate the situation over the next 2 weeks before deciding if the schools need to stay closed longer. The district’s School Food Service will be serving meals for our community Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20, 2020 from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Information about your closest meal site can be found at https://www.palmbeachschools.org/ or by calling 561-383-2035 or 561-253-5300

Supervisor of Elections Wendy Link reminded everyone that the primary election will go on as scheduled on Tuesday and there will be hand sanitizers for voters, poll workers will have gloves and will be following CDC protocols for cleaning voting equipment. Voters are allowed to bring their own pens but a black pen is recommended.

Mayor Kerner reminded everyone that Census 2020 forms are arriving in the mail, and everyone is urged to please complete and return their survey, either online or by mail, by April 1, 2020.

For continuing information on COVID-19 please visit: www.pbcgov.com, follow us on Twitter @PBCGOV and watch PBC-TV Channel 20.

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