Broward County leaders continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and encourage everyone to be vigilant about the situation. They are asking organizations to not hold events with large numbers of people. President Donald Trump has declared a National Emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) continues to confirm additional cases of COVID-19 in Broward County. On Friday, March 13th, there were 11 cases, with five cases associated with Port Everglades. Epidemiological investigations continue on others.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization officially named the situation a world pandemic. Today, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) added “most of Europe” as a Level 3 country to avoid in your travels.
Health experts believe that the incidence of cases is likely to get worse before it gets better. However, there is also universal agreement that containment actions and preventive measures are critical to stopping the spread of the virus. Broward County remains under a State of Emergency and the Emergency Operations Center is partially activated.
Broward County is working with the Supervisor of Elections office and the Florida Department of Emergency Management to ensure proper hand sanitizing measures are in place so that residents feel comfortable going to polls to vote in the Tuesday, March 17 Presidential Preference Primary and future elections. Early voting will continue at designated libraries through March 15 as planned.
On Thursday, the Florida Director of Emergency Management advised “that municipalities cancel all major gatherings in their jurisdictions, until further notice.” The County is following suit. After careful consideration, Broward County has canceled the following events and activities in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community:
- The 18th Annual Water Matters Day, scheduled for this Saturday, March 14 at Tree Tops Park in Davie has been canceled and a rescheduled date has not yet been determined.
- All libraries programs have been canceled until further notice; however all our Libraries remain open and all services are available.
- The last two weekends of the Renaissance Festival, March 14-15 and March 21-22, at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, have been canceled.
- The Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD) has canceled two upcoming events: the Janitorial Services at FLL Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) Meet & Greet on March 19th and the Jacobs Engineering Meet & Greet on March 24th. OESBD is converting many of their workshops and technical assistance training sessions over the next two weeks into webinars and YouTube videos so that businesses can continue to receive assistance. For more information, visit Broward.org/EconDev.
- Several Parks events for the weekend of March 14-15 have also been canceled or postponed. For Broward County’s full list of cancelations, please visit Broward.org/CoronaVirus.
Aside from these cancelations, Broward County is maintaining its normal business operations. Residents are reminded that many Broward County services are available online, including property tax payments, which are due April 1. For the fastest and most convenient way to pay your tax bill, visit Broward.county-taxes.com.
For Broward County’s full list of cancelations, please visit Broward.org/CoronaVirus. Aside from these cancelations, Broward County is maintaining its normal business operations. Residents are reminded that many Broward County services are available online.
Other community closures include:
- The 17th Judicial Circuit Court has canceled jury duty for the weeks of March 16 and March 23. If you are currently serving on a jury, you should continue your service unless otherwise ordered by the judge. For questions about jury duty, call 954-831-7051. Other court operations are normal.
- The National Hockey League has paused the 2019-2020 season, and no hockey games will be played at the local BB&T Center until further notice.
There are numerous rumors and unfounded claims circulating on social media about COVID-19. Watch for official public service announcements coming soon from the Board of County Commissioners. Key points to remember, as proffered by the FDOH and CDC, are:
- Practice “social distancing.”
- If you are sick, stay home. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing and/or severe illness), call the Florida Department of Health at 954-412-7300 BEFORE visiting your health care provider, and follow their instructions.
- Be cognizant of the fact that our seniors are among the most vulnerable. Take steps to help protect the elderly from the spread.
- Wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds, using antibacterial soap and hot water. Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and hot water is not available.
- Do not touch your face or directly touch public surfaces such as handrails, elevator buttons, restroom faucets, gasoline pumps, etc.