The Village of Estero has compiled the most recent daily updates from the State of Florida, Lee County and the Village of Estero. This compilation provides updates from the governmental perspective. The information provided below was developed by our partner agencies for public consumption.
Village of Estero Update
Village Hall has closed the public lobbies as of 5:00 p.m., Monday, March 23.
- We will still be accepting online applications, records requests, requests for action related to roads and landscaping, and general inquiries.
- Our phone lines will remain open and we will have available a dropbox for paper building applications.
- All of our staff continues to work, but we are doing this to limit in-person contact, in order to help “flatten the curve”.
- Health Data
- Global Confirmed Cases: 883,225 (44,156 deaths)
- S. Confirmed Cases: 189,753 (4,090 deaths)
- Florida Confirmed Cases: 6,490 (85 deaths, 857 hospitalizations) (see attached graph)
- Lee County Confirmed Cases: 206 (8 deaths, 43 hospitalizations)
- Estero Confirmed Cases: 7 (unknown death and hospitalization numbers)
- Practice “social distancing” by remaining at least 6 feet from others
- Limit gatherings to 10 people or less
- Some in the community have organized trips to the grocery store- the CDC guidelines still apply here. If this comes up in conversation, please encourage people to do their part to limit physical interaction. Tools like Zoom and Skype are great ways to stay connected virtually!
- Lee County
- Conservation 20/20 and preserve lands remain open. Residents are encouraged to go for a hike here, while maintaining recommended social distancing, to reduce stress.
- The County Commission held meetings last Wednesday and this past Monday to discuss the curtailment of social activities and a potential “stay-at-home” order (similar to actions taken by other countries and U.S. states). The County Commission approved, on Monday, a resolution which adopts the Florida Surgeon General’s COVID-19 resolution. This resolution states that if you are aged 65 years or older, have a health condition that makes you vulnerable, or you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, you should stay at home. This is not a stay-at-home order.
- Lee County School District
- Online instruction began on Monday. An update from the School District indicated that the biggest challenge was helping the parents of 1st graders get their children logged on, as the kids had forgotten their passwords!
- State of Florida
- Governor DeSantis has created an order that allows governments, such as ours, to reach meeting quorum via video or teleconferencing. We will support virtual public attendance via our live stream and eComment card tools, which are already in place.
- Governor DeSantis has encouraged residents aged 65 or older, as well as those with underlying conditions, to continue to stay at home for the next week to protect them from the spread of Coronavirus.
- Village of Estero
- Village Council has asked the Village Manager to postpone the scheduling of future in-person Council meetings, given our interest in adhering to CDC gatherings guidelines. We may proceed with virtual meetings, instead, using the aforementioned digital tools.
Lee County Update
- There are many resources available to help relieve the financial burden caused by COVID-19. If you are in need of food, medical, or housing assistance, please visit: https://fal.cn/37lWp. #COVID19
- School District of Lee County has expanded their “Grab and Go” food program for families in need. This will continue as long as remote schooling is taking place. Visit their website to find locations, including bus route drop-offs, near you. https://fal.cn/37ldu
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, effective April 1, 2020, has been enacted to protect employees who may be affected by COVID-19. Learn what benefits you are entitled to, and how to determine if you qualify: https://fal.cn/37laS. #COVID19
- This is a great time to learn a new skill, develop a new hobby, or finish that home project you’ve been putting off. Check out the lifelong learning resources provided by the Lee County, FL Library and #stayhomeSWFL. https://fal.cn/37meH
Lee County School District
- Online instruction to begin on Monday
- Based on recommendations from the Florida Department of Education, the School District of Lee County will extend its school closures until May 1, 2020. Additional school closures will be re-evaluated by the Florida Department of Education prior to May 1st, and any changes will continue to be communicated to our families.
In addition, the USDA has authorized the State of Florida to waive the requirement for children to be present during meal pick-up. Parents/guardians will now be able to pick up meals and take them home to their children.
For information regarding the District’s Distance Learning Plan, Grab & Go Meal locations, graduating senior requirements, and additional resources for families, please visit https://www.leeschools.net/distance_learning.
District staff continue to work with the Florida Department of Education to ensure students will not be negatively impacted by the changes to their learning process.
Thank you for your continued patience and support as we navigate through this unprecedented situation.
State of Florida Update 4/1/2020 8:45 pm
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The State of Florida is responding to COVID-19. In an effort to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware regarding the status of the virus, the Florida Department of Health will issue this update every day, seven days per week.
Governor Ron DeSantis is in constant communication with Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz and State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees as the State of Florida continues to monitor and respond to the threat of COVID-19.
Today at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee, Governor DeSantis announced additional efforts in the state’s response to COVID-19:
- Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-91 requiring all persons in Florida to limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities for 30 days.
- This order was issued after consultation with federal officials and in accordance with the recent 30-day extension of national social distancing guidelines for curbing the spread of COVID-19. The order will go into effect midnight Friday, April 3, 2020.
- Governor DeSantis directed the Florida Department of Transportation to accelerate transportation projects in Miami-Dade, Tampa, and Orlando areas by 4 to 6 weeks to assist Florida’s economy.
Actions the state has taken to respond to COVID-19:
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
- At the direction of Governor DeSantis, State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees declared a Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 in Florida.
- Governor DeSantis announced that the State ordered an additional 2,500 test kits to supplement the adequate resources already available to test for COVID-19. These additional test kits will enable the Department of Health, working with Florida health care providers, to test up to an additional 625,000 individuals. The Governor also suspended non-essential in state and all out-of-state travel for state employees for 30 days.
- Established an Incident Management Team to coordinate response operations.
- Defined a high-level phased response strategy for COVID-19.
- Activated a dedicated incident command post for on-site response activities.
- Conducted three public health and health care stakeholder conference calls to provide statewide updates on the current outbreak situation, response actions and guidance for pandemic planning. Over five hundred participants joined the calls.
- Established a public call center for questions regarding COVID-19. The call center launched Monday, March 2 and is open 24/7.
- Developed and distributed COVID-19 presentation materials to County Health Departments (CHD) for use at community meetings.
- Activated the Joint Information Center in coordination with the Division of Emergency Management.
- Developed and implemented protocols for investigation, surveillance and monitoring for COVID-19 to rapidly detect and contain cases.
- Established mechanisms for monitoring and coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding epidemiological activities.
- Distributed CDC Interim Guidance for public health personnel evaluating Persons Under Investigation (PUI) and asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed cases at their home or non-home residential settings to CHDs.
- Approved and disseminated an updated Clinician Screening Tool for identifying COVID-19 PUIs.
- Implemented testing at all three State Public Health Laboratories.
- Distributed updated CDC guidance for schools to CHDs and the Department of Education.
- Distributed updated laboratory guidance regarding implementation of testing at State Public Health Laboratories.
- Developing a laboratory surge plan.
- Identifying and monitoring close contacts of presumptive cases. Any close contacts with symptoms will be tested.
- Implemented private lab testing.
- Developed and disseminated pandemic planning guidance.
- Advised CHDs and HCCs to retain expired personal protective equipment until further until further notice.
- Developing infographics for first responders (fire, law enforcement and EMS) regarding infection control and personal protection for COVID-19.
- At the Governor’s direction, a public-private partnership has been put in place between Memorial Healthcare in Broward and the National Guard to set up a mobile testing unit.
- At the direction of Governor DeSantis hiring additional epidemiologists from university health programs to help with workload.
- Governor DeSantis directed the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to extend all existing nursing home and assisted living facility licenses for 90 days to remove distraction from patient care.
- Launched an interactive data tracking dashboard on floridahealthcovid19.gov that is updated twice daily.
- Developing protocols for County Health Departments in the protection of their staff and clinic activities through the development of safety and health guidance.
- Continue to have daily hospital calls and began having daily calls with the aging and vulnerable population groups.
- Continue to coordinate efforts for obtaining lab testing supplies.
DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
- Florida is receiving its third shipment from the SNS. Once the shipment has been received in its entirety, Florida will have received the following from the SNS. These materials are being distributed across the state.
- N95s 540,000
- Faceshields 246,000
- Coveralls 1,026
- Gloves 714,354
- Surgical Masks 1,290,000
- Gowns 201,000
- After conducting a thorough assessment of needs, Director Moskowitz has requested the following supplies through Direct Federal Assistance. Supplies are being delivered on a rolling basis, and inventory is being distributed throughout the state 24 hours a day.
- 5 mobile intensive care units
- 5,000 ventilators
- 5,000 hospital beds
- 50,000 two oz. bottles of hand sanitizer
- 250,000 coveralls
- 500,000 gloves
- 500,000 gowns
- 500,000 collection kits
- 100,000 16 oz. bottles of hand sanitizers
- 150,000 Personal Protective Equipment kits, including coveralls, gowns, and goggles
- 2 million N95 face masks
- To support communities responding to COVID-19, Governor DeSantis has directed FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz to expedite the delivery of more than $170 million in Hurricane Irma reimbursements to cities, counties and hospital districts that have now reached the 50-percent auditing threshold to receive funds.
- Find more information on DEM’s response to COVID-19 here.
AGENCY FOR HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION
- AHCA and the Department of Children and Families have been working together to ensure current Medicaid recipients maintain benefits during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Agencies have also extended Medicaid application deadlines.
- AHCA has made on-site visits to over 900 long-term care and residential facilities since the onset of the COVID-19 emergency. Additionally, AHCA has made over 2,000 telephone calls to residential providers statewide to assess infection control and prevention strategies, ensure county health department and local emergency operations center contact information are up to date, and assess supplies–specifically PPE.
- Find more information on ACHA’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION
- DBPR has updated the dedicated webpage for filing complaints related to compliance with executive orders related to department stakeholders. The page, available at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/eo-complaints/ now provides a field for reporting compliance concerns related to vacation rentals as restricted by Executive Order 20-87. The Department’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants continues to monitor, review, and assign complaints received through this form for follow-up by division inspectors.
- Find more information on DBPR’s response to COVID-19 here.
DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
- DCF worked with DOH to develop precautionary protocols for child welfare professionals and adult protective investigators who may have to make in-person visits to ensure the safety of those vulnerable populations.
- Under Governor DeSantis’ Direction, DCF temporarily increased SNAP recipients’ benefit amount to the maximum monthly allotment based on household size.
- Find more information on DCF’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
- FDC is aligning operations with the CDC Interim Guidance on Management of COVID-19 in Correctional and Detention Facilities.
- New inmate commitments from county jails will undergo additional screening and 14-day quarantine before placement within the general population.
- FDC has suspended visitation and volunteer programs at all correctional institutions statewide through April 5, 2020.
- Outside inmate work squads have been restricted.
- Find more information on FDC’s response to COVID-19 here.
DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
- DEO recently announced $100 million of additional funds available to local governments in communities impacted by Hurricane Irma through the Rebuild Florida Infrastructure Repair Program. Local governments may apply individually or as a regional group for funding. Funding can also be used as leverage to match funding for other federal programs to carry out eligible, federal CDBG-DR infrastructure activity. The deadline to complete an application is June 30, 2020. For more information about the program, including how to complete an application, visit the Rebuild Florida Infrastructure Repair Program’s webpage.
- Governor DeSantis waived the work search and work registration requirements for individuals requesting Reemployment Assistance benefits. Individuals filing an application in CONNECT, the online Reemployment Assistance application, for benefits from March 15, 2020 until May 2, 2020, will not be required to complete the work registration in Employ Florida. For additional questions about Reemployment Assistance, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions.
- Florida’s 24 local workforce development boards are available to provide career and business services remotely, with services and technology varying by location. For more information, visit careersourceflorida.com.
- Governor DeSantis’ request to the federal U.S. Small Business Administration to make the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program available for Florida’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19 has been granted. Small businesses are eligible to apply for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans that offer up to $2 million in economic assistance to help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue resulting from COVID-19.
- The Business Damage Assessment survey is activated to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. The survey, managed by DEO, will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin. The survey can be taken online here.
- Find more information on DEO’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
- FDOE has compiled resources, information, and best practices for distance learning on its emergency response page.
- The Florida Virtual School has created the Online Learning Community with engaging and informative content for teachers and parents of K-12 students.
- Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran has recommended that all Florida public and private K-12 school campuses extend campus closures through May 1, 2020, following White House guidance and the CDC’s extension of social distancing guidelines until April 30th.
- Find more information on The Department of Education’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ELDER AFFAIRS
- Secretary Prudom is working with the 11 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) on the expansion of the Feeding Older Floridians Initiative to provide meal delivery services to older adults.
- DOEA held its weekly CARES statewide supervisor call to discuss updates and innovative solutions offices are using for staff cases, and keep all field offices informed of Department level updates.
- DOEA has been working with Adult Care Food Program (ACFP) contract managers to approve waiver requests for adult day care and mental health day treatment facilities as they close. The waivers include allowing food service in a non-congregate setting, flexible meal patterns and service times, allowance for family members or guardians for meal pick-up, and flexibility in monitoring for the state agency and sponsoring organizations.
- DOEA is continuing ongoing technical assistance to all Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) for meal procurement, distribution, and telephone reassurance for elders not currently enrolled in food programs.
- Find more information on DOEA’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
- At the direction of Governor DeSantis and to successfully uphold CDC guidance to maximize social distancing and avoid gatherings larger than 10 people, DEP closed all Florida State Parks to the public effective Monday, March 23. Park field staff are on-site to maintain grounds.
- In addition, since Tuesday, March 24, public access to lands within DEP’s Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas has been closed. This closure includes state-owned uplands, such as beaches, islands, sand bars and emergent shoals within Aquatic Preserves. Vessel landings are strictly prohibited.
- Find more information on DEP’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAY SAFETY AND MOTOR VEHICLES
- The Florida Highway Patrol is assisting with the implementation and enforcement of Executive Order 20-86 at the direction of Governor DeSantis.
- At the direction of Governor DeSantis, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has issued an Emergency Order extending all Florida driver licenses, commercial driver licenses and identification cards that will expire now through April 15, 2020.
- Pursuant to Executive Order 20-52 issued by Governor DeSantis, FLHSMV Executive Director Rhodes has waived commercial truck hours of service regulations and other related regulations so that emergency supplies, equipment, commodities and resources can be moved more quickly and efficiently throughout the state.
- Find more information on FLHSMV’s COVID-19 response here.
OFFICE OF INSURANCE REGULATION
- OIR has issued Informational Memorandum OIR-20-04M providing general guidance on the treatment of policyholders as part of the state’s ongoing efforts to protect Floridians.
- OIR has issued Informational Memorandum OIR-20-03M directing all insurers and other entities regulated by OIR to review and update their business continuity and/or continuity of operations plans. Companies are directed to immediately contact OIR if their continuity plans are activated and/or if business operations become compromised so it can work with insurers to avoid any disruption in consumer services.
- OIR has issued Informational Memorandum OIR-20-02M as a reminder to all health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and other health entities to allow for early prescription refills following the Governor’s Executive Order 20-52 declaring a state of emergency in Florida.
- Find more information on OIR’s COVID-19 response here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF JUVENILE JUSTICE
- The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has issued an emergency order that will suspend visitation at all state-operated juvenile detention centers and juvenile residential commitment programs until April 15, 2020.
- DJJ has also instituted additional screening measures for outside vendors who work within juvenile facilities.
- Pandemic plans have been developed and disseminated for all state-operated juvenile detention centers and juvenile residential commitment programs.
- Find more information on DJJ’s COVID-19 response here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT
- FDLE and ESF-16 partners are working with the Florida Sheriffs Association to provide support for FHP at the I-95 screening point.
- Find more information on FDLE’s COVID-19 response here.
- To protect players and employees during COVID-19, Florida Lottery Headquarters and district offices closed to the public on Monday, March 23, and remain closed until further notice.
- The Lottery continues to evaluate mission critical positions that have the ability to telecommute and is preparing accordingly to keep Lottery operations running should further social distancing be needed in the future.
- Find more information on Lottery’s COVID-19 response here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT SERVICES
- As directed by Governor DeSantis in Executive Order 20-52, DMS has amended the state employee health plan benefits plan documents to include delivery of covered benefits through telehealth at no additional cost to the employees and to ensure all state employees have access to telehealth through the state’s contracted HMO and PPO organization pla