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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.

 

  • CDC
    • Practice “social distancing” by remaining at least 6 feet from others
    • Limit gatherings to 10 people or less
    • Tools like Zoom and Skype are great ways to stay connected virtually!
  • Lee County
    • All Lee County-owned beaches, parks and Conservation 20/20 preserves are now closed.
  • Lee County School District
    • Online instruction continues for the third week.
  • State of Florida
    • Governor DeSantis signed an executive order (https://www.floridaleagueofcities.com/docs/default-source/covid-resources/eo-20-91.pdf?sfvrsn=606dd5d5_0) that orders everyone who isn’t going out for essential work or an essential activity to stay at home.  The list of essential and allowable work and activities is broad; provided below are some examples.  The Village released an article that reviews this executive order, found here: https://estero-fl.gov/florida-governors-safer-at-home-order-clarified-in-faqs/
      • Local government workers
      • health care workers
      • law enforcement
      • utility workers
      • journalists
      • pharmacists
      • gas station clerks
      • plumbers
      • landscapers
      • weather forecasters
      • employees of hardware stores
      • employees of pet supply stores
      • employees of gun stores
      • employees of laundromats
      • those caring for a loved one or friend
      • those attending religious services
      • those participating in recreational activities, consistent with social distancing, such as walking, biking, fishing, hunting, running or swimming
    • 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.
  • 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

Lee County School District

  • Online instruction to begin on Monday 3-30-2020
  • Grab & Go meal service is expanding. Six new schools, an added bus stop near Alva and two new bus routes in Lehigh Acres will be available when distribution resumes Tuesday, April 14th. A ninth bus route will start in the Suncoast Estates area on Wednesday, April 15th. Find all the new locations and stops at https://www.leeschools.net/parent_port…/…/meal_pick_up_sites.
  • High school class schedules are changing next school year. Most will meet for 7 periods a day, while two will pilot a 5×5 block schedule. Get all the details at https://www.leeschools.net/cms/One.aspx…

 

 

 

 

 

 

State of Florida Update (updated 4/12/2020 9:00 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.

Governor Ron DeSantis is taking further steps to protect individuals living in long term care facilities from COVID-19 by directing the Florida National Guard to create strike teams to significantly increase testing in these facilities across the state.

The Governor will initially deploy the strike teams to counties that have been hardest hit by COVID-19. Ten teams of four will take samples from all willing staff members and residents in each facility.

The Department of Health has taken the following actions over the last month:

  • Screening and suspending visitation in long-term care facilities.
  • Conducting long-term care facility assessments with 120 ambulance assessment teams tasked with deploying preemptive measures to prevent the introduction of COVID-19.
  • Deploying rapid emergency support teams to facilities that have had residents test positive for COVID-19 to provide support and ensure the health of all individuals (residents and staff), and
  • Conducting testing and sentinel surveillance.

Recent actions the State has taken to respond to COVID-19:

  • The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is leading the coordination of DOH and the Florida Highway Patrol to implement Executive Order 20-86. To date, more than 5,500 traveler forms have been collected at the I-10 and I-95 checkpoints.
  • FDOT continues to coordinate with public use airports, DOH and law enforcement to implement Executive Order 20-80. To date, more than 13,500 traveler forms have been collected at public use airports across the state.
  • The Florida National Guard (FLNG) continues to support the state’s COVID-19 response through operational support of Community Based Testing Sites (CBTS), augmentation to airport screening measures, statewide logistics support, coordination, planning and operational mission sets. To date, the FLNG has assisted in the testing of over 38,510 individuals for the COVID-19 virus.
  • Governor Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced that 32,614 laptop computers are being distributed to 34 mostly small, rural school districts throughout Florida and the Florida A&M University Developmental Research School.

Additional actions the State has taken to respond to COVID-19:

FLORIDA 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 a public call center for questions regarding COVID-19. The call center launched Monday, March 2, and is open 24/7.
  • 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 laboratory guidance regarding implementation of testing at State Public Health Laboratories.
  • Implemented private lab testing.
  • Developed and disseminated pandemic planning guidance.
  • Advised CHDs and HCCs to retain expired personal protective equipment until further notice.
  • Florida Department of Health is coordinating on mobile field hospital planning.

FLORIDA DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

  • Last week, the Florida Division of Emergency Management has made an unprecedented push of personal protective equipment (PPE) to first responders and health care workers. This includes:
    • 2 million masks,
    • 300,000 face shields,
    • More than 50,000 containers of hand sanitizer,
    • 500,000 shoe covers,
    • More than 100,000 gowns, and
    • 350,000 gloves.
  • With this push, the department will have sent out:
    • 2 million masks, including N-95, procedure and surgical masks
    • More than 500,000 face shields
    • 75 million gloves
    • 275,000 gowns
  • Find more information on DEM’s response to COVID-19 here.

FLORIDA AGENCY FOR HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION

  • The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has created new temporary Personal Care Attendant program to help long-term care facilities fill staffing shortages. The program provides an 8-hour training on assisting with direct care so that personal care attendants can temporarily perform additional duties.
  • AHCA has been working with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to ensure current Medicaid recipients maintain benefits during the state of emergency. Medicaid application deadlines have also been extended.
  • 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 5,000 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

  • The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has updated its dedicated compliance complaint form to include an option for reporting vacation rental compliance concerns. 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.

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

  • Governor DeSantis directed the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to request a federal waiver to permit the state to launch a pilot project that will allow Florida families to purchase groceries online with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.
  • The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has 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 has 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 closely aligned with CDC Interim Guidance on Management of COVID-19 in Correctional and Detention Facilities.
  • New inmate commitments from county jails 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.
  • FDC correctional officers are authorized to wear approved face coverings or masks while working.
  • FDC and PRIDE have begun the production of cloth face coverings for correctional officers and inmates.
  • Find more information on FDC’s response to COVID-19 here.

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

  • Governor Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced that 32,614 laptop computers are being distributed to 34 mostly small, rural school districts throughout Florida and the Florida A&M University Developmental Research School.
  • The Florida Department of Education (DOE) has delayed the deadline for teacher certification requirements and offered a fee waiver for testing. More than 22,000 teachers have taken advantage of the fee waiver so far.
  • DOE continues to participate in multiple webinars on a weekly basis to provide technical assistance to stakeholders and education providers for distance learning.
  • The Florida Department of Education (DOE) 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

  • The Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE) program is recording all of their specialty training classes online to ensure continued training for current and new volunteers.
  • Find more information on DOEA’s COVID-19 response here.

ENTERPRISE FLORIDA

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

  • Effective March 23, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has closed all Florida State Parks to the public. Park field staff are on site to maintain grounds.
  • Effective March 24, public access to lands within DEP’s Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas is closed. This includes state-owned uplands, such as beaches, islands, sand bars and emergent shoals within aquatic preserves. Vessel landings are strictly prohibited.
  • On April 1, DEP issued an Emergency Final Order (EFO) granting a 30-day extension to the deadline for its regulated facilities to submit routine paperwork and reports.
  • Florida State Parks are assisting with the Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ food and nutrition program by designating Weeki Wachee Springs State Park’s main parking lot as pick-up site for children’s meals until schools reopen.
  • DEP has identified 277 personnel to assist Florida’s Reemployment Assistance program with customer service and call center operations.
  • DEP has provided appropriate policy guidance and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) pertaining to solid waste and recycling operators, hazardous waste generators, recycling coordinators, and local program contractors.
  • Find more information on DEP’s response to COVID-19 here.

FLORIDA OFFICE OF FINANCIAL REGULATION

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.

FLORIDA OFFICE OF INSURANCE REGULATION

  • The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has issued Informational Memorandum OIR-20-06M providing guidance on the use of technology to help combat the spread of COVID-19, including encouraging insurers to broaden access to care for telehealth services, and requesting Pharmacy Benefit Managers to transition to an electronic audit process in order to avoid unnecessary risk and maintain social distancing.
  • OIR has issued Informational Memorandum OIR-20-05M reminding insurers of applicable statutes regarding workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurers are expected to comply with all of the provisions of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law.
  • 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-20-04M 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-20-02M as a reminder to all health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and other health entities to allow for early prescription refills.
  • Find more information on OIR’s COVID-19 response