(update 6/12/2020 at 8:00 pm)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The State of Florida is responding to COVID-19. As of Friday, June 5 the state has moved into Phase 2 of Florida’s reopening plan. The Florida Department of Health will now issue this update once per week. However, DOH will continue to update the COVID-19 dashboard and post the state report daily.
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.
This week, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the state of Florida’s plan to disburse up to $1.275 billion in CARES Act funds to counties with a population below 500,000. Using a phased approach, the Florida Division of Emergency Management will distribute funds to the remaining counties, beginning with an initial disbursement of 25% of each county’s allocation. Learn more here.
This week, Governor DeSantis and Commissioner Richard Corcoran also announced recommendations for local communities to consider as they finalize plans to reopen safe and healthy schools that are set up for success. This plan outlines nearly $475 million in state directed education financial assistance provided to Florida through the CARES Act. More information on the recommendations can be found here.
Recent actions the state has taken to respond to COVID-19:
- The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced that they partnered with Home Depot and Quest Diagnostics to create three additional testing sites. Locations are available here.
- To date, the Division has sent the following PPE to support health care workers and first responders:
- More than 30.5 million masks
- More than 11.2 million gloves
- Nearly 1.7 million face shields
- More than 1.1 million shoe covers
- More than 1.4 million gowns
- More than 91 thousand goggles
- Nearly 54 thousand coveralls
- To date, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has made more than 1,600 onsite visits to facilities and more than 21,000 telephone calls to residential providers statewide to provide support and determine emergent needs of facilities.
- The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) issued Emergency Order 2020-08 which extends the deadlines for examination eligibility and licensure eligibility through December 31, 2020, for professional licenses regulated pursuant to Chapter 455, Florida Statutes, and the related professional practice acts. The Order supersedes section 4 of DBPR Emergency Order 2020-03, which had previously extended these deadlines through May 31, 2020.
- Governor Ron DeSantis has directed the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to continue waiving the work search and work registration requirements for claimants through July 4, 2020. Additionally, the waiting week requirement will continue to be waived through August 1, 2020.
- Florida Education Commissioner Corcoran issued Emergency Order 2020-EO-04 and 2020-EO-05 that:
- Provides students will pathways to meet eligibility requirements for the Bright Future Scholarship including flexibility to satisfy volunteer hour requirements and extends the date a student can take the SAT and ACT.
- Provides greater flexibility for early learning providers to deliver high quality summer instruction and recovery services.
- The Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) Restaurant Meal Initiative, when combined with traditional meal delivery, has increased over 200 percent, and the total number of DOEA restaurant meals alone stands at over 690,000.
- The Administration for Community Living (ACL) Assistant Secretary for Aging Lance Robertson provided an update on DOEA COVID-19 efforts to the Florida Aging Network.
- DOEA participated in a consultation group roundtable call with Region IV of the State Units on Aging (SUA) and the SUA Directors for the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
- DOEA distributed a Mental Health Campaign entitled, “Talk It Out” to the Executive Directors of all 11 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA).
- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) continues to implement