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The State of Florida Issues COVID-19 Updates
May 20, 2020
Contact: Joint Information Center on COVID-19 for the State of Florida (850) 815-4940, ESF14@em.myflorida.com
The State of Florida Issues COVID-19 Updates
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 continue to issue this update every day through Phase 1 of Florida’s reopening plan. Once the state moves into Phase 2, DOH will provide 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.
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis joined Vice President Mike Pence at an economic roundtable with state tourism and hospitality leaders in Orlando to discuss plans to safely re-open the state.
The roundtable discussion is available here.
Governor DeSantis and Vice President Pence also visited a long-term care facility in Orlando to deliver PPE and discuss Florida’s continued commitment to protecting long-term care facility residents and staff from the further spread of COVID-19 statewide.
Recent actions the state has taken to respond to COVID-19:
- At the direction of Governor DeSantis, the state has established 15 drive-thru and 15 walk-up testing sites across the state, with more coming online. More than 196,000 people have been tested at these sites. Floridians can find a site near them here.
- Approximately 2,177 Florida National Guardsmen (FLNG) are mobilized to support Florida’s response to COVID-19. FLNG has expanded its support to mobile testing teams and the community-based and walk-up test sites. To date, the FLNG has assisted in the testing of more than 235,500 individuals for the COVID-19 virus.
- The Florida Department of Transportation is leading the coordination of the Department of Health and the Florida Highway Patrol to implement Executive Order 20-86. To date, more than 38,200 traveler forms have been collected at the I-10 and I-95 checkpoints. To date, more than 38,300 traveler forms have been collected at public use airports across the state.
Additional actions the state has taken to respond to COVID-19:
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
- To date, the Florida Department of Health has reported more than 1,000 contact tracers who are assisting with COVID-19 efforts across the state.
- DOH announced that the list of long-term care facilities in Florida associated with COVID-19 cases will now include active cases in each facility in order to provide real-time data. The list of long-term care facilities with active COVID-19 cases is available here.
- DOH is providing a report detailing surveillance data for every Florida county. Previously, this information was only available for select communities. The surveillance data report is available here.
- At the direction of Governor DeSantis, State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees declared a Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 in Florida.
- DOH established a public call center for questions regarding COVID-19. The call center launched Monday, March 2, and is open 24/7.
- DOH established mechanisms for monitoring and coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding epidemiological activities.
- DOH 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.
- DOH approved and disseminated an updated Clinician Screening Tool for identifying COVID-19 PUIs.
- DOH implemented testing at all three State Public Health Laboratories and distributed updated laboratory guidance regarding implementation of testing at State Public Health Laboratories.
- DOH has worked to implement additional private lab testing.
- DOH has developed and disseminated pandemic planning guidance.
- Advised CHDs and HCCs to retain expired personal protective equipment until further notice.
- DOH is continuing support for long-term care facilities with REST teams. DOH strike teams have completed assessments for 3,874 long term care facilities to determine immediate unmet needs and promote appropriate infection control practices.
- DOH strike teams are continuing to respond to long term care facilities with COVID-19 positive patients.
- In an effort to increase testing, Governor DeSantis has directed Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees on an emergency temporary basis to allow licensed pharmacists in Florida to order and administer COVID-19 tests.
- DOH is working with Florida’s Board of Pharmacy and Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation on mobile pharmacy compliance guidance.
FLORIDA DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
- To date, the Florida Division of Emergency Management has sent the following PPE to support health care workers and first responders:
- 26 million masks
- More than 10.4 million gloves
- Nearly 1.7 million face shields
- More than 1.1 million shoe covers
- More than 465,000 gowns
- More than 200,000 containers of hand sanitizer
- Nearly 90,000 goggles
- 39,000 coveralls
- For long-term care facilities alone, the Division has sent:
- More than 10 million masks
- 1 million gloves
- More than 500,000 face shields
- 160,000 gowns
- The Florida Division of Emergency Management has launched a website to track the mobile lab that is testing long-term care facilities across the state. The website is available here.
- At the direction of Governor DeSantis, the state has established 15 drive-thru and 15 walk-up testing sites across the state, with more coming online. More than 196,000 people have been tested at these sites. Floridians can find a site near them here.
- Find more information on DEM’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA AGENCY FOR HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION
- On May 13, AHCA issued Emergency Order NO. 20-003 providing financial relief to nursing homes and Intermediate Care Facilities during the state’s public health emergency. The emergency order extends the deadlines for March and April 2020 Quality Assessment payments until June 15, 2020 for Intermediate Care Facilities, and June 20, 2020 for nursing homes.
- The Agency for Health Care Administration issued Emergency Rule 59AER20-2 and Emergency Rule 59AER20-3. These rules require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to grant access to the Florida Department of Health or their authorized representative for the purpose infection prevention and control, including mandated COVID-19 testing of both on-duty and off-duty staff when arranged by the Department.
- At the direction of Governor DeSantis, AHCA issued Emergency Rule 59AER20-1 on May 5 requiring COVID-19 testing by hospitals of all patients, regardless of symptoms, prior to discharge to long-term care facilities.
- AHCA sent out an email to nursing homes requiring the transfer of residents with verified or suspected cases if these facilities cannot appropriately isolate and adhere to the CDC recommendations for COVID-19 response.
- AHCA issued a provider alert announcing additional flexibilities within the Medicaid program made at the direction of Governor DeSantis. Authorization requirements and services limits for medically necessary behavioral health care for are now waived.
- On April 14, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) issued Emergency Order AHCA 20-002 to temporarily suspend nursing home and Intermediate Care Facility assessment payments for March 2020 to help alleviate financial burdens. This EO suspension aims to alleviate financial burdens incurred at these facilities due to COVID-19.
- AHCA has created a 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 more than 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 AHCA’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION
- On May 18, DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears presented information on Governor DeSantis’s full phase one reopening plan to the Florida Chamber of Commerce during their local chamber webinar. Secretary Beshears addressed the reopening plan as it pertained to vacation rentals and restaurants.
- The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has distributed documents titled Additional Information for Barbershops and Cosmetology Salons Pursuant to Executive Order 20-120 and FAQs for Executive Order 20-120 – Expanding Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery pursuant to Executive Order (EO-20-120). These documents offer additional information on the Executive Order as well as guidelines for barbershops, cosmetology salons and cosmetology specialty salons.
- DBPR issued emergency order EO 2020-05, which suspends existing license renewal deadlines until June 1, 2020, for existing renewals between March – May 2020. It also applies to continuing education requirements and waives all late fees.
- Find more information on DBPR’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
- As part of her Hope for Healing Florida initiative, First Lady Casey DeSantis recently announced that the Department of Children and Families (DCF) will be receiving a $1.9 million emergency grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which will provide crisis counseling and other mental health support for Floridians impacted by COVID-19.
- Per DCF’s request, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Florida’s waiver to permit the state to launch a pilot project that will allow families to purchase groceries online with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card beginning April 21, 2020.
- Under Governor DeSantis’ direction, DCF has temporarily increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients’ benefit amount to the maximum monthly allotment based on household size through May 2020.
- DCF worked with the Department of Health (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.
- Find more information on DCF’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
- The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) has distributed cloth face coverings to all correctional officers and inmates at correctional institutions statewide.
- FDC is closely aligned with the 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.
- Find more information on FDC’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
- To comply with federal law, beginning May 10, 2020, individuals with Reemployment Assistance claims will be required to return to the CONNECT system every two weeks to request their benefits. For more information, click here.
- Governor Ron DeSantis has directed DEO to continue waiving the work search and work registration requirements for claimants through May 30, 2020.
- The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program that provides unemployment benefits to those that may not otherwise be eligible under Florida’s state Reemployment Assistance program is available. Eligibility includes independent contractors, gig workers and individuals who are self-employed. Working Floridians who have been impacted by COVID-19 and believe they may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, can visit org and select "File a Claim" to apply and be considered for PUA. Individuals may also call 1-833-FL-Apply (1-833-352-7759) for any questions they may have.
- Beginning April 20, DEO will provide updates on the efforts made to address the challenges to Florida’s Reemployment Assistance program in response to COVID-19. This includes a new State Reemployment Assistance Claims Dashboard that will be updated daily to reflect the total number of Reemployment Assistance Claims submitted, verified, processed and paid.
- DEO announced more than 1,000 small businesses have been awarded more than $49 million from the Florida Small Emergency Bridge Loan program.
- The Business Damage Assessment survey is activated and continues to accept surveys to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations and determine the appropriate actions for recovery. Click here to access the survey.
- Find more information on DEO’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
- On May 13, 2020, Florida Education Commissioner Corcoran issued Emergency Order 2020-EO-02 that:
- Extends Professional and Temporary Educator Certificates expiring on June 30, 2020, to December 31, 2020.
- Suspends the requirement for school districts to conduct annual evaluations for teachers and administrators for the 2019-20 school year;
- Extends deadlines for English Language Learners to exit ESOL programs and suspends date of providing or extending services until schools re-open;
- Suspends requirement for districts to determine how to meet differentiated pay requirements for teachers on the performance pay schedule;
- Suspends testing requirement to student eligibility into college-credit dual enrollment courses;
- Extends deadlines related to Individual Educational Plans;
- Extends deadlines for provisional and annual licenses issued by the Commission for Independent Education; and
- Allows remote assessment for determining eligibility and priority for Vocational Rehabilitation services.
- The Department of Education’s (DOE) Office of Early Learning, in coordination with local early learning coalitions, has prioritized and increased access to childcare services for first responders and health care professionals by creating an expedited referral process to swiftly provide priority access.
- Florida College System institutions and private institutions across the state have donated more than 130 ventilators typically used in medical training programs to local hospitals, community medical centers and other facilities.
- Since April 1, 2020, when DOE announced the waiver of certification exam fees, more than 31,000 educators have signed up to take the Florida Teacher Certification Examination using the waiver. This translates into over 62,000 actual exam registrations for a savings value of more than $8 million for Florida educators.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Florida Virtual School has created the Online Learning Community with engaging and informative content for teachers and parents of K-12 students.
- Governor Ron DeSantis and Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran recommended that all Florida public and private K-12 schools continue distance learning and keep school campuses closed through June 3, the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. DOE has compiled dozens of free distance learning resources on its emergency response page
- Find more information on DOE’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ELDER AFFAIRS
- The Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ (DOEA) 11 Areas Agencies on Aging provided over 428,000 meals throughout the state last week, including over 94,000 from the Restaurant Meal Initiative. The weekly meal delivery represents a 223% increase over a week of meals served pre-COVID19.
- DOEA’s restaurant meal initiative has served 312,850 meals through 83 participating restaurants over the span of one month.
- The Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) received USDA meal waiver extensions that allow non-congregate feeding and meal-time flexibility through August 31, 2020.The waiver to allow meal pattern flexibility has been extended through June 30, 2020.
- DOEA provided technical assistance to AAAs regarding shopping assistance, meals, service delivery, telephone reassurance, and the restaurant meal initiative.
- Pursuant to Executive Order 20-52 issued by Governor DeSantis, DOEA issued Emergency Order 20-01 on March 31 pertaining to in-person guardian visitation requirements where COVID-19 response and mitigation measures prevent such visits.
- DOEA issued Guidance in furtherance of Order 20-01 on March 31 for Public and Professional Guardians to remain in compliance with Florida Statute 744.361(14).
- DOEA has created a dedicated webpage to provide resources on COVID-19 including: tips for caregivers, information on closures of senior centers and adult day care centers, and alternative services for congregate meal sites.
- Find more information on DOEA’s COVID-19 response here.
- Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) recently launched a virtual trade grant program to help Florida companies do business overseas as international travel is restricted. Businesses interested in learning more about the new Virtual Business Matchmaking service should contact one of EFI’s Regional Trade Managers.
- EFI conducted regional calls with stakeholders across the state this week to identify ideas for long-range economic recovery.
- EFI suspended initial fees for its Microfinance Loan Guarantee Program to support Florida’s small business community impacted by COVID-19. Interested businesses must apply through a local lender. For further information please contact your lender or visit Enterprise Florida’s website.
- See resources compiled by EFI for businesses impacted by COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
- To date, 90 percent of Florida State Parks have been partially opened. To continue social distancing and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, each open park has unique procedures in place. See the latest park and trail information here.
- Florida State Park camping reservations remain closed through May 20, and cabin reservations remain closed through May 31. Existing reservation during this timeframe will be automatically canceled and fully refunded through ReserveAmerica. In the next few days, those with cancelled reservations will receive a confirmation email with the details of their refund.
- Areas of Florida State Parks managed by the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection (ORCP) have been partially reopened, including remote access trails, beaches, and boat ramps at the Research Reserves. Islands, beaches, and submerged lands within the Aquatic Preserves are being re-opened in accordance with local ordinances. See current information on ORCP-managed lands here.
- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) extended the Emergency Final Order (EFO) granting a 30-day extension to the deadline for its regulated facilities to submit routine paperwork and reports through Sunday, May 31.
- Find more information on DEP’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA OFFICE OF FINANCIAL REGULATION
- The Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) issued Emergency Order 2020-03 temporarily expanding the motor vehicle retail installment initial payment rule.
- OFR issued Emergency Order 2020-02 extending certain filing deadlines for Florida’s financial services providers.
- OFR issued Emergency Order 2020-01 extending certain renewal deadlines for money services businesses.
- OFR provided guidance for consumer finance businesses and professionals.
- OFR has provided guidance and an operational update for Florida’s securities businesses and professionals.
- OFR has provided informational guidance and an update to Florida’s financial institutions.
- OFR has created helpful resource lists for businesses and individuals to contact their financial services providers:
- Find more information on OFR’s COVID-19 response here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAY SAFETY AND MOTOR VEHICLES
- At the direction of Governor DeSantis, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) issued an Emergency Order extending all Florida driver licenses, commercial driver licenses and identification cards that expire March 16 through May 31, 2020.
- The Florida Highway Patrol is assisting with the implementation and enforcement of Executive Order 20-86 at the direction of Governor DeSantis.
- 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
- As part of its ongoing effort to keep policyholders informed, OIR has published a list of resources to connect Florida policyholders with assistance being offered by insurers in response to COVID-19.
- 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 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF JUVENILE JUSTICE
- The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is continuing to suspend visitation at all state-operated juvenile detention centers and juvenile residential commitment programs until May 15, 2020.
- DJJ has also instituted additional screening measures for essential personnel and vendors within juvenile facilities.
- Find more information on DJJ’s COVID-19 response here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is working with the Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida Police Chiefs Association on traffic assistance at testing/collection sites statewide.
- FDLE continues to work with the Florida Police Chiefs Association and the Florida Sheriffs Association to monitor law enforcement staffing impacts and staffing needs due to COVID-19.
- FDLE and FHP continue to facilitate the escort of testing collection kits statewide.
- FDLE continues to work with the Florida Sheriffs Association and Florida Police Chiefs Association to provide support to FHP at I-10 and I-95 checkpoints.
- FDLE continues to work with ESF-16 partners on airport screening missions.
- Find more information on FDLE’s COVID-19 response here.
- Effective March 23, Florida Lottery Headquarters and district offices are closed to the public until further notice.
- Find more information on the Florida Lottery’s COVID-19 response here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT SERVICES
- The Department of Management Services (DMS) launched a dedicated telework page with resources and tutorials for employees and employers operating in a remote work environment.
- At the Governor’s direction, DMS Secretary Jonathan Satter issued an emergency order to ensure federal benefits granted through The Families First Coronavirus Response Act are available to employees.
- As directed in Executive Order 20-52, DMS has amended the state employee health plan benefits plan documents to expand covered telehealth benefits at no additional employee cost.
- Also directed in Executive Order 20-52, DMS has amended the state employee health plan benefits plan documents to cover immunizations at participating in-network retail pharmacies at no cost to the member during this public health emergency.
- Find more information on DMS’ COVID-19 response here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AFFAIRS
- Approximately 2,177 Florida National Guardsmen (FLNG) are mobilized to support Florida’s response to COVID-19.
- FLNG has expanded its support to mobile testing teams and the community-based and walk-up test sites. To date, the FLNG has assisted in the testing of more than 235,500 individuals for the COVID-19 virus.
- FLNG continues to support the state's COVID-19 response through augmentation to airport screening measures, statewide logistics support, coordination, planning and operational mission sets.
- Find more information on DMA’s response to COVID-19 here.
AGENCY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
- The Bread of the Mighty Food Bank hosted a drive-through food giveaway for Tachachale Developmental Disability Center (DDC) employees in Gainesville in honor of their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) sent out a Guidance Booklet to Providers and Waiver Support Coordinators recently to outline waiver changes and flexibilities as a result of COVID-19. It also included information on infection control measures and recommended actions when faced with various scenarios.
- APD is distributing washable face masks donated by The Family Care Council to providers and customers living in APD group homes.
- APD issued Emergency Order 20-03, which temporarily suspends face to face visits to administer the Questionnaire for Situational Information to determine the level of need of APD customers.
- Find more information on APD’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
- The Department of Revenue (DOR) has issued an emergency order extending certain corporate income tax (CIT) due dates. For corporations with a fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2019, the due date for Florida CIT payments is extended to June 1, 2020. For corporations with fiscal years ending Dec. 31, 2019, Jan. 31, 2020, or Feb. 29, 2020, the due date for Florida CIT returns is extended to August 3, 2020. The due dates for Florida CIT payments for corporations with fiscal years ending Jan. 31 or Feb. 29, 2020, remain June 1, 2020 and July 1, 2020, respectively.
- DOR has created a dedicated webpage for child support customers who have questions about the child support offset for Economic Impact Payments under the CARES Act. Under federal law, these payments are subject to federal offset for persons who owe past-due support.
- DOR has a dedicated COVID-19 webpage for tax-related questions and information.
- The department also has a dedicated COVID-19 webpage for child support customers and alternative options for handling many child support case activities without visiting an office.
- Find more information on DOR’s response to COVID-19 here.
- More than half of CareerSource Florida’s 24 local workforce development boards are now open by appointment to assist job seekers and businesses with employment needs, especially those dealing with impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CareerSource Heartland, serving DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands and Okeechobee counties, plans to open by appointment on May 26.
- Remaining boards will open by June 1, pending receipt of personal protective equipment and completion of safety protocol training to protect customers and employees.
- The CareerSource Florida network has continued to provide employment and business services virtually, via telephone, by email and by appointment in some locations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 315,976 job seekers served
- 14,124 job seekers placed in employment
- 19,125 businesses served
- 1,300 job seekers enrolled in training
- 51,000 new jobs posted
- By the numbers, from March 1-May13:
- The state workforce board and all 24 local workforce development boards are providing paper Reemployment Assistance applications at career centers and printable applications on their websites as well as assisting with CONNECT PIN resets and processing PEGA applications.
- Florida’s local workforce development boards are working with community partners, libraries, local legislators and other organizations for additional application distribution.
- CareerSource Florida has launched an integrated public and business outreach campaign, Help is Here, a comprehensive resource for employment and business services.
- For a list of Florida’s local workforce development boards and their contact information, please click here.
STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF FLORIDA
- The State University System Task Force has been working to issue guidance for reopening university campuses in the fall. Board of Governors’ chair Syd Kitson has directed State University System Chancellor, Marshall Criser III, to develop guidelines to present to the Board of Governors at a public meeting on May 28, 2020. Universities will then present their individual plans, based on these guidelines, to the Board of Governors at a board meeting on June 23, 2020.
- The State University System (SUS) has directed all state universities to continue remote instruction through the end of the spring semester.
- The SUS has directed that traditional on-campus commencement ceremonies will not be held in May. Instead, each university is directed to develop an alternate schedule or method of delivery.
- Find more information on SUS’ response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
- Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-97, delaying elections in Pasco County at the request of Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley.
- On April 6, Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee announced the issuance of an emergency order and emergency rules to extend annual report filing deadlines for business entities, as well as outline changes to the candidate petition and candidate qualifying processes.
- Find more information on the Florida Department of State’s Response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
- Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Thibault announced the opening of five new Interstate 4 (I-4)/State Road (S.R.) 408 flyover ramps. This work was completed more than three months ahead of schedule and increases safety and mobility in the heart of Florida.
- Due to continued lower traffic volumes as a result of COVID-19, FDOT expedited more than 40 additional critical transportation projects by at least 650 total contract days, while also providing essential jobs to Floridians.
- FDOT Secretary Thibault and staff joined the Florida Trucking Association and the Florida Highway Patrol to hand out 500 meals to Florida’s truck drivers.
- Governor Ron DeSantis announced that FDOT is expediting several infrastructure projects throughout the state due to the reduction in traffic from COVID-19. Find more information about FDOT’s accelerated projects here.
- FDOT is leading the coordination of DOH and the Florida Highway Patrol to implement Executive Order 20-86. To date, more than 38,200 traveler forms have been collected at the I-10 and I-95 checkpoints.
- FDOT continues to coordinate with seaports across the state to monitor port activity.
- FDOT continues to coordinate with public use airports, DOH and law enforcement to implement Executive Order 20-80. To date, more than 38,300 traveler forms have been collected at public use airports across the state.
- Find more information on FDOT’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS’ AFFAIRS
- The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) has restricted visitor access to its state veterans’ homes until further notice, with the exception of essential visitors. In addition, admissions in our network of state veterans’ homes are temporarily suspended.
- Veterans who are concerned they may have symptoms of COVID-19, flu or cold should call the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center toll free at (877) 741-3400 before coming to a VA facility. Clinicians are available to provide 24/7 virtual care and support, including nurse advice and triage.
- To contact a teleworking FDVA Veterans’ Claims Examiner, call (727) 319-7440 or email VSO@fdva.state.fl.us.
- Find more information on FDVA’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) continues to be in close communication with the Governor’s Office, the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding the most recent COVID-19 status and guidance.
- Find more information on FWC’s response to COVID-19 here.
FLORIDA HOUSING FINANCE CORPORATION
- The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) issued an Emergency Rule to property owners and managers to suspend rent increases during this public health emergency on properties funded by Florida Housing. Those who choose to implement rent increases that impact residents during this global pandemic could result in consequences for future funding opportunities with Florida Housing.
- As Florida Housing continues to be committed to the health and well-being of all Floridians, we have compiled a list of resources with relevant information for homeowners, residents, developers, apartment owners, management companies, participating lenders, Realtors and SHIP administrators regarding COVID-19.
- Find more information on Florida Housing’s response to COVID-19 here.
- VISIT FLORIDA’s four welcome centers are closed until further notice. VISIT FLORIDA welcome center staff members have been trained to provide customer service support for the Department of Economic Opportunity and are assisting with the influx of inquiries and calls from impacted businesses and workers throughout the state.
- Find more information on VISIT FLORIDA’s response to COVID-19 here.
- Volunteer Florida announced the availability of $300,000 in AmeriCorps Planning Grants to support organizations interested in implementing an AmeriCorps program that addresses a critical community need caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations interested in applying for this planning grant should respond to the notice of funding by Thursday, June 18 at 5 pm (ET).
- As the lead agency for volunteerism and service, Volunteer Florida is working to support voluntary organizations across the state and nation by sharing resources, surveying needs and requesting that continuity of operations plans be created to avoid any service delivery disruption.
- Find more information on Volunteer Florida’s response to COVID-19 here.
About the Florida Department of Health
The Florida Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.