The Emergency Meeting held Friday, March 13th, related to the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.
Mayor Helen Miller, our Fire Chief and Police Chief were among those who had a teleconference with Senator Rick Scot. Senator Scott mentioned they are attempting to secure the funding for mobile testing so that they may serve rural communities. Currently our National Representatives are conferring with Australia, South Korea and Taiwan because these countries have it right and have stopped the spreading of the virus.
Our Fire and Police first responders have been attempting to secure supplies so they are protected. However, these supplies have been going directly to larger metropolitan areas where the virus has spread. There will be no supplies available until sometime in April. Chief Pittman was apprised by Mayor Miller to coordinate with Manager Tommie Jones to secure the necessary kits even if one has to go to Australia. These suppliers of isolation kits are working overtime to distribute these supplies and there are many on back order as of now 90 days or more.
The Isolation Kits which Mr. Pittman is talking about consists of a disposable coat, a mask, and two pair of gloves. After responding to someone suspected of having the Coronavirus, the coat, gloves and mask are then removed and placed in the hazmat container of an ambulance. Even if the kits are not used but purchased, with the high humidity and heat, the Coronavirus could dissipate now but return again in the fall.
This is for your future health and welfare.
Wear a mask when interacting with others while shopping or attending church services, etc.
Continually wash your hands for at least 20 seconds via National News but it is now suggested one should wash their hands for two minutes. at a time. Liquid anti-bacterial soap is better than bar soap which can hold germs. Many suggested “Dial” antibacterial soap.
Instead of using sponges and cloths, use paper towels to disinfect. My suggestion is VIVA cloth towels which are the strongest.
If touching those items others have touched like grocery carts, doors, shelves, etc. clothing at stores, etc, make certain you do not touch your eyes, face, nose or mouth, and use anti-bacterial products or wash your hands in a restroom.
Increase social distancing and it is necessary to postpone gatherings.
Fire Chief Pittman indicated that some dispatchers will advise the first responders in advance, after finding that the person calling in has coronavirus symptoms and it is hoped Hamilton County will do so as well.
Jim smith indicated that all elder care are locked down because they are concerned about liability stemming from the virus. He indicated his mother is now in Elder care and anyone coming to the facility is required to have their temperature taken immediately and are checked for symptoms. Those who are sitters have to get checked for Tuberculosis and are required to have a Level II background and are checked for coughs and fever.
We have a high population of elderly people who are dying from the virus; others are getting over it. Years ago 60,000 people died from the flue
There are no cases in Hamilton County as of yet, but Alachua has two cases. Much of the precautions are common sense like making certain you are always washing your hands. Vice Mayor McKenzie listed numerous closures including but not limited to Nascar, the NBA, schools including the University of Florida, All Concerts, events at the Villages, Gainesville Art Festival, etc, and that is the reason all committee members and the council voted to postpone the Wild Azalea Festival.
For those Vendors who have sent in money, they may elect to have their money reimbursed now, or retain it until a future time when the event will be held. Those purchasing tickets likewise may request their money back or those ticket may be held until a future date.
All Florida Schools are closed for the next two weeks as are the State Parks.
All paper will be removed from the front entry of Town Hall and all counters will be wiped with disinfectant so as to ward off any bacteria which may cause the virus.
It may be mentioned that notices of our upcoming election will be advertised in the newspaper after those that wish to run have qualified. Currently, the town has postings on the bulletin board.