City, county government dodge disaster, some tone deaf

Escambia County Update

Committee of the Whole scheduled for April 7 has been cancelled.

Plus: “Today, April 3, first responders from Escambia Fire Rescue and EMS participated in filming virtual story time for the community. Stay tuned to our Facebook page next week for more details.”

Really? What’s up next? A puppet show?  Concentrate on getting out the most facts and best data possible, not fluff.

Here’s what a county that takes the COVID-19 pandemic seriously looks like:

Miami-Dade County has launched a multi-week surveillance project to measure the rate of coronavirus exposure in the community and better direct resources to respond to the pandemic, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Friday.

“Our goal is to be able to get a snapshot of where the virus is going and how many people are reacting to it,” Gimenez said during a virtual press conference Friday.

Miami-Dade County, one of three communities that are conducting the surveillance, is “the largest by far that’s taken this endeavor on,” the mayor said.

The Florida Department of Health reported Wednesday that Miami-Dade County, with 3,029 cases of COVID-19, leads the state in the number of cases of the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Disaster Management Group, the South Florida-based business that developed the rapid blood test for the coronavirus that will be used in the study, partnered with the county on the project. The surveillance may allow the county to identify “clusters” of the virus, and could identify people who are infected but do not know it, Gimenez said.

“Having that information will allow us to get ahead of what’s happening on COVID-19 and can guide us as to how to best use our resources to stop the spread of this virus,” the mayor said.

Disaster Management Group is charging the county $17 per test for 20,000 tests, but the company agreed to kick in an additional 2,000 tests for free. The surveillance will track 750 test subjects, who will meet weekly over the course of the surveillance. A separate surveillance of first responders also will be conducted.

“All of us are moving in the dark somewhat in terms of understanding the true burden of coronavirus infection in our community,” University of Miami School of Medicine researcher Erin Kobetz said.

The surveillance will allow the county to estimate the burden of the disease, including among individuals who are asymptomatic.

“It will also help us understand how some of the initiatives that were put in place are affecting our curve of infection,” she added. —source: The News Service of Florida

County Administrator Janice Gilley likes to brag about her connections at the state level and with Broward County. Why couldn’t she make a friend with someone in Miami-Dade government?

Narrow Escape

Mayor Grover Robinson put dozens at city hall and at the county at risk by no going into self-isolation when his son was tested.  He could have decimated the leadership of the city of Pensacola and Escambia County.

As one official told me off-the-record, “This shit got real, real quick.”

Everyone needs to practice the physical distancing guidelines. Elected officials and others aren’t immune from the virus.

Here is the official announcement of the mayor’s test results:

Mayor Robinson Tests Negative for COVID-19

Mayor Grover Robinson has tested negative for COVID-19 after being tested today, Friday, April 3. Mayor Robinson was tested due to his son testing positive for COVID-19.Mayor Robinson will continue to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for two weeks, according to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with City of Pensacola policy.

In an abundance of caution, City Hall will be deep cleaned and sanitized over the weekend, in addition to the enhanced daily cleaning measures already taking place due to COVID-19.

Mayor Robinson has not exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19, and he will continue to be available to perform his job duties from home while quarantined as he is able.

The City of Pensacola will continue to provide services to the public.

The Charts

Over the last 24 hours, the state is up 1,260, total 10,268 cases. Escambia has a dozen more cases, total 113.

4/2/20 4/3/20
6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. Increase
Total Cases 9008 10268 1260 13.99%
Florida Residents 8694 9925 1231 14.16%
Non-Fla. 314 343 29 9.24%
Deaths 144 170 26 18.06%
Hospital Admin 1334
Escambia 101 113 12 11.88%
Okaloosa 51 54 3 5.88%
Santa Rosa 47 48 1 2.13%
Broward 1481 1598 117 7.90%


Hospital Deaths
Escambia 5 0
Okaloosa 8 1
Santa Rosa 7 2

Top 20 Counties

Rank County Population Cases Per 30K
1 Dade     2,715,516 3364           37.16
2 Broward        924,229 1598           51.87
3 Palm Beach     1,446,277 858           17.80
4 Orange     1,321,194 602           13.67
5 Hillsborough     1,378,883 463           10.07
6 Duval        924,229 323           10.48
7 Pinellas        957,875 318             9.96
8 Lee        718,679 304           12.69
9 Collier        363,922 203           16.73
10 Osceola        338,619 201           17.81
11 Seminole        455,086 163           10.75
12 Polk        668,671 126             5.65
13 Volusia        527,634 125             7.11
14 Sarasota        412,144 124             9.03
15 St. Johns        235,503 119           15.16
16 Escambia        311,522 113           10.88
17 Alachua        263,148 110           12.54
18 Manatee        373,853 104             8.35
19 Lake        335,362 88             7.87
20 Sumter        120,999 68           16.86

Top 20 Cities – per capita Florida residents

FL Residents
Rank City, County Population Cases Per 10K
1 Naples, Collier          21,564 162 75
2 Miami, Dade        451,214 1959 43
3 Miami Beach, Dade          91,826 310 34
4 Hollywood, Broward        151,056 508 34
5 Kissimmee, Osceola          69,833 153 22
6 Fort Lauderdale, Broward        178,783 381 21
7 Boynton Beach, Palm Bch          75,720 140 18
8 Delray Beach, Palm Beach          67,353 124 18
9 Homestead, Dade          68,424 123 18
10 Hialeah, Dade        237,285 408 17
11 Boca Raton, Palm Bch          95,745 160 17
12 Fort Myers, Lee          76,591 121 16
13 Orlando, Orange        275,690 432 16
14 Pensacola, Escambia          52,562 80 15
15 North Miami, Dade          61,435 70 11
16 W. Palm Beach, Palm Bch        108,855 109 10
17 Tampa, Hillsborough        376,345 314 8
18 Miramar, Broward        138,168 91 7
19 Pompano Beach, Broward        108,855 71 7
20 Gainesville, Alachua        130,790 85 6

DeSantis Launches Survey

On Friday, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced the launch of a new community action survey, StrongerThanC-19, designed to aid Florida as the state continues to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Ron DeSantis said, “In addition to helping our state better identify and predict coronavirus trends in Florida, the StrongerThanC-19 community action survey will also guide users through the next ‘STEPS’ of preparedness and prevention measures. This will serve as another crucial instrument in helping to reinforce Florida’s ongoing efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 across the state.”

The StrongerThanC-19 community action survey is designed to gather information to help the Department track and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Florida; it is not a symptom checker designed to dispense medical advice. The StrongerThanC-19 community action survey is free to use and can be accessed by visiting:

Mayor’s Pressers Go Virtual

Mayor Grover Robinson will host his weekly press conference virtually via Microsoft Teams on Monday, April 6, 2020.

The media may join the press conference at this link starting at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

How to Participate:

  • Download the Microsoft Teams App on mobile or access Microsoft Teams from a desktop computer. (It is recommended that participants familiarize themselves with Microsoft Teams at least 15 minutes before the meeting in case there are any technical issues.)
  • Join the live meeting starting at 9:30 a.m. Monday, April 6.
  • Members of the media may comment their questions using the Q&A function during the question portion of the press conference.
  • To avoid questions being asked simultaneously, Public Information Officer Kaycee Lagarde will read questions aloud to Mayor Robinson via the Q&A function in Microsoft Teams.

The press conference will not be live streamed, but it will be recorded and made available to the public via YouTube and Mayor Robinson’s Facebook page following the live press conference.

To view minimum hardware requirements for Microsoft Teams, visit