The Escambia/Santa Rosa County Medical Society sent a letter to the Escambia Board of County Commissioners asking that the board keep the county beaches closed. The letter cited a recent poll of local physicians that revealed 85% of them favored keeping the local beaches closed “until the current crisis has passed.”
“Opening our local beaches prematurely would increase opportunities for community transmission while also potentially attracting travelers who are COVID-19 positive,” wrote Dr. Karen Snow, the society’s president. “Policing safe social distancing would distract law enforcement for other priority missions.”
Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola, Baptist Health Care, Florida Academy of Family Physicians, Medical Center Clinic, West Florida Hospital and Woodlands Medical Specialist were listed as organizations supporting society’s position. Read Medical Society Letter.
Reopening the beaches is on tonight’s county commission agenda.
Commissioner Doug Underhill has sent a mass email to county voters in support of opening the local beaches, Commissioner Lumon May has stayed firm on keeping the beaches closed until the medical experts recommend otherwise. Commissioner Robert Bender told the News Journal he believes the beaches should remain closed at this time.
Last week, Commissioner Jeff Bergosh said he favored reopening the beaches, but it appears his stance may have changed.
At his virtual “Coffee with the Commissioner,” Bergosh said,”Well obviously, this last week we’ve gone up exponentially in the number of cases. I’m more concerned than I was before, and I was very concerned then.”
He explained the conversation he had with Dr. John Lanza, director of health department in Escambia County, at his March 25 virtual coffee.
“If you go back and watch that video in its entirety, the context of that conversation with Dr. Lanza was being out in the open, getting sunshine, getting vitamin D,” he said. “The conversation was, ‘Hey, it’s good to be out. If you can get out, our parks are open, get out to the parks.’ And then I just asked, I said, ‘Well, are beaches the biggest park? Is there a difference?’ Scientifically, there isn’t. ”
He continued, “The issue is, I think where all the consternation is, is folks are afraid that if we open that beach, we’re going to open the floodgates, because all the other beaches in our areas are closed, and everyone is going to come to our beach, and I get that. I think anything that we do, we have to be very thoughtful in the consideration of it. It can’t just be a knee jerk.”
Bergosh said, “For me, from my vote, it’s going to be in conjunction with the experts, the health experts.”
While Underhill’s email got him media attention, it appears to have had little impact on his fellow commissioners. We will find out tonight.
Inweekly/Political Matrix polled 815 likely Escambia County voters regarding the coronavirus Covid 19 Coronavirus amnd compared the results to a similar poll we did on March 15. The study found the percentage of people who feel safe from the virus has dropped significantly. Two weeks ago 75% felt safe, today only 56.8% feel safe.
On a scale of 1 to 6 with 1 being extremely safe and 6 being extremely unsafe; how safe from the coronavirus Covid 19 do you feel?
The persons sampled were likely Escambia County voters with a voting score of 100% for the general election cycles. The voters called had cell phones and landlines and were called using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system during the hours of 5-8 p.m. from March 25 to March 30, 2020. The Margin of Error for this study is +/ 3.5% with a confidence level of 95%.
7th Annual Foo Foo Festival Canceled Due to COVID-19
12-Day Coastal Cultural Celebration to Resume Nov. 4-15, 2021
The nonprofit organization, Art, Culture, and Entertainment, Inc. (ACE), today announces the 7th Annual Foo Foo Festival slated for November 5-16, 2020 has been canceled due to the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The Foo Foo Festival will resume November 4-15, 2021 in Pensacola, Fla.
“Our board voted unanimously to suspend Foo Foo Festival this year in light of the pandemic,” said David Bear, trustee emeritus for Art, Culture, and Entertainment, Inc. “The timing for committing financially for 2020 is now and we felt it would be irresponsible to begin our process during this uncertain and precarious time. We look forward to getting back to business as usual next year.”
Small Business Help
As city and county try figure how to implement the governor’s Safe-at-Home order, FloridaWest has been monitoring local, state and federal COVID-19 emergency responses and executive orders, to specifically understand how they will support or impact our local business and industry.
“In anticipation of additional governmental recommendation to “stay at home”, FloridaWest, along with the Florida Chamber of Commerce have been advocating for the use of the adoption of the “Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response,” FloridaWest CEO Scott Luth shared with Inweekly late Wednesday. Link https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce.
“FloridaWest would like to thank Governor DeSantis for including that definition in his executive order,” he said. “We encourage all of our local employers to read the executive order, its attachments, and the CISA documents to determine if your business and your employees meet the definition of ‘Essential Services.'”
He added, “We are also encouraging businesses to draft a letter on company letterhead for their employees, indicating that they are performing an essential service. Here are the links:
- There is a sample letter at floridawesteda.com on our COVID-19 resource page.
- Companies in need of assistance can reach out to me at email@example.com.”
Testing for all County Employees
Latest Testing Statistics from Ascension Sacred Heart
As provided by Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson:
“Sacred has started to put numbers together like this for their collection. I send this only to say their reporting is much higher in testing than the one reported today in the PNJ and this is only one test place. It is the largest and catching the most positives. It is hard to understand the entire collection. But for me this is an easier number to follow.”