COVID-19: Tuesday afternoon report

According to the latest FDOH report, DOH Escambia entered 113 COVID-19 test results into the Merlin system since the April 27 report.*  Of those, 15 results were positive – 13.3%, rising the overall positive percentage to 7.1%.  According to the LTC report, seven of those cases were among residents of Southern Oaks. The remainders must be among the general public.

Repeat:  15 new positives – seven in a nursing home, eight outside of nursing homes.

* Math:   4/28 6,788 total tests minus 4/27  6,675 = 113 new test results entered.

FDOH has yet to release a county surveillance report for April 28.

Official Statement on Re-opening Beaches

The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday, April 28, to reopen county public beaches to allow citizens access to all beach activities beginning Friday, May 1. Public county beaches, including the sound side, Gulf side, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key, will open 30 minutes before sunrise and close 30 minutes after sunset, daily.

“The health of our citizens is our number one priority,” said Commission Chairman Steven Barry. “The decision to reopen the beaches came primarily after thorough discussion with our health care professionals, including all three hospitals and probably most importantly, Dr. Lanza’s comments at the board meeting today. We believe, based on the public’s willingness to adhere to CDC guidelines and social distancing measures, that we can successfully open our public beaches and allow citizens to take advantage of this great resource while enjoying all beach activities.”

Pavilions, the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier and the area around and under the fishing pier will remain closed. Beach bathroom facilities will be closed and portalets will be used to maintain social distancing. Hand-washing stations will be provided. Dog parks will be reopened and permitted in designated areas.

Beach goers are asked to limit groups to 10 people or fewer and to adhere to CDC social distancing measures by keeping a 6-foot distance between others who are not in their immediate household.

The county would like to remind residents that the toll on the Bob Sikes Bridge to Pensacola Beach is all-electronic. The new tolling system on the bridge went live on March 20, which was earlier than anticipated to adhere to social distancing for toll booth workers.