COVID: COW edition

Another roller coaster day for COVID-19 cases in Escambia County.  Only six additional cases. DOH Escambia entered 819 new test results – less than 1% were positive. The overall positive percentage has dropped to 5.6%.

AHCA’s long-term care facility report has returned to its original format and shows Southern Oaks only has 32 residents with the virus, as of May 12, down from 70 cases.  No explanation given. Staff cases and transfers have remained the same.

5/12/20 5/13/20
11 a.m. 11 a.m. Increase
Total Cases 41923 42402 479 1.14%
Florida Residents 40804 41236 432 1.06%
Non-Fla. 1119 1166 47 4.20%
Deaths 1779 1827 48 2.70%
Escambia 659 665 6 0.91%
Okaloosa 169 170 1 0.59%
Santa Rosa 179 179 0 0.00%

Positive Viewpoint

Joe Nocera, Bloomberg Opinion columnist, has written a column defending how Gov. Ron DeSantis has handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nocera wrote, “In Florida, the steps DeSantis is taking seem appropriate for a state that hasn’t yet hit 1,800.”   Read more.


Gulf Islands National Seashore Moves to Phase 2

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Gulf Islands National Seashore is increasing recreational access at the Florida areas. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning on Saturday, May 16, Gulf Islands National Seashore will initiate Phase Two access at:  

  • The Fort Pickens Area
    • Regular operating hours
    • Restrooms will be limited to Langdon Beach and the restrooms outside of the Discovery Center
    • Lifeguards will be on duty at Langdon Beach
  • The Perdido Key Area
    • Regular operating hours resume
    • Lifeguards will be on duty at Johnson Beach
  • Santa Rosa Area, including Highway 399
    • Opal Beach restrooms at clusters C & D will be open
    • Lifeguards will be on duty at Opal Beach
  • The Okaloosa Area
    • Restrooms will be open
  • The Naval Live Oaks Area
    • No restrooms
  • Pensacola Bay Cruises
Beginning on Saturday, May 23, additional services will resume including:
  • Free tram service at the Fort Pickens Area
  • Pensacola Bay Cruises will drop-off and pick-up passengers at the Fort Pickens Area

With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:

  • The Fort Barrancas Area
  • The Fort Pickens Campground, Discovery Center, and bookstore
  • The headquarters indoor exhibits at the Naval Live Oaks Area
  • Parking lots 33A & 36A along Highway 399 (closed for the season)
  • Parking lots 34A & 34E at the Opal Beach Complex

“Park staff, in coordination with public health officials continue to monitor health data from local and regional areas to determine when gating criteria is met,” said Superintendent Dan Brown. “As the areas evaluated continue to move through the required criteria the park is working hard to increase recreational access in a safe and responsible way.”

Return of the COW

The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners will hold a Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting Thursday, May 14 beginning at 9 a.m. The meeting will take place in the Ernie Lee Magaha Government Building, Board Chambers (first floor), located at 221 Palafox Place.

View the COW agenda.