Escambia County refuses to release EOC COVID-19 report

Since the beginning of the week, Escambia County commissioners have shared the EOC’s daily 4:30 p.m. SITREP (situation report). Commissioner Jeff Bergosh has referred to it several times on his blog.

Inweekly received copies of it for Monday, April 7 and Tuesday, April 8. Those reports tipped off the newspaper to an ALF (assisted living facility) battling the virus – which helped explain the rise in hospitalizations and cases in long-term care facilities.

Then last night, the county didn’t issue a SITREP. Remember it was this newspaper that asked county officials the name of the infected facility earlier in the day and got nowhere.

Bergosh texted the newspaper this morning: “In my conference call with Alison (Rogers-county attorney) and Janice (Gilley-county administrator), there was concern that the daily Sitrep—the one with the hospital information—may have portions not releasable to the public.”

This morning, I sent an email to the county attorney asking her to cite the statutes that made the information exempt from the public.

The County Attorney replied: “Yes, there are two SITREPs being distributed.  The one that comes out late in the afternoon-usually around 4:30pm is, in my opinion, an EOC planning record that is exempt under section 119.071(3).  There is another that is essentially the testing results and it comes out around 2:00 in the afternoon.  It is a totally releasable record that can be shared without any redactions.  The 4:30 record is now being marked as exempt on the emails that are going out.”

Meanwhile Inweekly may have the name of the long-term care facility battling COVID-19. We have sent an email to the nursing home’s management asking for confirmation or a statement.

We texted Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson about the tip. He replied, “I have heard there is a nursing home where an employee was unknowingly positive and several residents caught the virus. The location or name was never mentioned to me. I asked and it was not given.”

Robinson continued, “I was told they were testing everyone and 10 were positive. This is all know at this time.”

Commissioner Lumon May told Inweekly that the county administrator told him a similar story but refused to name the facility.

We have made a request of the county administrator to confirm the information we have.

Here’s her response:

Dear Mr. Outzen:
I have asked for specific information to answer your question. I will let you know the response.


Janice P. Gilley

Stay tuned.

Top 20 Florida Counties

Rank County Population Cases Per 30K
1 Dade     2,715,516 5461           60.33
2 Broward        924,229 2365           76.77
3 Palm Beach     1,446,277 1224           25.39
4 Orange     1,321,194 824           18.71
5 Hillsborough     1,378,883 631           13.73
6 Duval        924,229 557           18.08
7 Lee        718,679 476           19.87
8 Pinellas        957,875 395           12.37
9 Collier        363,922 282           23.25
10 Osceola        338,619 277           24.54
11 Seminole        455,086 218           14.37
12 Polk        668,671 206             9.24
13 Sarasota        412,144 184           13.39
14 Escambia        311,522 182           17.53
15 Manatee        373,853 172           13.80
16 Volusia        527,634 165             9.38
17 St. Johns        235,503 156           19.87
18 Alachua        263,148 144           16.42
19 Lake        335,362 139           12.43
20 St. Lucie        305,591 129           12.66