As 10 a.m, Friday, DOH reports Escambia County has 197 cases – up 13 in the past 24 hours and 95 more than last Friday, when Commissioner Doug Underhill touted the cases had flattened. Santa Rosa cases have jumped 32 in the past 24 hours, total 103. Santa Rosa had 49 cases at 11 a.m. on April 3.
Escambia has 22 cases in local long-term care facilities. Sorry, the county won’t tell us which ones.
Florida is up 1167 cases, total 17,531. Death count increased by 36, total 390.
Escambia EOC has reported: “As of 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 10, Escambia County area hospitals have 222 total ventilators with 174 available, and 1334 total beds with 585 available.” The EOC earlier reported the county has 1,874 test results pending – 5.9% of the tests are positives, which is less than the state percentage of 11%.
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As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the local community will receive a combined total of $1,325,041 in Community Development Block Grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development–Escambia County $872,881 and City of Pensacola $452,160.
The funds will be used to address a wide variety of public health and public service activities to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. CDBG funds must be utilized for activities that target low and moderate-income households. Both local governments are awaiting further guidance from HUD regarding the funding’s availability date and what activities are eligible. Community input will be solicited on how the funds can be utilized.
The City of Pensacola will also receive supplemental administrative funding for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. These funds are part of an overall $1.25 billion dollar allocation under the CARES Act. The funds will be used for administrative expenses as well as new eligible activities, to be defined by HUD, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From UWF: Inspired by an ultrarunner in Palm Bay, Florida, who ran 100 miles in one day to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts, University of West Florida cross country coach Caleb Carmichael laced up his Nike running shoes and left his home at 5 a.m. on Monday, April 6. He returned about 3½ hours and nearly 27 miles later, one step closer to his admittedly “crazy” goal.
The 35-year-old Carmichael is running seven marathons in seven days to raise money for Argo Pantry, which provides food to UWF students in need of assistance, and for Feeding the Gulf Coast, a food bank that serves 24 counties throughout the Florida panhandle, South Alabama and South Mississippi. He set up a crowdfunding page through Feeding the Gulf Coast. Argo Pantry asks that donations be made through its wish list on Amazon or by visiting the student support webpage and selecting Argo Pantry as the designation.
“As a community we’re going to have a lot of people lose jobs and not be able to feed their kids and we need to do something about it,” said Carmichael, who is in his seventh year as the UWF men’s and women’s cross country head coach and will complete his fundraiser on Sunday, April 12. “It needed to be something crazy enough for people to take notice. Doing seven in a row is a monumental task.”
Since the spread of COVID-19, Feeding the Gulf Coast reports over a 500% increase in people seeking food assistance. From April 1-7, the organization distributed over 100,000 pounds of food during its mobile panty distributions and distributed 4,000 meals and 4,000 snacks to children in the community. The demand put on food banks nationwide increases each day as the unemployment rate skyrockets from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Feeding America, the largest network of food banks with over 200 affiliates, projects a $1.4 billion shortfall in the next six months.
Those grim projections motivate Carmichael each morning to lace the Nikes back up and hit the pavement. Last month, he ran 100 miles in a week, capped by a marathon, but seven marathons in seven days—a total of about 186.2 miles—marks a first for him.
“It’s been hard no doubt about it, but I’m just inspired to do something for somebody else,” said Carmichael, after completing his fourth consecutive marathon on Thursday, April 9. “Each day I start off very sore, very tired and kind of work through it. Halfway in I feel better and then toward the end I get tired and worn out. I spend most of the day then resting and eating and getting hydrated so that I’m ready for the next day.”
For more information about Argo Pantry, visit uwf.edu/argopantry