Friday a.m. briefing

CDC No Longer Worried About COVID on Surfaces

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its “How COVID-19 Spreads” section on its website to say touching COVID-19 contaminated objects or surfaces doesn’t appear to be a significant mode of transmission of the virus.

From the website:

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads. It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads.

From touching surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.

From animals to people. At this time, the risk of COVID-19 spreading from animals to people is considered to be low. Learn about COVID-19 and pets and other animals.

From people to animals. It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations. CDC is aware of a small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. Learn what you should do if you have pets.

This could be good news for restaurants and retailers and may relax some of their hygiene guidelines and procedures—for now.

However, CDC website states the virus travels through the droplets a person produces when talking or coughing. An individual does not need to feel sick or show symptoms to spread the submicroscopic virus. Close contact means within about six feet, the distance at which a sneeze flings heavy droplets

Escambia County to Honors Pete Moore Today
Escambia County will recognize the contributions made to Pensacola Beach Public Safety by the late Peter R. Moore and his family with a public presentation of the “Moore Safe Shores” Pelican along with a memorial plaque tomorrow, Friday, May 22, at 10 a.m. at the Pensacola Beach Public Safety Building.

The Moore Safe Shores program began in April 2004, and has donated Chevy Colorado vehicles to the Escambia County Water Safety lifeguard staff for patrolling and rescuing beach-goers in distress.

District 4 Commissioner Robert Bender, Water Safety Chief Dave Greenwood, the Moore family and local leaders are scheduled to attend. One or more commissioners may also attend.

Pensacola Beach Wide Open
The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners voted yesterday to amend Executive Order 20-6, creating Executive Order 20-8 regarding Escambia County public beaches.

Effective noon Thursday, May 21, Escambia County public beaches are now fully open to the public. Camping on the beach is not allowed per county ordinance 74-36 and consistent with the “Leave No Trace” protections for nesting sea turtles. Other Escambia County parks, including public access points on Perdido Key remain closed from sunset to sunrise.

Beach goers are still 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.

Pavilions and beach bathroom facilities have reopened. The area around and under the fishing pier is open. Dog parks have already been reopened and permitted in designated areas.

State Employment System Breached, Of Course

An unspecified number of unemployment applicants have been advised that some of their data was hacked, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity acknowledged Thursday.

“We have notified individuals that were part of a data security incident associated with Reemployment Assistance claims,” department spokeswoman Paige Landrum said in a statement. “This issue was addressed within one hour after we became aware of the incident.”

No information was released on when the hack took place, how many accounts were opened or if the breach will affect people being able to receive unemployment benefits. Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, sent a letter to Jonathan Satter, the state official brought in to oversee the unemployment system last month, and requested information about a series of issues, including how many people were affected by the breach, how the breach occurred and steps being taken to ensure that the information does not remain in danger.

“Given the agency’s track record with processing unemployment applications, I’m sure you will understand the great concern I have that all remedies have been quickly taken and that Floridians can be assured that their personal information is now secured and will be protected from future attacks,” Stewart wrote.

Satter is secretary of the Department of Management Services but was tapped by Gov. Ron DeSantis to resolve problems with the unemployment system amid massive job losses because of the coronavirus. Landrum said the Department of Economic Opportunity is covering the costs of identity-protection services for people who are affected and has advised them to report unauthorized activity on their financial accounts.

“At this time, we have not received any reports of malicious activity,” Landrum said in the statement.

sources: The News Service of Florida