Grover to unveil Recover Pensacola plan

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson will unveil his Recover Pensacola plan at his press conference today. He told Inweekly that the plan follows President Donald Trump’s Opening up America Again guideline. The mayor said the plan is flexible and can be modified as Governor Ron DeSantis releases his directives.

The mayor said county officials have told him that he has little support from Escambia Board of County Commissioners. However, the city may have more support that County Administrator Janice Gilley has told him. The county apparently has no recover plan.

Inweekly reached out to Commissioner Lumon May who said he was familiar with the city’s plan and thought they were a measured approach to reopening. In his viewpoint for the daily newspaper, Commissioner Robert Bender wrote, “As much as we want to return to normal, doing so quickly can have a detrimental effect.”

The commission will open the beach tomorrow – how much we don’t know. Inweekly has requested an interview with Ms. Gilley to find out.

Escambia released the Escambia Medical Report that showed the testing done locally through Saturday, April 24.  Last week, hospitals collected specimens from 484 people and the drive-thrus and mobile units handled 1603 collections  – total 2087.  We don’t know how many results from those collections have been received.

April 26, 2020

By Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida

As Gov. Ron DeSantis prepares to release plans for reviving the state’s economy, it appears increasingly clear that allowing hospitals and doctors to resume providing elective medical procedures will be part of the strategy.

DeSantis made appearances this weekend with doctors at Cleveland Clinic in Broward County and Orlando Health and focused, in part, on medical procedures that have been postponed as the state ramped up to fight the coronavirus pandemic. He also pointed to available hospital beds in the state.

“Elective procedures, I think when people hear that, they think it’s like, ‘Oh, you know I’m going to get like, some type of cosmetic surgery or something.’ These elective procedures really do affect patients’ health. You’re talking about screenings, you’re talking about things that are really important,” DeSantis said Saturday during the Cleveland Clinic appearance. “I understand why this was done (postponing procedures) because we didn’t know what was coming down the pike, but the fact that we have availability and can accommodate it, I think we do need to move in that direction.”

DeSantis on March 20 issued an executive order directing hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental offices and other health-care providers to cease performing elective services. Citing a federal recommendation, the emergency order said “examples of procedures to delay may include, but are not limited to, some endoscopy, most cataract and lens surgeries, non-urgent spine and orthopedic procedures, and cosmetic procedures.”

The executive order stemmed from a push to conserve medical supplies, including personal-protective equipment, as hospitals and health-care workers prepared for a surge in patients with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

The executive order is slated to last through May 8, but hospital and physician organizations last week sent letters to DeSantis seeking to scale back the restrictions on procedures. The letters came as a DeSantis-created task force worked on recommendations about reopening various industries, including health care. DeSantis is expected to release plans during the coming week.

Physician Carla McWilliams, an infectious disease specialist at Cleveland Clinic, said hospitals have taken precautions to protect patients with other conditions from being exposed to COVID-19.

“We’re very, very concerned about patients that have other conditions not coming in to seek care and the potential downstream consequences of that,” she said Saturday. “And just to reassure the general public, our hospital, along with every other hospital, has gone to great lengths to create what we call cohort units. And what that means is all patients with COVID are put in a particular area of the hospital with dedicated staff. We have environmental cleaning done on a very consistent basis that essentially excludes or removes any risk to any of the other patients who may be on other floors or in other areas.”