New Osceola County update on coronavirus

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 The following is an update regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on Osceola County as of Tuesday, March 17.

 

Government operations

·       Osceola County, which includes the cities of Kissimmee and St. Cloud, will follow the Executive Order issued by Governor DeSantis earlier today to have bars, pubs and nightclubs that derive more than 50 percent of their gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages will suspend the sale of alcoholic beverages for a period of 30 days, beginning today. Additionally, restaurants will reduce their occupancy by 50 percent, space groups at least six feet apart, and limit group seatings to 10 or fewer.

·       The public is encouraged to minimize visits to Osceola County Government facilities, and should consider utilizing key services that are available online at Osceola.org.

·       Citizens are able to access the Permit Center to apply for building, zoning, planning and other permits, submit code enforcement requests, schedule inspections and more. Much can be done without ever physically coming to County administration offices by visiting Permits.Osceola.org.

·       Beginning tomorrow, March 18, the County buildings will be closing daily to the public at 4 p.m., with the exception of our Human Services offices that will be closing at 3 p.m., to allow for enhanced sanitation. This adjusted schedule will continue until further notice.

·       LYNX and SunRail are operating normally. Any possible future service reductions will be announced.

  • Osceola Library has canceled all regular programs, events, and meeting room usage, effective today. The libraries will remain open for all other normal services.
    • Operation of public computers in the libraries will be limited to create the appropriate amount of social distance between users, effective today.
    • There will be a reduction in evening hours of operation so that on days when the branches are currently open until 9 p.m., they will close at 6 p.m. This will impact Monday-Thursday hours and will allow additional time for facility cleaning.

·       The Osceola County Corrections Department has suspended all in-house inmate visitation to limit the number of visitors to the Jail’s lobby and minimize the potential risk to the community, staff, and the inmate population. Remote video visitation will still be available for families and friends to communicate with inmates.  The suspension of in-house visitation will be reevaluated on April 13.

·       Osceola County parks, trails and wilderness areas remain open with normal hours of operation, with increased cleaning processes in place.

·       All County events and programs at community centers and parks have been cancelled.

·       Any citizen who has rented community centers or park facilities for private events are asked to follow current CDC guidelines to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people. If you wish to cancel, full refunds are offered.

·       University of Florida IFAS-Osceola County workshops and classes have been cancelled. Call 321-397-3000 if you have specific questions. 

 

Public assistance

·       Between Monday, March 23, and Friday, March 27, the school district’s Nutrition Services Department will provide FREE breakfast and lunch to children 18 years and under at the sites listed here.

·       Osceola County is working with organizations, including food pantries to ensure those in need have access to their basic necessities.

·       Residents with lease agreements, or those with mortgages that need foreclosure prevention assistance as a result of the current health crisis can contact the Osceola County Human Services Department at 407-742-8400.

·       Many local utilities have already announced waivers on disconnections for non-payment during this emergency. Please check with your provider.

 

COVID-19 Status/Safety Tips

·       Osceola added two cases for a total of six on Tuesday, according to the Florida Department of Health.

·       Osceola County officials continue to work closely with the Florida Department of Health, the lead agency during this event. For the most current information and resources, visit their website at FloridaHealth.Gov, and they also offer a 24-hour call center at 1 (866) 779-6121.

·       FDOH and local hospitals have the ability to test for the virus. Please know that the best way to find about testing, if you believe you meet the criteria, is through your healthcare provider or the Health Department.

·       Everyone needs to practice personal protective measures and especially social distancing as recommended by the CDC. 

o   The CDC now recommends avoiding mass gatherings of more than 10 people.

o   Keep six feet between yourself and others in public settings, and avoid any close contact with people who are sick; wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe; and other best practices to avoid the spread of germs.

·       For our older adults and any age person with underlying health conditions like asthma, you are particularly at risk of severe illness – you should stay at home as much as possible, avoid both cruise and non-essential air travel as well as gatherings or other situations of potential exposures, including church attendance and social events with 10 or more people.

 Informational resources

·       The Florida Attorney General has activated the price gouging hotline for anyone to report coronavirus-related price gouging.  Incidents should be reported at 1-866-9NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) or online at visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.

·       To assist Osceola County residents regarding concerns about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Osceola County has created a new webpage, Osceola.org/covid19, which includes local updates in addition to resources and updates from the CDC and FDOH.

·       Community Vision offers a resource guide that may be helpful for anyone seeking services here.

 

Prescriptions

·       Under Florida Law, the Governor’s State of Emergency Executive Order 20-52 allows residents to refill their prescriptions early.

·       Individuals with recurring prescriptions may obtain a 30-day early refill in order to ensure medications are on hand. This law is applicable even if the prescription has been recently filled. Early refills will be noted to insurance companies and added to the patient's refill schedule. For example, if there are 10 days left on a prescription and a 30-day emergency refill was received, the patient must wait the full 40 days before the prescription may be filled again.