Published On: Fri, Apr 3rd, 2020

Palm Beach County Coronavirus Update – Friday, April 3, 2020

VIDEO UPDATE: PBC WATER UTILITIES EMPLOYEES SERVING COUNTY RESIDENTS  – The Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department employees are ensuring our over 600,000 Palm Beach county residents in our service area are receiving uninterrupted service. 

Today was another efficient day of drive-thru testing for COVID-19 in Palm Beach County.

The Health Care District of Palm Beach County’s C. L. Brumback Primary Clinics tested 377 patients at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach. Test results are beginning to be received and patients whose results are in will be notified. 

The Health Care District’s COVID-19 Screening Center representatives scheduled 673 appointments for COVID-19 drive-thru testing for Monday within the first hour of opening the phone lines. Representatives screen callers for symptoms prior to registering and scheduling the patient. The call center will not be open this weekend as all appointments are currently scheduled for Saturday or Monday based on existing test kit inventory.

If the county receives additional kits over the weekend, the county will be reopening the phone lines Monday morning at 8AM to schedule appointments for drive-thru testing on Tuesday, April 7th.  

The drive-thru test site will expand and use all four lanes tomorrow (Saturday) to accommodate the nearly 850 scheduled appointments. The testing site will be closed Sunday as our teams prepare for next week.

EO 20-94: Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief – The Governor suspended mortgage foreclosures and evictions solely as it relates to non-payment for rent by residential tenants due to COVID -19 emergency under Florida law for 45 days from  the date of this Executive Order.

EO 20-93: Reemployment Assistance Program – With thousands of Floridians seeking help from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Reemployment Assistance Program leading to significantly greater demand upon DEO’s personnel, infrastructure, technology, and resources the Governor has directed that personnel redirect their current responsibilities and be deployed to work with the federal government and other state agencies to pursue all measures necessary to help Florida citizens during these trying times.

Paper application for unemployment can be filed. The form is available at: floridajobs.org/docs/default-source/reemployment-assistance-center/paper-applications/reemployment-assistance-application-eng.pdf?sfvrsn=9f1d47b0_2

EO 20-92: Essential Services and Activities During COVID-19 Emergency 
EO 20-91 supersedes conflicting actions or orders enacted by Local Officials. 

EO 20-91: Essential Services and Activities During COVID-19 Emergency  
The Governor has issued a statewide stay-at-home order, requiring everyone to limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities. This order went into effect on April 3rd at 12:01AM and will remain in effect for the next 30 days.  

EO 20-90: Broward and Palm Beach County Closures
Extends Executive Order# 20-70 to keep all beaches in Palm Beach County and Broward County closed through the end of the State of Emergency.

ANIMAL CARE & CONTROL As we all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the possibility exists that we may become sick which could impact the care of our beloved pets. With that in mind, pet owners should prepare now in the event that they become sick or if they must be hospitalized. This is especially important for residents who live alone. 

Key Points

  • People should immediately identify a family member or friend who can care for pets if someone in the household becomes ill.
  • Have crates, food and extra supplies on hand for quick movement of pets.
  • Keep all animal vaccines up to date in the event boarding becomes necessary.
  • Ensure all medications are documented with dosages and administering directions. Including the prescription from your veterinarian is also helpful.
  • Pets should have identification: collar with ID tag and microchip (best practice is microchipping). 
  • If you become sick, stay in contact with the person assigned as a pet caregiver to keep them up to date on how you are doing. 
  • Have instructions written down to give to paramedics or Animal Care and Control in case you must be taken to the hospital. Be sure to include the name, address and phone number of the assigned caregiver. 

Pet owners are urged to put your plan in place now. This will assure that your non-human family member is taken care of in the event that you are hospitalized.

LIBRARIES Virtual Story Time
The Palm Beach County Library System is hosting virtual story time on YouTube, and sharing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:30AM.

SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY
SWA asks residents to refrain from tree trimming in April. While garbage, recycling and bulk waste remain on schedule, Palm Beach County residents are asked to delay major yard trimming until May. Doing so will allow waste haulers to focus on the reported 15 percent and growing increase in home garbage and bulk items.

Since the start of the safer at home order in response to this health crisis, curbside vegetation collection is reported to be up more than 20 percent in some areas. With the stay at home order issued through April, it is anticipated this percentage will go up.

Residents are also asked to securely tie all garbage in plastic garbage bags. This additional precautionary measure includes securing all personal hygiene products, used tissues, paper towel, sanitary wipes, face masks, gloves, and similar items in plastic garbage bags, as it is not known whether the waste was handled by someone who is sick, caring for a sick family member or healthy. Garbage bags should be tied securely for disposal so waste workers do not come in contact with any potentially virus-contaminated waste.

The county’s virus response has impacted SWA services and programs in the following ways:
• Closing of five Home Chemical and Recycling Centers.
• Two HCRCs will remain open for crucial customer needs only. They are in West Palm Beach and west
  Delray/Boynton Beach. As always, commercial quantities of hazardous waste require special disposal.
  Call 561-687-1100 for details on your business becoming registered as a small quantity generator.
• Closing of the Customer Convenience Drop-off Center at the North County Landfill.
• Residents and small haulers with demolition/renovation; trash/yard wastes; or other smaller waste
  loads are being diverted directly to the landfill.
• Closing of the SWA Greenway Trail per County Emergency Order 3.
• Cancelling all public opening of Bids for commodities and services.
• Changing construction bid openings to phone-in teleconference calls.
• Changing pre-bid and pre-proposal meetings to Adobe Connect.

• Changing the Run AWAY 5K on Sunday, April 5 to a virtual race.

Registrants who opt for the virtual run in support of the non-profit Resource Depot will receive the race shirt, bib, medal and other goodies by mail.
• Cancelling the Small Business Advisory Committee Meeting on April 7.
• Cancelling the Transformational Tuesdays on April 28 and May 26.
• Cancelling the Business PowerNet on May 7.
• Cancelling the Transformational Tuesdays on May 26.

The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County has developed a COVID-19 website https://swa.org/632/6702/COVID-19-Updates.

STATE PROGRAMS
Veterans who are concerned they may have symptoms of COVID-19, flu or cold should contact the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center at 1-877-741-3400 before coming to a VA facility.

Visitor access to State Veterans’ Homes has been restricted until further notice, with the exception of essential visitors, such as family members of those residents undergoing end-of-life care.  Additionally, admissions for state veterans’ homes have been temporarily suspended. 

PARTNERING AGENCIES 
The Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County is offering a limited number of child care scholarships for those serving on the front-line of the COVID-19 response. This is available for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old for up to 60 days for these critical employees. For more information, call the Family Resource Line: 561-514-3300

LIBRARIES 

  • Technology Assistance
    The Palm Beach County Library System is offering one-on-one chat with a librarian. They can assist with any of your technology needs, including navigating the virtual classroom. Video chat sessions are available through the Zoom app. Call 561-233-2600 to book an appointment. 
  • Homework Help
    Tutor.com and Live Homework help is a free library service that offers online tutoring in math, science, social studies and language arts. Live one-on-one sessions are available every day from 12:00 pm – 12:00 am. Assistance in Spanish is available from 2:00 pm – 12:00 am. 

Career Development
The Library has many free online resources to help you advance your career during the “Safer at Home” order. You can learn new skills, update your resume, and utilize programs to prepare you to return to the workforce. 

Free E-Card
Get a free temporary e-card for any child in Palm Beach County. The card allows you to access online resources and services. Visit http://www.pbclibrary.org/virtual-library to sign up for the e-card.

SCHOOL INFORMATION

  • The Palm Beach County School District announced that Palm Beach County schools will remain closed until further notice. Distance Learning will continue.
  • Please be sure to check the full list of food distribution locations as some have changed.
  • Schools across Palm Beach County will be distributing ‘Grab and Go’ bags.  – Hours for Food distribution will be from 11AM to 1PM.

PALM BEACH COUNTY BUILDING DIVISION

  • The Palm Beach County Building Division’s South County Permitting Office is closed until further notice.
  • The majority of permit types that were previously submitted in the South County office are now able to be submitted via our online system ePZB Admin login, and more permit types are being added to the system frequently. 
  • Visit our website for more information: Online Submittal Building Permit Notice

PLANNING, ZONING & BUILDING
All Planning, Zoning, and Building public meetings for April are canceled. All public hearings scheduled at those meetings are postponed to dates to be determined. Once revised dates have been determined, the meetings will be rescheduled and all appropriate parties will be advised.

LOCAL CALL CENTERS
Palm Beach County Emergency Information Center remains open 7 days a week from 8AM – 6PM. 561.712.6400

  • Boca Raton 561-982-4900  
    Or contact your municipality.
     
  • Suicide Prevention and Covid-19:  For resources to help cope during the coronavirus pandemic please follow this link: Suicide Prevention and Covid-19.

TRANSPORTATION

  • PALM TRAN  – Palm Tran fixed route continues to operate on a Saturday schedule except routes 1, 2, 3, 43 and 62 which are on a regular weekday schedule. Sundays will continue to operate on a Sunday schedule. The number of people on board has been limited to no more than 20 passengers. Check the head sign which may indicate the bus is full. In this case you’ll need to wait for the next bus on the route. Call customer service at (561) 841-4BUS (4287) for the next scheduled bus arrival time.  Palm Tran Connection is essential trips only. 
  • TRI-RAIL – Trains have suspended fares and are operating on a modified schedule: 18 trains on Weekdays, 12 trains on Saturday, 12 trains on Sunday. 
  • BRIGHTLINE – Service is suspended until further notice. 

PARKS & RECREATION
All parks and golf courses, both public and private remain closed until further notice.

ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT 
All Natural Areas are closed to the public until further notice.

RUMOR CONTROL

Frequently Asked Questions and Order locations

COVID-19 Email Scams

Security experts say a spike in email scams linked to coronavirus is the worst they have seen in years. Below are five trending campaigns:

  • 1. Click here for a cure: The email is purported to be from a doctor claiming to have details about a vaccine being covered up by the Chinese and UK governments.  Those who click on the attached document are taken to a spoof webpage designed to harvest login details.
  • 2. Covid-19 tax refund: This emails asks you to click on “access your funds now”, which goes to a fake government webpage encouraging you to input your financial and tax information. 
  • 3. Little measure that saves: Hackers pretending to represent the World Health Organization (WHO) claim that attached document details how recipients can prevent the disease’s spread. But the attachment doesn’t contain any useful advice and instead infects computers with malicious software. To avoid this scam, be cautious of emails claiming to be from WHO, as they are probably fake. 
  • 4. The virus is now airborne: The subject line reads: Covid-19 – now airborne, increased community transmission. It is designed to look like it’s from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It uses one of the organization’s legitimate email addresses but has in fact been sent via spoofing tool.

5. Donate here to help the fight: The fake CDC email asks for donations to develop a vaccine, and requests payments are made in the cryptocurrency bitcoin. The email address and signature look convincing.

The best way to see where a link will take you is to hover your mouse cursor over it to reveal the true web address. If it looks suspicious, don’t click.

Rent Assistance

  • Residents concerned with rent assistance may contact the Palm Beach County Human Services   Eviction Prevention Program. Call 561-904-7900 or apply online at www.pbcgov.org/oscarss.
  • You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury. You are eligible for a loan if you are a small business that employs 500 employees or fewer, or if your business is in an industry that has an employee-based size standard through SBA that is higher than 500 employees. For more information go to: Paycheck Protection Program

If your employment has been impacted by COVID-19, you may file a Reemployment Assistance Claim through CONNECT, Florida’s online Reemployment Assistance System  http://floridajobs.org/.

Are you looking for food for your pet?

  • To help families keep their pets in their homes, Peggy Adams started a pet food pantry. For more information about how to get food for your pet, visit the Peggy’s Pantry website or email [email protected]

Who do I contact if I’m having symptoms?

  • Contact your primary doctor. If they are unable to provide you with a COVID-19 test, ask them for instruction on how to self-isolate at home.

What if I don’t have a Doctor?

  • You can contact any urgent care center, or the county primary care clinics. 

How long does it take to receive test results for COVID-19?

  • Testing results will be reported to the Health Care District of Palm Beach County who will notify the patient. Results can be expected within 2-3 days, however, it may take longer.
  • Individuals testing positive will be advised of isolation and quarantine protocols and referred for medical care if necessary.

For the latest information about COVID-19 in Florida, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov or call the Florida Department of Health 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-866-779-6121.

Follow the County at:
Twitter –  twitter.com/pbcgov
Facebook – facebook.com/pbcgov
NextDoor – nextdoor.com/

Individuals with questions related to the coronavirus should call the Florida Department of Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-779-6121 which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week or email mailto:[email protected]. They can also visit http://pbchd.org for the latest health information. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus COVID-19
For the latest information and updates from Palm Beach County, visit http://pbcgov.com/coronavirus.

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. Commissioner Weinroth serves as County Vice-Mayor and has been appointed Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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