Published On: Sat, Mar 6th, 2021

PBC Commissioner Corner

By: Robert S Weinroth

COVID-19 vaccination updates 

Governor expands vaccine eligibility

Governor Ron DeSantis recently expanded the groups eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida.

Eligible residents now include:
Long-term care facility residents and staff;

  • Persons 65 years of age and older;
  • Health care personnel with direct patient contact;
  • K-12 school employees and childcare workers (any age);
  • Sworn law enforcement officers 50 years of age and older; 
  • Firefighters 50 years of age and older; and
  • Persons deemed extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 as determined by a physician who provides an attestation that the patient meets the defined eligibility criteria outlined in the Department of Health form.

Vaccine locations in Palm Beach County and surrounding area 

  • Publix’s portal for scheduling appointments is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 a.m. for persons listed in 1-7 above;
  • CVS pharmacies: Currently, the only location in Palm Beach County is in Belle Glade. Visit their website to book an appointment and/or other locations for persons listed in 1-7 above;
  • Winn Dixie Vaccine Information Page (Hypoluxo Rd in Lake Worth and Sample Road in Margate) for persons listed in 1-7 above ;
  • Wal-Mart Vaccine Information Page (currently no PBC locations);
  • Federally-Supported Vaccine Sites (FloridaDisaster.org) (currently no PBC locations – Miami location available);
  • The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) or call 866-201-6754 if you don’t have internet access. These sites require appointments (see links above) ;
  • Health Care District of Palm Beach County (HCD) or call 561-804-4115. Once you sign up (see link above), you will be placed in a virtual waiting room for scheduling on a first-come, first-serve basis. K-12 school employees and childcare workers 50 plus only

All individuals who submitted an appointment request prior to March 1 but were not contacted for an appointment can submit a new appointment request and check “Yes” in the box indicating they were on the waitlist. HCD will verify and prioritize accordingly. 

The following three vaccination sites are being operated by the HCD. These sites require appointments (see links above). No walk-ins permitted.

  • South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach 
  • Burns Road Community Center in Palm Beach Gardens
  • South County Civic Center in Delray Beach

(TTY number for hearing impaired: 833.476.1532) 

For more information on COVID-19 including testing sites, click here.

Veterans Vaccines

The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center is now offering vaccines for all eligible veterans of all ages who receive care at the VA. The vaccine is offered by appointment and on a walk-in basis at Building 14 on our main campus in West Palm Beach from 10 am to 3pm Monday – Friday. For more information, call 561.422.5200.

COVID-19 Cases in Seniors Drop

Recent reports indicate cases of COVID-19 have plunged among Florida seniors.

New cases dropped 56 percent in the past four weeks among people 65 and over. A clear indication that vaccines are working. 

The Governor recently reported that over 60 percent of the seniors in Palm Beach County have received the vaccination. 

However, it is critical everyone remain vigilant with mask wearing, social distancing and hand sanitizing/washing.

With new variants on the rise, we are still susceptible to potential upticks in positivity rates.

Wi-Fi Initiative for Palm Beach County Students

As chair of the Palm Beach County Broadband committee, I am pleased to report the Wi-Fi Broadband Digital Inclusion network project has made great strides since the start of the pandemic last March. 

Funded by over $20 million from the CARES ACT in partnership with Superintendent of Schools Donald Fennoy, the School Board, the Educational Foundation of PBC and and Florida Power & Light, the network will close the “digital divide” by delivering free, high-speed, high-quality Internet to the homes of more than 25,000 students. 

The Wi-Fi Mesh Network is not 5G technology. It is a simple radio connecting broadband service to residences using Wi-Fi extenders
Identified families will be provided a Wi-Fi extender to capture the signal and broadcast the internet connection within their residence. 

The Network is expected to be complete early this month, plugging educational gaps for students who did not have access to affordable or free Wi-Fi when the district was forced to switch to online distance learning last March.

Palm Beach County Continues to Move Forward

On March 2, members of the Board of County Commissioners attended the grand opening of the new Palm Tran Facility. The new facility, located in Delray Beach, expands Palm Tran’s maintenance capacity in Southern Palm Beach County, and allows for new electric buses to eventually operate within out county. 

The grand opening also coincided with the 50th Anniversary of Palm Tran operating in Palm Beach County.

Palm Tan Executive Director Clinton Forbes and County Vice Mayor Robert Weinroth

This new facility demonstrates our county’s continued commitment to investing in public transportation innovation and expanding transit connectivity for residents and visitors alike. This new facility will also help put Palm Beach County on the map for transportation innovation. 

Job Openings

CareerSource Palm Beach County has announced they have over 1,000 area jobs available and over 100 in the South County area. To browse available jobs, go to Employflorida.com. For information on job fairs, classes and job search assistance, visit careersourcepbc.com or call 561.340.1060.

Municipal Elections

On March 9, many municipalities countywide (including Boca Raton and Delray Beach) will be holding elections.

Polls will be open from 7AM. to 7PM.

Vote by Mail ballots must be received by 7PM on March 9th at the West Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections office or by 5PM on March 9th at the Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens or Belle Glade offices.

The deadline to request a Vote by Mail ballot was Feb. 27. There are no Early Voting sites during this election.

Due to the pandemic, there have been some changes to local voting locations. For more details, visit the PBC Supervisor of Elections website or call 561.656.6200.

It’s Turtle Nesting Season – Lights Out & More …

Turtle nesting season has officially begun! Now through October 31, all county residents with oceanfront properties must ensure their lights are undetectable to sea turtle hatchlings.

Artificial lighting confuses the hatchlings and causes them to head toward the dunes instead of the ocean. It’s a major cause of the worldwide decline of leatherback, loggerhead and other sea turtles.

Additionally, people visiting the beach are urged to pick up garbage, knock down sand castles, fill in holes and not hold bonfires on the beach.

It is also important not to get close to nests or touch or assist hatchlings when they emerge. Moreover, it’s illegal to harm or harass sea turtles, their nests or hatchlings.

For more information, visit the county’s Environmental Resource Management website.

As always, call or email my office if you have any questions or need assistance
561.355.2204 [email protected]

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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