By Cindy Jackson
Reporter
June 3, 2020

The special meeting of the Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday, June 2020, was perhaps one of the most expeditious on record.

As required by law, the BOCC must meet every seven days to approve a resolution declaring a local State of Emergency while the emergency still exists. COVID-19 is still around and approving the necessary resolution, the Commissioners did.

During this state of emergency, regular reports are also given to the BOCC by the Health Department and Emergency Management.

Dr. Eugenia Ngo-Seide

Dr. Eugenia Ngo-Seidel provided an update with the number of COVID-19 cases reported now in Nassau County stands at 81, 74 of whom are Florida residents. There is currently just one hospitalization with the patient receiving care in Jacksonville. Nassau County still has a low positivity rate of about two percent. Dr. Siedel noted that the health department will continue to host mobile testing sites throughout the county on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Statewide, statistics on exposure source site:
As depicted on the state’s website, statistics
Traveled 2,141
Contact with confirmed case 27,090
Travel & contact with confirmed case 2,055
Under Investigation 19,015

All state and county-wide statistics can be found at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov

Previous to recent weeks, according to Seidel, Nassau County has experienced two “peaks” – one in the 25-44 age group and the other in the 65-74 age group. Evidence would suggest that exposure in the 25-44 age group is a result of that segment of the population being workers — and that would include employment at long-term care facilities. Most recently, said Seidel, positive cases have resulted from “contact with each other.”

As part of the County’s “new normal,” for BOCC meetings, residents can email or call-in questions or comments.

Discussed today were questions relating to two new cases of individuals aged 20 and under testing positive. After additional questions were posed to Dr. Seidel by Commissioner Danny Leeper and County Manager Michael Mullin, Dr. Seidel responded that “the new cases are not specific” to the re-opening of the County’s beaches or businesses. Said Seidel, “We have not seen a trend.”

When asked about the youth sports activities, Seidel encouraged all teams to follow CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines.

When Greg Foster, Director of Emergency Management gave his report, he announced that the Emergency Operations Center was now operating at Level 3.

When asked by Commissioner Danny Leeper as to what the needs of the EOC might be, Foster indicated that they are “running short on gowns, Clorox wipes, masks and eye protection.”

Thomas Ford asked EOC Director Foster, “I don’t envy your position – the pandemic, the hurricane season and now the possibility of violence . . . what comes next,” he asked, “locusts or frogs? . . .“ (File Photo)

Thomas R. Ford, Commissioner from District 4 which includes Hilliard, Bryceville, Boulougne, Kings Ferry and Nassau Oaks, during the part of the agenda which asks Commissioners for their thoughts, Ford asked to EOC Director Foster, “I don’t envy your position – the pandemic, the hurricane season and now the possibility of violence . . . what comes next,” he asked, “locusts or frogs? . . .“

Foster had indicated earlier that a protest had occurred over the weekend in Fernandina Beach and it was peaceful.

In addition to the comments of Commissioner Ford, Commissioner Aaron Bell added, “We can handle what comes our way.” He started his statement by saying, “we have a pandemic, a hurricane season and rioting in our cities,” and concluded, “we have an emergency plan for just about everything.”

Before adjourning, Commissioner Chair Danny Leeper invited Gil Langley, President and CEO of the Amelia Island Tourism Convention and Visitors Bureau (AICVB) to report to the BOCC. During his time at the podium, Langley announced that figures were bed taxes received for the month of April 2020. Said Langley, “$73,000 was received in bed taxes . . . $850,000 had been budgeted.”

Scheduled for 3 PM on June 3, 2020, is a meeting of the AICVB Board and the BOCC at which time the AICVB plans to share their strategy for getting more tourist dollars back to Amelia Island.

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