FERNANDINA BEACH WEATHER

BOCC hears Health Dept report and Emergency Management plans for hurricane sheltering during COVID-19

Cindy Jackson
Reporter
May 28, 2020

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) held a meeting Wednesday morning.

As has become “de rigueur” of late, the first item on the agenda was a report by Dr. Seidel, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Nassau County followed by a report given by Greg Foster, director of Emergency Management.

Seidel noted that there are now 72 cases of COVID-19 in Nassau County, 65 of which are county residents. Six of the seven non-residents are from the state of Georgia. Nassau County has performed 3,460 tests resulting in a 2% positivity rate. Seidel went on to note that there will be more community testing once weather permits and a greater concentration of testing at long-term care facilities. It has been reported that such facilities have had 12 cases involving residents and staff here in Nassau County and all but two facilities have been thoroughly tested. Seidel also noted there are no hospitalizations at this time. The most up-to-date information on COVID-19 can be found at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov.

Emergency Management Director Foster mentioned that the official start of Hurricane Season is just five days away and that we have already experienced two named tropical storms.
Foster announced that Emergency Management is currently operating at Level 3 which is basic monitoring. According to the website, “Level 3 describes the day-to-day “blue skies” activities performed by the NCEM planners and dedicated volunteers in the County Warning Point. Our County Watch Officers are monitoring local, regional, and world events while our Emergency Management and Planning Professionals collaborate with partners and stakeholders to develop plans, conduct training, and drill/exercise our plans to improve disaster preparedness throughout the county. During Level 3 Activation, the EOC is staffed from 0800-1700 hours, Monday through Friday.:

He announced that his department is busy making plans for the impending hurricane season and finalizing what procedures will be followed regarding sheltering while under COVID-19 restrictions. He did announce that sheltering will be the last resort.

An effective communication tool for information dissemination regarding COVID-19 and past severe storms has been Alert Nassau — a part of the Alert Florida Statewide Notification System. It allows public safety officials to rapidly warn citizens about imminent hazards. These alerts can be delivered via phone, text message, email and other mobile apps. To sign up, to receive these notifications, visit http://www.nassaucountyfl.com/371/Alert-Nassau—Citizen-Alerts or call Emergency Management at 904-548-0900.

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