Florida Governor’s Executive Orders – click the link for the full details
20-71 – requiring restaurants to takeout/delivery only and closures of most gyms
20-72 – prohibiting elective surgeries and procedures
20-82 and 20-86 – ordering isolation of certain out of state travelers
20-83– regarding advisories for persons over 65 and at high risk, social gatherings of more than ten and remote work
20-87 – restricting new, short-term (less than 30 days) vacation rentals (not hotel/motel)
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Executive Order 20-09 – All recreational boats must be at least 50 feet apart and not have more than 10 people on board.
The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) indicates that local efforts to test potentially-exposed individuals in Escambia County, Florida continues to identify new cases of COVID-19. As of 11 a.m. CT on Monday, March 31, the total number of Escambia County cases with a COVID-19 diagnosis is eighty-eight (88) individuals, eighty-one (81) residents and seven (7) non-residents. This number is expected to change daily due to the return of results from ongoing testing. “These results reinforce how important it is for individuals to practice disease prevention methods and support the recent actions taken by state and local governments to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in Escambia County,” said FDOH-Escambia Director, John J. Lanza, MD, PhD, MPH, FAAP, FHPS.
Health care providers in Escambia County, Florida are collaborating to make testing available to those for whom testing is indicated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Contact tracing will be conducted for those individuals who have tested positive. Contact tracing is a frequently-used public health tool for tracking and preventing the spread of disease. Epidemiologists work to find everyone who has been in contact with the positive case. Persons identified to be at-risk through the contact tracing process are interviewed, evaluated, and educated on their risk factors and what they need to do next.
FDOH-Escambia encourages residents and visitors to take steps to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. Everyone has an important role in preventing the spread of this virus.
Take Steps to Protect Against Spreading COVID-19
Follow these steps in all situations, even when you feel perfectly healthy:
- Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing, or shaking hands;
- Practice social distancing: avoid large gatherings (more than 10 people) and stay at least six (6) feet away from others;
- Avoid unnecessary travel, especially international travel and cruise travel;
- Avoid being around anyone who is sick or who may have a weak immune system;
- Move away from people before coughing or sneezing;
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue then throw it away;
- Wash your hands often, especially after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose;
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs.
If you are mildly ill, follow these tips to help prevent spreading it to other people:
- Do not go to the emergency department if you are only a little sick. The emergency department should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill. The CDC has guidance on what to do if you are sick from a mild viral illness:https://www.cdc.gov/flu/treatment/takingcare.htm and https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html
- Stay at home while you are sick and keep children out of school or daycare while they are sick.
Screen Yourself and Call First
If you become sick, review the screening criteria for COVID-19 testing:
- Are you experiencing symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
- Have you returned from travel to an affected area, or been on a cruise within the last 14 days?
- Have you been around someone diagnosed with COVID-19? Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, call, do not visit, your health care provider and tell them about your symptoms and your travel history or exposure to a COVID-19 patient. It is important to call ahead before visiting your health care provider. Offices must take proper steps to avoid further spread of COVID-19 when a concerned patient arrives for a medical evaluation. If you do not have a health care provider or health insurance, call, do not visit, Community Health Northwest Florida at 850-436-4630 or other community walk-in care locations, and tell them about your symptoms and your travel history or exposure to a COVID-19 patient. They will determine if you meet the criteria for testing. Assistance with the steps outlined above may be obtained by calling our coronavirus information line at 850-595-6500, option 6.
Drive-through COVID-19 testing is available in Escambia County.
Drive through testing is available at three locations.
- IMPORTANT: All patients are required to be screened before arriving at the drive-through testing centers by calling the local COVID-19 Screening Call Center at 850-746-2684.
- The screening call center is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The call center staff will assist in helping find the testing center that best fits the needs of each person needing a COVID-19 test.
- The hours of operation for the drive-through testing centers for COVID-19 are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Florida Department of Health (Department) works continuously with all our community partners to ensure that everyone is prepared in the eventuality of infectious disease spread. Please visit the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage at www.FloridaHealth.gov/COVID-19. The webpage remains the best and most up-to-date resource for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida.
For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-866-779-6121 or emailing COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The CDC also has a website with information related to COVID-19:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
Know How it Spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Take steps to protect yourself
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Take steps to protect others
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
- Diluting your household bleach.
To make a bleach solution, mix:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
- Alcohol solutions.
Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.
- Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.
Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon[7 pages]external icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).