, the situation around Coronavirus has evolved substantially. Diagnosed cases are on the increase and several local businesses have begun directing employees to work from home. The Chamber anticipates that this will continue to be the trend and so will provide mid-morning and mid-afternoon updates for the foreseeable future.
Today's updates include the following:
- President Donald Trump issued new guidelines to limit people's interactions in the wake of the COVID-19 virus to try to prevent the U.S. hospital system from becoming overwhelmed. The President recommended Americans avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
- City of Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe has declared a State of Pandemic Emergency to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the City of Gainesville, and to unlock federal funding and suspend certain procedural or procurement-related rules in order to stand-up emergency operations quickly. The City Commission also unanimously approved a motion including several measures, including requesting clarity from the Department of Health on the timing and availability of COVID-19 testing; restricting the operation of certain businesses, including restaurants, to table service with a maximum of 50 persons or 50% capacity, whichever is lower; and reaching out to the Panhellenic Council to suspend St. Patrick's Day gatherings, following the action of the Republic of Ireland, which has closed its pubs and bars for two weeks.
- Alachua County Commission Chair Robert Hutchinson joined state government in declaring a General countywide State of Emergency this afternoon. The declaration provides County government with certain abilities that allow them to field the emergency in a more timely manner than is allowed by non-emergency procedures. The County is not recommending business closure at this time. View Chair Hutchinson's statement here.
- The City of Gainesville will host a Telephone Town Hall about COVID-19 this Wednesday, March 18, at 6:45 p.m. Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe, members of the City of Gainesville Emergency Management Team and Community Health and Family Medicine physician Dr. Lisa Chacko will provide an update about the virus and field questions from callers. The event is open to everyone by phone regardless of district. Neighbors with landlines are encouraged to register in advance. You will receive a call back to be connected automatically at the time of the event. Cell phone users can dial in directly by calling 1-888-410-3427.
- We are tracking the contributions of local businesses to the greater relief effort. If your business is contributing in any way, let us know so we are able to share them with our community.
Be sure to check out any of the resources below to stay up to date on the most important developments.
Eric L. Godet
Greater Gainesville Chamber