There Are Now 81 Positive COVID-19 Cases In Escambia County, 36 In Santa Rosa

March 30, 2020

As backlogged test results were reported, the number of COVID 19 more than doubled Monday in Escambia County and also increased in Santa Rosa County.

The total number of confirmed cases in Escambia County jumped to 81 with the evening update from the Florida Department of Health. There are now 36 cases in Santa Rosa County.

Of the Escambia County cases, 54 were from Pensacola, 14 were from Cantonment, five were from Bellview, one was from Perdido Key and five are non-residents. They range in age from 2 to 94.  There were two confirmed patients in the hospital.

In Santa Rosa County, 13 cases were from Navarre, nine from Milton, eight from Gulf Breeze, two from Pace and data was not available on the remainder. Cases range in age from two months to 81 years. Seven were hospitalized and two have died.

There are currently 5,704 cases in Florida — 5,489 are Florida residents and 215 are non-Florida residents. There are 715  people hospitalized and 71 deaths.

Cantonment Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Site Opens Tuesday

March 30, 2020

As first reported over the weekend, Escambia County, Community Health Northwest Florida and Ascension Sacred Heart have partnered to open a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at Community Health Pediatrics at 470 South HIghway 29 in Cantonment on Tuesday, March 31.

All patients are required to be pre-screened before arriving at the drive-thru testing center by calling the Ascension Sacred Heart COVID-19 Pre-Screening Call Center at (850) 746-2684. Those who have not been pre-screened over the phone will not be provided access to the drive-thru test center.

Patients who meet the pre-screening criteria will be sent to the drive-thru testing site for a nasal swab test.

“This critical partnership with Community Health Northwest Florida and Ascension Sacred Heart provides residents in the central part of Escambia County convenient access to COVID-19 testing,” said Escambia County Board Chairman Steven Barry. “Unfortunately, there have been several positive cases in Cantonment, so the opening of this test site is crucial in preventing community spread and keeping people healthy. Since the COVID-19 test is free, then I encourage everyone with symptoms of fever, dry cough or shortness of breath to please call ahead and be pre-screened. The health of the community is our top priority.”

The pre-screening call center will be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The drive-thru clinic will open Tuesday, March 31 and will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“As a healthcare provider with clinic locations in Cantonment and Century, we are committed to the health and safety of all families in north Escambia,” said Chandra Smiley, CEO and Executive Director of Community Health Northwest Florida. “We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Escambia County and Ascension Sacred Heart to provide this important access point for COVID-19 testing.”

Atmore Police Respond To Burglary In Progress, Find Badly Decomposed Body

March 30, 2020

Atmore Police responded to a burglary and found a badly decomposed body inside the home.

It happened about 10:20 p.m. last Thursday at 71 Jones Street, Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks said Monday. Officers responded to a burglary in progress call at the home. They surrounded the residence and then observed that it had been forcibly entered.

“Officers entered the home and began doing a room by room search for any violators,” Brooks said. “Officers then discovered in one of the bedrooms a badly decomposing body believed to be a female.”

The name of the victim is not being released until positive identification is made by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.

Brooks said the case is currently being investigated as a homicide, and the investigation is continuing.

Anyone with information on case is asked to call the Atmore Police Department at (251) 368-9141. file photo.

Second Santa Rosa COVID-19 Patient Dies; Cases Increase In Escambia And Santa Rosa

March 30, 2020


A second person has died from COVID-19 in Santa Rosa County, and the number of COVID-19 cases has jumped  in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties as of the latest report from the Florida Department of Health.

The last five cases reported in Escambia County are all non-residents, including a five-year old girl. There are now 42 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Escambia County. Of those, 26 are from Pensacola, nine are from Cantonment and two are non-residents. They range in age from 20 to 94, and two are hospitalized.

In Santa Rosa County, there are 10 additional cases for a total of 30 Monday morning. Of those, 11 are from Navarre, eight are from Milton, eight are from Gulf Breeze, two are from Pace and data was not available for one patient.

New Florida cases include 523 additional positive COVID-19 cases (508 Florida residents and 15 non-Florida residents) reported to the Florida Department of Health.

There are currently 5,276 positive cases in Florida residents and 197 positive cases in non-Florida residents. The death toll has climbed to 63 in Florida, with 654 in the hospital.

Early Morning Fire Under Investigation As Possible Arson

March 30, 2020

An early Monday morning fire near McDavid is under investigation as a possible arson.

Fire destroyed a fifth-wheel travel trailer about 1:20 a.m. in the 2600 block of Perdue Road. The mobile home at that address was damaged by fire on March 12, and a third fire destroyed another travel trailer earlier this year.

The March 12 mobile home fire was initially believed to caused by an extension cord used to power the travel trailer that burned early Monday.

There were no injuries reported in any of the incidents.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida State Fire Marshal are investigating.

Pictured above and below: An early morning fire destroyed a travel trailer in McDavid Monday. Pictured bottom: Fire damaged a mobile home March 12 at the same location. photos, click to enlarge.

Free Meal Distribution For Kids Expanded To 38 Schools Monday

March 30, 2020

Free meal distribution expanded to 38 school sites Monday in Escambia County for families to pick up breakfast and lunch for kids under 18..

All sites will provide children or teens a breakfast meal and a lunch meal during the same visit. The meals are designed to be carried away and consumed off campus; cafeterias and dining rooms will not be open. Meals will be distributed in a curbside pick-up operation. Food items will be in to-go containers and will consist of ready-to-eat food items that should be consumed when received or should be quickly refrigerated for consumption at a later time.

Meals will be distributed to children 18 and younger from 9 a.m. until noon Monday through Friday, except for Friday, April 10. Students must be present according to USDA policy.

Distribution sites are:

  1. Jim Allen Elementary School, 1051 Highway 95A North, Cantonment
  2. Jim C. Bailey Middle School, 4110 Bauer Road, Pensacola
  3. Bellview Elementary School, 4425 Bellview Ave., Pensacola,
  4. Beulah Elementary School, 6201 Helms Road, Pensacola
  5. Beulah Middle School, 6001 W. Nine Mile Road, Pensacola
  6. Blue Angels Elementary School, 1551 Dog Track Road, Pensacola
  7. Bratt Elementary School, 5721 North Highway 99, Century
  8. Brentwood Elementary School, 4820 N. Palafox St. (U.S. 29), Pensacola
  9. Cordova Park Elementary School, 2250 Semur Road, Pensacola
  10. Ensley Elementary School, 501 E. Johnson Ave., Pensacola
  11. Ernest Ward Middle School, 7650 Highway 97, Walnut Hill
  12. Ferry Pass Elementary School, 8310 N. Davis Highway, Pensacola
  13. Ferry Pass Middle School, 8355 Yancey Ave., Pensacola
  14. Global Learning Academy, 100 North P St., Pensacola
  15. Lincoln Park Elementary School, 7600 Kershaw St., Pensacola
  16. Longleaf Elementary School, 2600 Longleaf Drive, Pensacola
  17. L.D. McArthur Elementary School, 330 E. Ten Mile Road, Pensacola
  18. Molino Park Elementary School, 899 Highway 97, Molino
  19. Montclair Elementary School, 820 Massachusetts Ave., Pensacola
  20. Myrtle Grove Elementary School, 6115 Lillian Highway, Pensacola
  21. Navy Point Elementary School, 1321 Patton Drive, Pensacola
  22. Northview High School, 4100 West Highway 4, Bratt
  23. Oakcrest Elementary School, 1820 N. Hollywood Blvd., Pensacola
  24. Pensacola High School, 500 W. Maxwell St., Pensacola
  25. Pine Meadow Elementary School, 10001 Omar Ave., Pensacola
  26. Pleasant Grove Elementary School, Owen Bell Lane, Pensacola
  27. Ransom Middle School, 1000 W. Kingsfield Road, Cantonment
  28. Scenic Heights Elementary School, 3801 Cherry Laurel Drive, Pensacola
  29. O.J. Semmes Elementary School, 1250 E. Texar Drive, Pensacola
  30. Sherwood Elementary School, 501 Cherokee Trail, Pensacola
  31. A.K. Suter Elementary School, 501 Pickens Ave., Pensacola
  32. J.M. Tate High School, 1771 Tate Road, Cantonment
  33. Warrington Elementary School, 220 N. Navy Blvd., Pensacola
  34. Warrington Middle School, 459 South Old Corry Field Road, Pensacola
  35. Booker T. Washington High School, 6000 College Parkway, Pensacola
  36. C.A. Weis Elementary School, 2701 North Q St., Pensacola
  37. West Pensacola Elementary School, 801 North 49th Ave., Pensacola
  38. Workman Middle School, 6299 Lanier Drive, Pensacola photo.

Drive-in Church: Congregations Find Ways To Worship Together Amid COVID-19 Crisis

March 30, 2020

Churches across the area are finding ways to reach their congregations in our current world of COVID-19 social distancing.

Many have turned to live video streams on social media and websites, while others have taken a different approach.

Several churches, including Little Escambia Baptist Church in Flomaton and Atmore First Assembly of God, are holding drive-in church. Much like an old-fashioned drive-in movie, the congregation pulls into the parking lot to hear the Gospel while staying socially distanced.

At Little Escambia Baptist, a flatbed trailer in front of the sanctuary served as a makeshift stage as cars filled the parking lot Sunday morning. The drive-in service was also streamed live on social media, reaching over 700 viewers by Sunday night — many times more than the church’s sanctuary would hold.

“We are just trying to honor the Lord and fellowship as best we can in this kind of circumstance, in this kind of situation,” Pastor Jonathan Hill told the drive-in worshippers. “The most important thing is we want to lift Him up and exalt Him.”

At Grace Valley Baptist Church in Cantonment, the Sunday morning services were held outside with family groups socially distanced from each other.

“Father in heaven, God, we thank You today,” Grace Valley Pastor Don Neese prayed at the end of the outdoor service. “God it’s been good to come out to the field. Lord, to be able to preach in the field, to be able to sing in the field under the trees You made, under the sky oh God….I pray for people to come to Jesus.”

Pictured above and first below: Drive-in church Sunday at Little Escambia Baptist Church in Flomaton. Pictured bottom two photos: An outdoor service Sunday at Grave Valley Baptist Church in Cantonment. Photos for, click to enlarge.

At Least 2,750 People Tested For COVID-19 In Escambia County

March 30, 2020

There have been 2,750 people tested for COVID-19 at hospitals and drive-thru testing sites in Escambia County through Sunday.

Of those, 274 tests were done at hospitals and 2,476 were done at drive-thru and stand-alone testing sites. The report indicates that the information includes data from Community Health of Northwest Florida, West Florida Hospital, Baptist Hospital and Ascension Sacred Heart. Not all of those tested were Escambia County residents.

The countywide data does not include any information about the number of positives or negatives or how many of the nearly 2,500 people are still waiting for results to come back from a lab.

Baptist Hospital is the only local facility providing additional details about their testing. As of Saturday, Baptist had three positive patients in their care in Gulf Breeze and two at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola. Baptist has collected 316 samples outside of their hospitals. Of these, 119 tests were negative, six were positive and there were 191 results pending.

Pensacola State College Transitions To Online Classes

March 30, 2020

Pensacola State College makes the transition to online classes on Monday.

Pensacola State College is transitioning face-to-face classes, including most labs and clinicals, and dual enrollment classes to an online format beginning Monday, March 30.

“We continue to face many challenges as we navigate uncharted waters and there is much still to be done to prepare faculty and students for this transition. Nevertheless, I know the PSC family will rise to the occasion to maintain the quality of services and instruction our students deserve,” PSC President Ed Meadows said.

All PSC campuses, centers, and buildings will remain closed to the general public through May 6, including the theatre, planetarium, pool, art gallery, gymnasium, dental clinic, testing center, fitness centers, and libraries.

Personnel will continue to work remotely this week, March 30 through April 5, unless contacted by their supervisor to report to campus.

Registration for summer classes will begin April 15 and fall registration begins June 1.

To contact PSC, use live chat at, email or call (850) 484-2000 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Florida Gas Prices Drop. And So Does The Demand.

March 30, 2020

Florida gas prices are  getting cheaper, as demand drops as residents are urged to stay home to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Gas prices are plunging primarily because Floridians are not driving as much as they normally do this time of year. According to the Florida Petroleum and Marketers Association, gasoline demand in major metro areas is down by as much as 50 percent. Additionally, concession sales inside the stores are reportedly down 10-15 percent.

Florida drivers are now paying an average price of $1.98 per gallon. The state average has declined more than 40 cents in the past month.

The average price per gallon in Escambia County was $1.91 Sunday night. The lowest price per gallon in North Escambia was at $1.75 per gallon at one Cantonment station.

“The cost for gasoline has dramatically declined in the past month, and there are even more discounts to come,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “If the state average eventually drifts below $1.73, pump prices would be the lowest since 2009. That may not be a difficult benchmark to reach. If wholesale prices hold at current levels, the state average could eventually sink below $1.60 per gallon. Although these savings are a tremendous benefit for drivers, unfortunately they come at a time when residents are unable to go out and enjoy them.”

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