CDC Now Recommending Americans Wear Face Masks

April 4, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

The CDC said the recommendation applies in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as in grocery stores and pharmacies, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

Maintaining six-feet minimum social distancing remains important to slowing spread of COVID-19. CDC also advises use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The cloth face coverings recommended to slow spread of COVID-19 are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those critical supplies must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Here Are DIY Face Mask Instructions. No Sewing Necessary. (With Printable Guide)

April 4, 2020

For instructions from the CDC how how to make your own face masks with or without sewing from common household items. Click here or the image below to enlarge (printable pdf instructions).

Alabama Governor Issues Stay-At-Home Order

April 3, 2020

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has issued a stay-at-home order that goes into effect at 5 p.m. Saturday.

“Folks, April stands to be very tough, and potentially very deadly,” Ivey said Friday afternoon. “You need to understand we are past urging people to stay at home. It is now the law.”

To read the complete order, click here.

“We’ve got to take this order dead serious; otherwise, the fact is more people will end up dying,” she said.

The order means that everyone in Alabama must stay home except to receive or perform essential services and activities including:

  • Obtain necessary supplies
  • Obtain or provide necessary services
  • Attend religious services
  • To take care of others
  • To work
  • To engage in outdoor activity
  • To seek shelter
  • To travel as required by law
  • To see family members

Non-essential businesses must remain closed as previously ordered. Non-work gatherings of 10 or more are prohibited. The occupancy of essential businesses such as grocery stores is limited to no more than 50%. Religious services mch involved less than 10 people who stay at least six-feet apart or a drive-in type service.

Anyone that does leave home must make a reasonable effort  to maintain a six-foot separation from other people.

To read the complete order, click here.

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson Tests Negative For COVID-19 After His Son Is Confirmed Positive

April 3, 2020

Update: Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson has tested negative for COVID-19 after being tested today, Friday, April 3. Mayor Robinson was tested due to his son testing positive for COVID-19.

Mayor Robinson will continue to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for two weeks, according to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with City of Pensacola policy.

In an abundance of caution, City Hall will be deep cleaned and sanitized over the weekend, in addition to the enhanced daily cleaning measures already taking place due to COVID-19.

Mayor Robinson has not exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19, and he will continue to be available to perform his job duties from home while quarantined as he is able.

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson announced Friday afternoon that he has been tested for COVID-19 after his son tested positive.

Robinson released the following open letter:

Dear citizens of Pensacola,

Today, I was tested for COVID-19. I have not received the test results, but regardless of the outcome, I will be self-quarantining until I can confirm that it is safe for me to be around others.

My son, Grover Robinson V, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is recovering at home. He is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.

I wanted you, the citizens of Pensacola, to hear this first from me rather than from another source or rumor.

Regardless of what happens, rest assured that you are in good hands with very capable employees here at the City of Pensacola. We have an incredible team of hardworking people working every day to serve our citizens.

I will continue to do everything I can to serve you while ensuring I am not putting anyone else at risk while I await the results of my test.

It is always my commitment to be as transparent as possible with those who have elected me to serve them, and these circumstances are no different. I will provide an update to the public once I have my test results, whether positive or negative.

I urge you all to continue to do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Follow the directives you are receiving from health officials and Gov. DeSantis. The safety and the future of our city is dependent on all of us working together to stop this virus from spreading.

Escambia County Hires Two New Assistant County Administrators, Including A Tate High Graduate

April 3, 2020

The Escambia County Commission voted to hire two assistant county administrators during their meeting Thursday night at the recommendation of County Administrator Janice Gilley.

Debbie Bowers is a 1979 graduate of Tate High School. She’s currently employed as the managing director of DL Bowers Advisors, a Pensacola consulting partnership. She spent 10 years as chief commercial officer for the City of Los Angeles, five years with Broward County in roles that included interim deputy airport director for administration and an assistant to the county administrator.

Wesley Hall has served the past year as the interim county administrator for Gadsden County, Florida, spent six years at the revenue officer for the City of Tallahassee, operated several McDonald’s restaurants from 2005 to 2001 and was director of sales for the Florida Lottery from 2000 to 2005.

Bowers and Hall will each receive an annual salary of $136,000, a $400 monthly vehicle allowance, and up to $5,000 for relocation expenses. Both were budgeted positions.

Two Escambia County (AL) COVID-19 Cases Confirmed; Third Person Tests Positive At Atmore Community Hospital

April 3, 2020

As a second case of coronavirus was reported in Escambia County, Alabama, we’ve learned that another individual tested positive at Atmore Community Hospital.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reported two positive cases in the county as of Thursday night. The Escambia County Healthcare Authority, which oversees Atmore Community Hospital and D.W. McMillan Hospital in Brewton — said neither of those patients were tested at their hospitals.

A separate patient that took a COVID-19 test at Atmore Community Hospital has tested positive, according to the healthcare authority. That person’s results won’t be reported as another local positive because they were not a resident of Escambia County, Alabama. The authority said the positive result will be reported by the Alabama Department of Health in the patient’s home county.

The Escambia County Healthcare Authority issued a statement that assured the public that “it is safe to seek care” at both Atmore Community and D.W. McMillan hospitals.

“We have the facilities and expertise to care for those patients while protecting the safety of all our patients, visitors and employees,” the statement said.

Pictured: Atmore Community Hospital. NorthEscambia.com file photo.

Escambia Commission Votes To Keep Beaches Closed Until Further Notice

April 2, 2020

The Escambia County Commission voted 4-1 Thursday night to keep the public beaches in Escambia County closed.

Commissioner Lumon May made the motion to keep the beaches closed until further notice. Commissioner Doug Underhill cast the lone dissenting vote.

Underhill made a motion to open the beaches and find a away for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office to enforce distancing. His motion failed due to lack of a second. Underhill argued that COVID-19 cases were not increasing exponentially in Florida, but the beach closure is causing undue financial hardships on local residents.

The commission’s previously approved order to close the beaches would have expired at midnight Thursday.

Escambia Superintendent Thomas Vows To Eventually Hold Graduation Ceremony For The Class Of 2020

April 2, 2020

Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said Thursday that district will do everything possible to hold a high school graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, even if that means waiting until July due to coronavirus.

“Everybody is worried about graduation and commencement exercises being canceled. At this point, it doesn’t look like it’s very hopeful that we would hold a commencement at the end of May,” Thomas said Thursday. “But I have said since the beginning, we’re going to do whatever we can do to make sure a graduation ceremony is held.”

Thomas said he believes the district could wait as late as July and still have a majority of students still in the community.

“If that were the case and we were allowed to assemble large groups in July, we would go to the civic center and we would have a graduation ceremony,” he said. As for now, no final decisions are being made about date or location as the COVID-19 situation progresses.

“I will tell you this, we will do something to make sure we honor our seniors who’ve spent their life thus far preparing for that moment where they can walk across a stage in a cap and gown, have a picture taken and receive a diploma. We know that’s important, and we aregoing to support that in any way we can,” Thomas added.