As a service to residents and the business community of the Treasure Coast, Indian River Magazine Inc. is providing free updates on changes in operations that affect businesses in the region because of the coronavirus. If you have news to report, please email Gregory Enns at [email protected] If you find this letter useful, please share it. To subscribe to this newsletter, click here.
13 coronavirus cases reported for Treasure Coast
The number of COVID-19 cases on the Treasure Coast has risen to 13, with 8 cases in Indian River County, three cases in St Lucie County and two cases in Martin County, according to a report released this morning by the Florida Department of Health. Only one of the cases, in Indian River County, has involved a hospitalization, the report showed.
All of the St. Lucie County cases occurred in Port St. Lucie and three of the Indian River cases occurred in Vero Beach. The report did not show which other cities in Indian River and Martin the cases occurred.
Florida reported a total of 1,171 cases as of the Department of Health’s daily 11 a.m. report. The number represents an increase of 164 more cases — 159 Florida residents and 5 non-Florida residents — than the previous day. So far, 14 people in Florida have died from the disease. The report shows 47 of Florida’s 67 counties now have cases. Thirty-seven percent of the people testing positive are over 60 while 63 percent are under 60.
The statistics showed these county-by county breakdowns: 69 people have tested in Indian River County, with 61 percent negative results and 4 people still awaiting test results; 85 people have been tested in St. Lucie County, with 82 people testing negative; 52 people have been tested in Martin County, with 50 people testing negative. Fourteen people have been tested in Okeechobee County and no positive cases have been reported.
The Indian River County cases include: a 69-year-old male who recently traveled to Egypt and Germany; a 30 year-old female who recently traveled to Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom; a 58-year-old female who recently traveled to Ireland; and a 25-year-old female who recently traveled to New York. The other cases include an 81-year-old female, a 54-year-old male and 84-year-old female with no recent travel history. One of the Indian River cases also involves a non-resident.
The St. Lucie cases involve a 77-year-old male who recently traveled to the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos and a 56-year-old male and 45-year-old female with no recent travel history.
The Martin cases involve a 45-year-old female who recently traveled to Brazil and a 75-year-old male.
The statistics released by the department lag behind the real-time totals by at least several days. The state recently partnered with private labs to run testing. Sebastian River Medical Center, St. Lucie Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic Martin Health and Indian River Medical Center are among the private laboratories providing test results. People tested must have a physician’s orders and meet Department of Health requirements. Drive-thru testing is now available at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health South, Cleveland Clinic Tradition Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital. Cleveland Clinic’s online platform to get tested is at clevelandclinicflorida.org/ECO
Treasure Coast beaches and state parks closed
All public beaches in St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties have been closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Martin County and Indian River County closed all beaches Sunday night and St. Lucie County closed beaches as of 8 a.m. today.
Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced that effective today all Florida parks will be closed to the public.
“We appreciate the public’s cooperation and understanding as we work to prioritize the welfare of our communities and staff,’’ a statement said. “We look forward to welcoming you again to our award-winning state parks as soon as possible.’’
Study shows 76 percent of businesses negatively affected
The most recent study from the National Federation of Independent Businesses shows 76 percent of small businesses are negatively affected by coronavirus while 5 percent are positively impacted. The NFIB said the firms doing better are likely experiencing stronger sales because of a sharp demand for their products related to coronavirus preparations.
Of those businesses negatively impacted, 23 percent are experiencing supply chain disruptions, 54 percent slower sales, and 9 percent sick employees.
While many small businesses (47 percent) have not talked with their bank about financing needs, 30 percent are planning to do so soon. Another 13 percent have talked with their personal bank already, 9 percent with the Small Business Association about their loan programs, and 1 percent with an online lender.
Best Value Jewelry & Pawn stores remain open
Best Value Jewelry & Pawn stores remain open with slightly adjusted hours. The stores at 2817 S. U.S 1, Fort Pierce, and 258 SW Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, have slightly adjusted hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
“At this time, Best Value Jewelry & Pawn has no intention to close since we are a financial institution and considered a necessity to our clients,’’ a statement from the company said.
A note from State Farm agent Bill Knight
The Fort Pierce office of State Farm agent Bill Knight continues operating, with clients asked to communicate by phone, email or text. Clients can also download the State Farm app and utilize many features, such as file a claim, make a payment, get a quote. Knight’s web page can be accessed at billknightinsurance.com.
“We are here for you and we appreciate your business.’’ Knight said. “Be safe.’’ Knight can be reached at 772.461.7900 or [email protected]
St. Lucie Battery & Tire accepting appointments
St. Lucie Battery and Tire continues to operate and accept appointments at its 16 locations on the Treasure Coast.
"We are always here to keep your vehicle up and running, especially at a time like this,’’ a statement said. "Effective immediately, we have taken additional precautions in our showrooms, lobbies, and work areas to ensure the safety of our team and our customers.’’
Commerce Health establishes COVID-19 resource page
Commerce Health Consulting has set up a COVID-19 resource page to help businesses during the outbreak, said Paul M. Berman, president and CEO of the company.
Vero chamber accessible by appointment
The Vero Beach Chamber of Commerce has announced that it is open only for appointments. President Bob McCabe can be reached at 248.421.7301
“We are all in this together and will get through and be stronger,’’ a statement said. “Shop from local restaurants for take out and or delivery. Shop local retailers online.’’
White Orchid Spa temporarily closes
White Orchid Spa in Vero Beach has announced that it is temporarily closing beginning at 3 p.m. today.
“We understand that this may be an inconvenience for many of our guests, and even more so for our team who depend on your reservations for their income,’’ a statement said. “We are committed to doing our very best to support our team members in need while we are closed.’’
PSL Business Women’s Fashion Show rescheduled to September
The Port St. Lucie Business Women have rescheduled their 30th annual Fashion Show for Sept. 26, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club, 12600 NW Harbour Ridge Blvd., Palm City.
Let us help you promote your business in Indian River, the largest and most widely distributed magazine on the Treasure Coast, and on our Web sites, indianrivermagazine.com and tcbusiness.com, and through this weekly e-newsletter and our widely followed social media pages. Become an Indian River partner today.
• In Vero Beach and Port St. Lucie contact Lisa Crawford at [email protected] or 516.721.0848.
• In Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach and Hobe Sound contact Marsha Lange at [email protected]