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 newsletter useful, please share it. To subscribe to this newsletter,click here.
8-year-old boy among IRC coronavirus cases
Eleven additional coronavirus cases, including an 8-year-old Indian River County boy, were reported today for the Treasure Coast, according to the daytime report released by the Florida Department of Health.
The boy is the Treasure Coast’s youngest case. Previously, the youngest person reported with the virus on the Treasure Coast was an 18-year-old St. Lucie County man.
St. Lucie County continues to lead the Treasure Coast in COVID-19 cases, with 33, followed by Indian River County with 30 and Martin County with 28. St. Lucie County also doubled its total number of hospitalizations since reporting began to 8. Two people in St. Lucie County have died from COVID-19, the Treasure Coast’s only deaths related to the virus. Martin County has had five people hospitalized while Indian River County has had three.
A total of 1,103 COVID-19 tests have been administered on the Treasure Coast, with 511 in St. Lucie, 303 in Martin and 289 in Indian River. Okeechobee County, which has conducted 54 tests, has no known cases.
In today’s report, a total of 6,338 cases were reported statewide with 77 deaths.
County numbers based on individual case data on daily person's under investigation report and may vary somewhat from what appears on the state dashboard. March 27 statistics are from the nightly report.
DETAILS OF CORONAVIRUS CASES (RED DENOTES NEW CASES SINCE MONDAY'S NEWSLETTER)
We are adding restaurants every day. As a service to readers and restaurants on the Treasure Coast, Indian River Magazine Inc. has created a website showing restaurants that are open for carryout and/or delivery in St. Lucie, Indian River and Martin counties. The site includes hours and days carryout is available as well as popular dishes. See the new site at treasurecoastrestaurants.com
Guide explains small business loan programs
The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that was passed by Congress last week and signed by President Trump are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. The programs include paycheck protection loans, small business debt relief, economic injury loans and grants, small business counseling and contracting and small business tax provisions. For an explanation of the programs, visit https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/
For local assistance, call the Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College at 772.462.7630.
Bruno’s Chocolate Creations open for business
Historic Bruno’s Chocolate Creations, 2650 U.S. 1, Fort Pierce, remains open for business weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Phone 772.466.4222. “Many customers are calling in to order chocolate and ship,’’ says owner Val Anderson.
City suspends vacation rental operations
The city of Fort Pierce has suspended all vacation rental operations. Vacation rentals are prohibited from making new reservations or bookings and may not accept new guests for check-in for the duration of the order. Violators can be reported at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/eo-complaints/
St. Lucie County’s hotline hours expanded
St. Lucie County’s Emergency Management staff has expanded the hours of operations for its Public Information Hotline to Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The line answers general questions about local government efforts and COVID-19. The number is 772-460-4357.
— NONPROFIT —
Program challenges businesses to support nonprofits
The Children Services Council of St. Lucie County and the St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce has established the Small Business Challenge Program to help incentivize the use of locally owned St. Lucie County businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will work like this: participating businesses, nominated by the St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce will choose a non-profit, funded by the Children’s Services Council, as a partner. On a selected day, the Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County will donate an amount equal to the selected business’ revenue (up to $1,000) to their non-profit “partner.’’
The first challenge is Friday, April 3, at Texas Roadhouse in Port St. Lucie benefiting the nonprofit Families of the Treasure Coast.
Saint Edward’s School pivots to virtual learning in just 3 days
After Gov. Rick DeSantis closed schools because of the coronavirus pandemic, Saint Edward’s School in Vero Beach transitioned to a virtual school for pre-kindergarteners through 12th grade in just three days.
“The Leadership Team, as well as our technology teachers and IT professionals gathered at 8am Monday, March 16th, and by that afternoon we had a plan outlined for moving forward,’’ said Head of School Mike Mersky.
“Our goal is to continue to provide an extraordinary education to our students, while supporting our families emotionally and spiritually as well.” said IT Director Quen Voyles. “Even though none of us could imagine facing a pandemic like this, the School was well-suited and prepared to make this move at this time. Our younger students work with iPads, and those in the middle and upper schools have their own laptops and have been taught proper online behavior from the beginning. These ingrained behaviors made the transition very smooth from a technical support perspective.”
Within hours, the school’s technology education team, consisting of Technology Coordinators Shaun Hurley, Kelly Fykes and Amber Mullins had a plan for blending lessons that could work for ages 4-18. By the next day, teachers were ready to develop lesson plans that would work within the new framework.
“Challenges like this really reveal how connected a community is,’’ said Head of the Upper School and Associate Head of School Jack MacMullan. “Transforming a school that is traditional in so many ways into an engaging, rigorous, fun learning environment has only highlighted how each teacher, student and parent is not only willing, but excited to do his or her part.”
Teachers meet with students daily on a number of virtual platforms, and they hold office hours throughout the week in which students can log on and ask questions in person. All subjects are covered, including fine arts.
TODAY’S HOMETOWN HEROES
Today’s Hometown Heroes are Michelle Backus and Jennifer Picardi of the Fort Pierce Woman’s Club. They were nominated by Jill M. Hanson, who writes:
“Every Monday and Friday evenings the Fort Pierce Women's Club gives free food to needy families. These two ladies are working non-stop for this cause. They are doing this on top of working their regular jobs, home schooling and asking local business for donations. Jennifer is really committed to volunteering for several different nonprofits, especially if there are children involved. She co-chairs the Affiliate Committee of the Real Estate Association of Palm Beach, Greater Fort Lauderdale and St Lucie County with all their "Pay it Forward" programs that they have in place. Once a quarter a nonprofit is chosen and items are requested for donations. Jennifer has spear-headed this program and is impressive. It is no wonder she always has great turnouts for volunteers and donations and sponsorships as she puts 200 percent into all of the programs. She has a huge heart. I witnessed tears streaming down her face last week at the club after she spoke with a homeless family. It broke her heart to see this family in the situation. ‘’
Do you know somebody on the Treasure Coast who should be singled out for praise because of their actions during the coronavirus pandemic? Whether it’s a nurse at the local hospital, a volunteer at the local food bank or a grocery clerk going the extra mile, Treasure Coast Business and Indian River Magazine Inc. will help you sing their praises in our new online feature Hometown Heroes of the Treasure Coast. Visitwww.indianrivermagazine.com/hometown-heroes/
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]