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.
Fla COVID-19 cases rise to 314; no cases reported on Treasure Coast
Florida’s total cases of COVID-19 rose to 314 today, an increase of 45 percent over Tuesday’s numbers, while no Treasure Coast counties have reported cases. Seven deaths in the state have been reported from the disease.
Today’s report showed that 2,493 people have been tested. Besides the 314 with positive results, 1,225 had negative results and results are pending for another 954 people. Tuesday’s report showed that 216 people had tested positive for the disease.
Of the 314 positive cases reported Wednesday, 73 people had traveled recently, 50 had contact with a confirmed case and 63 had traveled and had contact with a confirmed case. Information about travel and contact with previously confirmed cases was unknown for another 128 people who tested positive.
The Treasure Coast counties — Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River — have not yet reported any positive cases. Testing results released as of 9:54 a.m. today showed that 31 people have been tested so far on the Treasure Coast, up from 19 the previous day.
The report showed that of 14 people tested in Indian River County 10 had negative results. Results are still pending on another four people. In St. Lucie County, seven people have been tested so far. Three had negative results and results are pending for four people. In Martin County, 10 people have been tested and results for all are pending.
The 156 cases in Broward and Dade counties — 73 in Broward and 72 in Dade — represent 46 percent of the state’s cases. Treasure Coast neighbor Palm Beach County had the third highest number in the state — 18 cases — while neighbors Okeechobee County had 0 cases and Brevard County had one case.
Of those testing positive in Florida, 59 percent are male and 40 percent are female. Forty-one percent of the cases are age 60 and above while 59 percent are under 60.
Drive-thru testing just in Stuart so far
Coronavirus testing is being made available by Cleveland Clinic Martin Health at its hospital in Stuart for those who meet state guidelines. People who are concerned they may have COVID-19 must receive an order from their primary care physician or be cleared by Cleveland Clinic’s online platform at clevelandclinicflorida.org/ECO. For further information about testing call 772.419.3360. Cleveland Clinic also plans to begin drive-through testing in St. Lucie and Indian River counties.
SBDC offering business bridge loans
The Florida Small Business Development Center is accepting applications for short-term, interest-free loans for small businesses affected by COVID-19.
The purpose of the loan program, which was activated Tuesday by Gov. Ron DeSantis, is to help business owners bridge the gap between the time the economic impact occurred and when a business secures other longer-term resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Through the program, qualified small businesses with two to 100 employees can apply for loans up to $50,000 for one-year terms. To be eligible, a business must be located in Florida, have been established bere March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic injury as a result of the virus.
To complete a loan application by the May 8, 2020 deadline, and for more information about the program, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org. The state is also working to make an online application available.
Federal guidance on businesses dealing with COVID-19
The Small Business Administration is working directly with states to provide low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits severely impacted by COVID-19. To learn about The Small Business Administration’s Injury Disaster Loans visit SBA.gov/Disaster
COVID-19 guidance for businesses and employers
Bars ordered closed; restaurant operations limited
Under the direction of Gov. RonDeSantis, all bars and nightclubs throughout Florida are ordered closed for the next 30 days. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation is charged with enforcing the regulations. Meanwhile, restaurants across Florida are now equired to limit customer entry to 50 percent of capacity. Seating must be staggered and limited to ensure seated parties are separated by a distance of at least six feet, in accordance with CDC guidelines. Guidance is at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/emergency/
McKee Botanical Garden temporarily closed
McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach announced today that the garden is closed until further notice. “While we had hoped to remain open with regard to the coronavirus, in an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of our staff, members, visitors, and volunteers, we are closing the garden,” said Executive Director Christine Hobart.
The 3rd Annual Garden & Antique Show and Sale scheduled for March 20-22, has been cancelled. All events, activities, classes, tours, programs and meetings have been cancelled through April 6.
United Way IRC creates COVID-19 fund
United Way of Indian River County has announced a $50,000 COVID-19 Community Response Fund for local programs that are serving the most vulnerable populations during the pandemic.
This fund will support local organizations and the individuals and families they serve who are affected by this crisis.United Way will seek donations from other organizations and individuals in the weeks ahead. Funding will be distributed to organizations across the county best positioned to meet the emerging needs resulting from this crisis.
For information contact Meredith Egan at [email protected]. To contribute, visit UnitedWayIRC.org/Fund.
Podcast available for businesses dealing with COVID-19
Port St. Lucie suspending in-person services
Beginning today, the City of Port St. Lucie has suspended in-person services at City Hall departments. In the building department, the city is implementing a temporary change in policy to all all work to be submitted electronically. See more city updates at https://www.cityofpsl.com/covid19
Does your business have news of a temporary closing, a change in operations due to COVID-19 or recommendations or experiences that you would like to share with readers of this newsletter?
If so, email details to Gregory Enns at [email protected]
BE PART OF THE BUSINESS CONVERSATION ON THE TREASURE COAST