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Category: COVID-19

Community Resources

If you or a loved one are facing challenges to keep your families taken care of, we recommend you check these websites where you will find different options for free meals and groceries in Central Florida:

Face Mask Required

Orlando Weekly: Posted By Dave Plotkin on Sat, Apr 11, 2020 at 11:57 am

Osceola County issued a new protective order Friday requiring that face masks or other coverings be worn by nearly every person in public. Coverings include a uniform piece of material securely covering a person’s nose and mouth, which “remains affixed in place without the use of one’s hands.” This can include a bandana, t-shirt, scarf or other piece of cloth.

The order takes affect just after midnight Sunday night, starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 13. It remains in place “until further notice.” “A face covering, according to the CDC’s guidance, can help stop the spread of the disease, especially if someone is asymptomatic,” says the order announcement

Osceola County also said Friday it has more than 300 cases of coronavirus, and that, “while many residents are abiding by current orders and guidance, others are creating a risk by ignoring them.” There are a few exceptions to the order, such as children under two and people whose breathing would be inhibited by a mask due to an existing health condition. People who are at work and have no face-to-face public interactions are also exempted, as are people exercising, as long as they are “observing social distancing in accordance with the CDC guidelines.”

This video from a feature in the journal Nature shows why you don’t want to wait until Monday to start protecting yourself from flying mucus – and especially to contain your own. What you’re seeing is MITmathematician Lydia Bourouiba’s high-speed camera capturing the anatomy of sneezes and coughs, which helps to illustrate how infectious diseases like COVID-19 spread in the air. Mask wearing has indeed been much more popular in countries outside of the U.S., as a way to combat pollen and air pollution, and as a courtesy to protect other people from sneezes. It’s time for Central Floridians to more broadly accept the lesson.

County officials asked residents to refrain from wearing “sorely needed N95 masks or other PPE,” so as not to deprive medical professionals the critically needed personal protection equipment, but washable cloth masks are effective and readily available. As always, businesses will need to be on board too. One of the best ways local restaurants and service providers can adopt mask culture is to make their own using cloth from unused company uniforms or matching fabrics.

Accessorizing cloth masks with existing uniforms reduces the jarring appearance of medical-style masks, which are often in a recognizable light blue or green. Gloves are a must, whether required or not, and white ones match almost any uniform. For details on the order, visit the county’s website. Osceola residents who think they have been exposed to COVID-19 and have developed a fever and symptoms (such as cough or difficulty breathing), are asked to contact their healthcare provider or the Osceola County Health Department at 407-343-2000.

The New CARES ACT

The CARES Act provides fast and direct economic assistance for American workers and families, small businesses, and preserves jobs for American industries.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress with overwhelming, bipartisan support and signed into law by President Trump on March 27th, 2020.  This over $2 trillion economic relief package delivers on the Trump Administration’s commitment to protecting the American people from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

The CARES Act provides fast and direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses, and preserve jobs for our American industries.

Information Provided by: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares

By clicking on the link above you will get complete detail information on any information related to the COVID-19 Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act!

Osceola Stay At Home

Adrienne Cutway, Web Editor

Published: March 26, 2020, 5:01 pm

ClickOrlando

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – As the beginning of the stay-at-home order in Osceola County nears, people are wondering what does and doesn’t constitute a violation.

The decision to institute the mandate was announced Wednesday as county leaders told residents that it would begin Thursday at 11 p.m. and end April 9 at 11 p.m. The ultimate goal of the order is to reduce the likelihood of mass gatherings and ensure that people social distance in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Law enforcement officers will be tasked with dispersing groups of 10 or more and those in violation could face a fine up to $500 or even arrest, according to the sheriff.

To quell some concerns, Osceola County established a frequently asked questions page to address what will still be operating, what must shutdown and what things people can still do outside their homes.

Below is some information from that page:

Does the order apply to me?

Yes. Even if you aren’t elderly or have health problems, the order is mandatory for all Osceola County residents, including those living in Kissimmee.

Will public transit still be operating?

Lynx and SunRail will still be up and running but should only be used for essential activities or business.

What exactly are essential activities?

Going to the grocery store, getting take-out from a restaurant, going to the pharmacy, gas stations, police stations, fire stations, hospitals, medical appointments and healthcare facilities are all allowed. After your business is done at any of those places, you’re asked to return home immediately. While out, be sure to practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others.

Can I still go to work?

It depends on what you do for a living. If you work at any of the places mentioned above then you can and should go to work as long as you follow proper precautions. Osceola County also provided a list of businesses that are considered essential to everyday life and therefore allowed to continue operating:

  • Healthcare providers
  • Grocery store employees
  • Food cultivation
  • Any business to provide food, shelter, social services and necessities of life
  • Hotels and motels
  • Media
  • Gas stations
  • Auto-supply, auto-repair, towing companies
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Hardware stores
  • Licensed contractors
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners
  • Restaurants to offer a pickup option or delivery
  • Schools providing free food services to students
  • Businesses that supply office products needed for anyone who works from home
  • Any business selling medical equipment and supply providers
  • Businesses shipping groceries or goods to residences
  • Airlines
  • Taxis
  • Bus employees
  • Home-based care for seniors adults or children
  • Assisted living facilities and nursing homes
  • Legal services
  • Landscape and pool care business
  • Childcare facilities
  • Businesses operating at an airport or government facility
  • Pet supply stores
  • Logistics providers
  • Telecommunications providers
  • Providers of propane or natural gas
  • Construction sites
  • Architectural, engineering and land surveying services
  • Factories and plants
  • Waste management services
  • Businesses interacting with customers solely through electronic or telephonic means
  • Businesses delivering products through mail

If your job isn’t listed, plan on talking to your boss about working from home.

I miss my family and friends. Can I see them?

Unfortunately, no — at least not in person. If your loved one has an urgent need for food or health care then of course you can visit but in-person hangouts shouldn’t be happening during the period of the order. FaceTime, phone calls, Skype and texting are always acceptable.

I think I have COVID-19. Can I go get tested?

Yes, those testing sites will be open but don’t just show up unannounced. Most testing sites require pre-screening and appointments to ensure that precious supplies aren’t wasted on someone who doesn’t actually need it. To review the criteria and see Osceola County testing sites, click here.

Can I go to the hospital?

Yes, there are no plans of closing the hospitals or denying access to anyone with a medical emergency. You shouldn’t, however, go to the emergency room for a coronavirus test. If you have a friend or family member who has been admitted to a health care facility, it’s important to note that many hospitals and assisted living centers have amended their visitor policies.

Will garbage still be picked up?

Yes. Be sure to take your trash out to the curb on your regularly scheduled day.

Will Orlando International Airport be open?

It will, but definitely don’t get in a plane if you’re feeling ill and you’re strongly advised against going to a coronavirus hot spot, including New York City. Keep in mind that the situation is fluid and you could be asked to self-isolate upon return, depending on where you go. Otherwise, the airport is open for essential travel.

Will Osceola County Parks be open?

Yes, you can still access the trails for some outdoor exercise but don’t plan on using any fitness centers. Trails and boat ramps are open but athletic fields and courts are closed.

Can I still get mail?

You can and you will. That includes USPS mail, packages from Amazon or otherwise, groceries and more.

What about exercise?

Walking, running, riding your bicycle and all outdoor exercise is allowed as long as you still practice social distancing. Gyms and fitness centers remain closed.

Can I go to the vet or take my dog for a walk?

Seeking medical care for your pets is allowed as is taking your dog for a walk, just remember to keep 6 feet away from anyone you encounter.

Will churches be open?

Yes, but the social distancing rules still apply. Many local churches have opted to provide streaming services instead of in-person worship in order to protect their congregation. Check out the list here.

What about salons and beauty shops?

You’ll need to reschedule your manicure because they’ll be closed for the duration of the order.

Laundromats?

Those are open along with dry cleaners.

Will day cares be open?

That’s the plan. The Florida Department of Children and Families oversees the state’s day care facilities and has provided those locations with guidelines.

What about homeless people?

Osceola County officials say they’re doing their best to keep that population safe by working with their partners to expand services and by reaching out to individuals at homeless camps.

How will the order be enforced?

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office will enforce the order, although deputies have noted that the ultimate goal is to keep people safe, not necessarily make arrests. That being said, violators can face a $500 fine or even jail time.

The order has left me feeling anxious and scared. Is there someone I can talk to?

That’s understandable and there are resources to help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Distress Helpline is available around the clock at 1-800-985-5990 (press “2″ for Spanish) or Text TalkWithUs to 66746. For Spanish, text Hablanos to 66746.

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