Treasure Coast Coronavirus Update Tuesday March 17 2020

Treasure Coast Coronavirus Update Tuesday March 17 2020

TreasureCoast, Fl (

– The Florida Department of Health is now reporting 160 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state. Five people have died. Those numbers are expected to rise quickly as the state ramps up testing. Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees says preparations are being made.

Rivkees says he’s also hired 100 additional epidemeologists to assist his staff, which he says is working night and day.  The Florida Department of Health website has a new tool that allows you to follow the spread of coronavirus in the state. You can find the link at FloridaHealth-dot-gov.

From the Department of Health

Today, as part of the state’s ongoing efforts to provide transparency and clarity regarding COVID-19, the Florida Department of Health launched a new COVID-19 Case Dashboard. To keep Florida residents and visitors safe, informed and aware about the status of the virus, this dashboard will be updated twice daily.

One person has died in Orange County who tested positive for COVID-19.

As of 5 p.m., there are 160 total** Florida cases:

  • This number includes 5 additional positive COVID-19 cases (5 Florida residents) reported to the Florida Department of Health.
  • There are currently 142 positive cases in Florida residents and 18 positive cases in non-Florida residents.

Florida recently partnered with private laboratories around the state to expand COVID-19 laboratory testing capacity. This partnership will increase the number of tests conducted each day and ensure Floridians receive the critical health information they need in a timely manner.

Expansion to private laboratories changes the COVID-19 testing landscape in Florida. Private laboratories will run tests as they receive swab samples from practitioners. Testing and reporting times will vary among commercial and DOH laboratories. Demographic information may be updated during investigations. These twice daily reports reflect the state’s efforts to accurately and transparently share information.

More information on a case-by-case basis can also be found here.


The Florida Department of Health website has a new tool that allows you to follow the spread of coronavirus in the state.


It’s election day and those impacted by the coronavirus can still exercise their right to vote.

The coronavirus could affect voting in today’s Florida presidential primary . Polling places inside assisted living facilities, long term care and nursing homes are being moved elsewhere, so voters are being told to check and see if there have been any changes to their assigned polling places.


The Kennedy Space Center is now closed to visitors, the latest Florida attraction to shut down because of COVID-19. Refunds will be offered to those who have already purchased admission tickets.


The coronavirus is causing a major event to move from Tampa to Orlando. The WWE announced last night that WrestleMania 36 will move from Raymond James Stadium to the WWE Performance Center. No spectators will be allowed, but the event will be live-streamed Sunday, April 5th.

Indian River State College

In response to the latest guidance issued by Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health, Indian River State College (IRSC) will deliver all classes in an online format when it returns from Spring Break next week until further notice.  Classes currently being taught online will continue as scheduled on March 23rd. 

Hybrid classes (blend of online & face-to-face) will be delayed for one week and shift to completely online on March 30th. Face-to-face classes will be delayed for one week and be adjusted to an online format where possible on March 30th.

Workforce programs that require in-person contact hours (such as Cosmetology, Construction, and Industrial Education programs) will resume March 30th with alternative plans so students may complete the semester.

Faculty members will be contacting students in these programs. 

In accordance with the CDC guidance as of March 15th, IRSC will begin working to postpone or cancel events in the near future that consist of 50 or more people.

Please continue to check the IRSC website calendar for updates on event status at and IRSC social media channels.  Employees are expected to return to work as scheduled on March 23rd to ensure the continuation of services to students throughout the entirety of the spring semester.




One of the most urgent challenges in the coronavirus pandemic is making sure children do not lose access to food.  With schools and Boys and Girls Club locations closing, club leaders are answering a critical concern.

On Monday, the Boys and Girls Club of St. Lucie County served up more than a thousand meals, giving families one less thing to worry about.

Local children and families will be able to stop by four designated club locations in St. Lucie County to pick up pre-packaged dinners from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. through the end of March.

Garden Terrace Club 3104 Avenue J, Ft. Pierce

Chuck Hill Unit 198 NW Marion Avenue, Port St Lucie

Infinity Club 1011 N. 23rd Street, Fort Pierce

Ken Pruitt Club 10673 SE Lennard Road, Port St. Lucie.

St. Lucie County Commissioner Sean Mitchell is also ready to deliver meals throughout the community, making sure transportation is not a hurdle for children needing a healthy meal.

The Treasure Coast Food Bank and other donors helped provide the food.  The Boys and Girls Club of Martin County will also be distributing pre-packaged dinners to children under 18-years-old, even if they are not a member of the Boys and Girls Club.

The Boys and Girls Club of Martin County will be serving the meals through Sunday for pickup at the following locations:

Cloe-Clark Club, 11500 SE Lares Ave., Hobe Sound

Bill & Barbara Whitman Club, 17375 SW Palm Beach St., Indiantown

H. Wayne Huizenga Club, 1150 SW Martin Downs Blvd., Palm City

John & Marge Bolton Club, 4731 SE Flounder Ave., Stuart

Additionally, starting March 23 through March 27, the Martin County School District’s Food & Nutrition Services Department will open its Summer Meals Program, serving breakfast and lunch to children under age 18 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Locations include:

J.D. Parker Rockets, 1010 E. 10th St., Stuart

Port Salerno Elementary School, 3260 SE Lionel Terrace, Stuart

Warfield Elementary School, 15260 SW 150th Street, Indiantown

Dollar General

Dollar General announced that starting on Tuesday, the first hour of shopping will only be open to seniors. The company also announced that locations will begin closing an hour earlier to give employees a chance to clean and restock. The announcement comes as store shelves nationally are running low of some supplies amid concerns of the spread of coronavirus. Seniors are considered particularly at risk to the symptoms of coronavirus.  A Dollar General spokesperson stated, “Dollar General remains committed to providing customers and employees with a safe, clean and pleasant shopping environment at all stores and seeks for customers to feel confident when shopping”.


A state of emergency was declared Monday in Martin County allowing officials to take emergency measures amid the coronavirus. However, there are no confirmed cases of the virus in the county.

This will allow the county to take the following measures:

Waiving procurement rules for personal protective equipment for first responders and essential sanitation supplies for critical facilities like courthouses, jails and other public buildings

Empowering the county administrator to adjust work conditions to protect employee and resident safety

Limiting mass gatherings

Providing eligibility for federal reimbursement

On Monday, the Martin County School Board approved a plan to have all teachers go to their schools on March 23 to get training for half a day then go home and plan for a month of online instruction.

The district’s chief technology officer also told the school board they will be ready by March 30 to deploy 6,700 laptops to students who might need them throughout the district.

If the schools do go back in session March 30, students would not have to make up those days, but that is still pending.

Select park facilities, libraries and programs to close.


Sailfish Splash Waterpark (including lap swimming) will be closed to the public beginning Tuesday, March 17. The facility will remain closed until further notice.

Reservations are no longer being accepted for the Adventure Platform Tents at Phipps Park until further notice. Existing, upcoming reservations will be canceled and patrons will receive a full refund. RV and primitive camping at the facility will continue normal operations.

In addition, all organized programs and special events hosted at Martin County Parks and Recreation Department facilities, with the exception of spring break camp, are canceled until further notice.

All other parks and beaches (with the exception of Bathtub Beach) remain open.


All branches of the Martin County Library System will close to the public beginning Wednesday, March 18. In addition, all events, programs, and classes will be cancelled, including BookMania. No materials will be due, and no fines will accrue on closed days. While libraries are closed, the following services will be provided:

Hold pick-up at each location (during normal library hours)

Email and telephone reference (during normal library hours)

Downloadable eBooks and eAudio (24 hours a day/7 days a week)

Online classes through (24 hours a day/7 days a week)

Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County has temporarily closed its four clubs in the county. However, the organization will provide free meals to children under the age of 18, whether they are club members or not, now through Sunday, March 22.

Meals are available for pick up at the four club locations:

· Cloe-Clark Club, 11500 SE Lares Ave., Hobe Sound

· Bill & Barbara Whitman Club, 17375 SW Palm Beach St., Indiantown

· H. Wayne Huizenga Club, 1150 SW Martin Downs Blvd., Palm City

· John & Marge Bolton Club, 4731 SE Flounder Ave., Stuart

Meals provided include dinner and a snack. Provisions can be picked up drive-through style outside the clubs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday. Those receiving can accept the meals regardless if they arrive on foot, by bike or by car.

Amazon says it needs to hire 100,000 people across the U.S. to keep up with a crush of orders as the coronavirus spreads and keeps more people at home, shopping online.  The online retailer will also temporarily raise pay by $2 an hour through the end of April for hourly employees. That includes workers at its warehouses, delivery centers and Whole Foods grocery stores, all of whom make at least $15 an hour.  Amazon said this weekend that a surge of orders is putting its operations under pressure. It warned shoppers that it could take longer than the usual two days to get packages. Apply online to

The Trump administration’s coronavirus task force has announced strict new guidelines in an effort to restrict the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

President Donald Trump said Monday that his administration is recommending the following:

– Schooling from home, if possible

– Avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people

– Avoiding discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits

– And, avoiding bars, restaurants and food courts

The White House is also recommending that older people and those with underlying health conditions “stay home and away from other people” as it continues to step up efforts to halt the pandemic.

These guidelines are part of a campaign that the administration is calling, “15 days to slow the spread.”

Specifically, the task force pleaded for millennials, America’s largest generation, to limit their interactions with others.

The White House is also advising governors in states with evidence of community transmission to close schools and says that states with evidence of community spread should close restaurants, bars, gyms, and other venues where people gather.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says these guidelines will be in effect for about the next 15 days. Clarifying an earlier comment from Trump, Dr. Fauci said the virus could be present in the U.S. in a major way through July or August.

Additionally, the administration is alleging that a foreign disinformation campaign is underway aiming to stoke fear amid the coronavirus pandemic. Three U.S. officials said Monday that federal officials began confronting what they said was a deliberate effort by a foreign entity to sow fear of a nationwide quarantine.

The three U.S. officials did not name the foreign entity they believe to be responsible. They spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.

Also on Monday, national security officials said there had been a “cyber incident” involving the computer networks of the Department of Health and Human Services, but the networks were operating normally.

Drivers whose licenses have expired will be getting a reprieve because of the ongoing coronavirus concerns.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is extending all expired or soon-to-expire driver licenses and identification cards for another 30 days. Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes issued an executive order Sunday granting a 30-day extension for all licenses that will expire between now and April 15.  The order also waives delinquent renewal fees during the extension period. Florida residents needing to renew their licenses are encouraged to do so online at

The Florida Department of Health on Monday launched a new interactive map that allows the public to keep track of the number of coronavirus cases in each county.  The state said the new COVID-19 dashboard hopes to provide transparency and clarity while keeping “Florida residents and visitors safe, informed and aware about the status of the virus.” Health officials said the new dashboard will be updated twice a day.  As of 6 p.m. Monday, there are 160 total Florida coronavirus cases:

There are currently 142 positive cases of Florida residents, and 18 positive cases in non-Florida residents. Five Florida residents who had coronaviurus have died.

There are eight total cases in Palm Beach County, six men and two women. Five of the eight cases in Palm Beach County are travel-related, said the state.

There are 4,645 cases in the U.S.

For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, the public should contact the department’s COVID-19 Call Center at (866) 779-6121. The call center is available 24 hours per day.

Inquiries may also be emailed to

Here is  a link to the world wide google map.

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