Treasure Coast Covid -19 Update March 24 2020

Treasure Coast Covid -19 Update March 24 2020

Good morning! Here is your update. The conversation continues on our Facebook page.


The death toll from the coronavirus continues to climb in Florida. The Department of Health says that 17 people have died from COVID-19. Over 12-hundred people in the state have tested positive.

Most Florida beaches are closed because of the coronavirus, but Governor Ron DeSantis says the threat was never from people who kept to themselves on the shoreline. (thank you!)

DeSantis says he’s considered calls to shut down the state, but says it isn’t necessary or practical at this time.

The governor has sent a letter to President Trump formally requesting that he declare a Major Disaster in Florida. You can view it here.

DeSantis also announced that those flying in from New York and New Jersey should quarantine themselves for two weeks.

Travelers passing through Orlando International Airport should be aware of a new coronavirus case. The TSA announced yesterday that a fifth agent at OIA has tested positive for COVID-19. The agent last worked a the airport on March 12th. The TSA says the agent is recovering at home.

With many Americans avoiding getting on board passenger jets amid the spread of coronavirus, United Airlines has a plan to continue operating some of its fleet of planes. United Airlines said that it is using some of its largest planes as cargo planes. United Airlines said the flights will be used to carry “critical goods.”

United said it is using its Boeing 777 and 787 fleet to run 40 charter flights each week, and is looking to add more routes.

Doctors are reporting that people infected with the coronavirus may lose their sense of smell and perhaps taste. 

The World Health Organization is looking into it, but some experts are already saying that changes in taste and smell might be a useful tool to screen people for infection. They cite reports from South Korea, China and Italy. Virus infection is already a known cause of smell loss, and in some cases it can be permanent. But in cases of the coronavirus, it looks more like a temporary effect.

On Monday, Instacart announced plans to bring on an additional 300,000 full-service shoppers across North America over the next three months to meet the increasing customer demand for online grocery delivery and pickup in the U.S. and Canada. Apoorva Mehta, Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta, the company’s founder and CEO, said Instacart is also offering additional support and sick pay for shoppers who may be affected by COVID-19.

Much of Florida’s legal system is in a holding pattern until COVID-19 worries decrease.

Jury trials have all been postponed. Only “essential” legal proceedings are on court dockets until conditions improve. Protection measures against the illness have forced many of the state’s lawyers to figure out how to work from home. Instead of meeting clients at her office or in a courthouse,  Elizabeth Ricci, a North Florida immigration attorney, said, she is now often set up on her patio with a laptop. She says court motions and conferences are being handled online, with video chats and electronic documents. Ricci sees the change as a dramatic shift for a legal system still largely preferring analog methods to digital. The judicial pause for Florida’s courts was originally scheduled to be lifted at the end of this week. Given that COVID-19 cases are still climbing in Florida, it’s almost certain things will be extended.

For the second time in as many days, a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package failed a key procedural vote in the Senate.

Banner Health experts are warning the public against using “inappropriate medications” after an Arizona man died and his wife was hospitalized after taking chemicals they believed could help protect against coronavirus.

On Sunday, the man and his wife, both in their 60s, took chloroquine phosphate, an additive commonly used to clean fish tanks, and within 30 minutes experienced effects that required admittance to a nearby Banner Health facility. The man died and his wife remains under critical care, according to a hospital spokesperson.   

The woman, who was able to throw up the chemicals, is likely going to survive, said the spokesperson.

Social distancing means many large events have been canceled to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

That also means food truck operators are finding it nearly impossible to do business, as many primarily cater to large gatherings.

Food truck owners say while brick and mortar restaurants have had to close completely, restaurants have the option to do curbside pickup to keep some money coming in.

But, with restaurants, bars, and breweries closing, food truck owners say they do not have much to fall back on.

Bryan Bellamy, who goes by ‘Red’, owns the Red’s Kitchen food truck.

Please go to our Covid-19 Center for all our updates and links to all the info you will need.

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