TreasureCoast Covid-19 Update April 2 2020

TreasureCoast Covid-19 Update April 2 2020

The death toll from the coronavirus in Florida is now over 100. The Department of Health reporting 101 deaths. There are nearly eight-thousand cases statewide.

A “Safer at Home” order is being signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, urging Floridians to stay in their homes for the month of April.

The move comes after the Trump administration urged Americans to follow CDC guidance and practice social distancing for the next 30 days. 

Florida is trying to speed up the processing time for unemployment benefits. The online registration system has been overwhelmed by so many people requesting benefits. Yesterday, it was announced that Governor DeSantis has waived a rule requiring recipients wait a week before their first check is given. Previously, he did away with the rule that people getting the benefits have to prove they are continuing to search for new jobs

Local funeral homes are bracing for the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Michele Hood from the Independent Funeral Directors of Florida says survivors have to change their expectations.

Hood says many funeral homes are webcasting services while refusing to allow more than ten people to attend in person. 


While it’s hard to say what’s ahead for the business community, many local manufacturers are doing their part to combat the coronavirus.

Two Treasure Coast companies are filling immediate needs during this desperate time.

At Avant-Garde Designs in Palm City, creating cool cars is their forte, but now, they’re shifting gears. Lasers and 3D printers are helping employees design face shields.

“We just finished a thousand, shipping out 500 already,” said partner Jeremy Carlson at Avant-Garde Designs.

He says a network of fabricators put their heads together to create these masks, which at first took several hours.

“Assemble them, put it and seal in a bag in 30 seconds to 20 seconds,” said Carlson.

An online fundraiser helped them purchase the parts.

These shields are going to hospitals locally, and as far away as Puerto Rico.

“All the doctor has to do is cut it open and put it on basically,” said Carlson.

Every one of them is being donated to those in need.

“The cool part of it is it’s brought us together. Obviously, our employees working together – 6 feet apart,” said Carlson.

While the main business for Avant-Garde Designs deals with high end cars, there is another Treasure Coast business that deals with planes also lending a hand.

Piper Aircraft, one of the largest employers in Indian River County, first donated all of its available masks to Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, then went to work creating more.

“We have a very talented group of manufacturing engineers here who can turn their hand at anything,” said Piper Aircraft CEO Simon Caldecott.

Within 24 hours last week, employees designed their own face shield that Caldecott took back to the hospital.

A production line was set up and now the company has about 20 orders for 70,000 masks. As long as they get the materials, they said they will keep cranking out the masks.

Treasure Coast Urgent Care and Evergreen Private Care are teaming up to provide in-home testing for coronavirus.

If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, you can call (772) 291-2990 to schedule an appointment.

Evergreen Private Care expects that the appointments will be available same day.

Once you make an appointment, a nurse will come to your home and provide a telemedicine appointment with a physician at Treasure Coast Urgent Care. After discussing your symptoms and treatment options with a doctor, the nurse will perform the test at your home.

Anyone experiencing symptoms can be tested.

Governor Ron DeSantis’ order takes effect tonight at midnight and will last for 30 days. Coronavirus has now taken more than 100 lives in Florida. The number of cases statewide is approaching eight-thousand

Lakeland-based Publix is taking additional steps to stop the spread of COVID-19. The grocery chain is now allowing employees to wear personal protective equipment. Gloves will be provided while supplies last, but no masks are being given out. 

A “stay at home order” has been issued for the entire state of Florida. At 12:01 Friday morning, Governor DeSantis emergency order goes into effect. But there are some questions that remain, including just how it will be enforced.

The governor has now adopted new rules that only allow for a handful of essential activities like gas, groceries and some recreation. In a nutshell, you’re urged not to make unnecessary trips from your home.

“This is another 30 days situation and you just have to do what makes the most sense,” he said.

When it comes to enforcement, State Attorney Dave Aronberg says law enforcement is taking the right approach.

“Law enforcement will try to ask each person what they’re doing there and if it’s going to shopping or somewhere they will work with that person to try to make sure they comply with the order without first arresting them or charging them,” he said.

Aronberg says the orders are enforceable by 60 days in the county jail because it’s a second-degree misdemeanor.

“Yes, we have the power to make an arrest and to charge people with a crime for violating it but we’d rather not get to there. We’d rather people voluntarily comply with it and that way it’s neighbor watching over neighbor and making sure this is the safest our community can be,” he said. 

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said about DeSantis’ order that “they are consulting their attorneys.”

“Social Security recipients will automatically receive economic impact payments without the need to file taxes for 2018 or 2019,” the IRS said.

The checks, which are slated to go out in the next three weeks, will be $1,200 per person who makes less than $75,000 per year. Those making between $75,000 and $99,000 with receive a prorated amount. The checks are being distributed by the government to help stimulate the economy as businesses close amid the spread of COVID-19.

As of now, Americans who don’t file taxes and are not on Social Security are still required to file a return in order to receive the one-time stimulus check.

For those without a bank account on file, the IRS said that in the coming weeks, it plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

On Tuesday, White House infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci agreed that Americans should prepare for more than 100,000 COVID-19 related deaths in upcoming months.

Fauci stressed that social distancing guidelines need to remain in place in order to keep the death toll related to COVID-19 illnesses down. The White House issued projections that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die from COVID-19 related illnesses even with social distancing mitigation. Those projections would skyrocket to over 1 million without any social distancing.

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