There were a few important updates today that I wanted to share with you.
- As of July 8 masks will be required to be worn by all employees and customers within a City of Winter Haven government building. You can read more about that here.
- Tonight during the City Commission agenda review meeting they discussed a mask mandate for indoor spaces within the City limits, similar to that implemented in Lakeland last week. Each commissioner expressed support but they will have to vote on this resolution during next Monday's Commission meeting. As soon as I have the specific language of the resolution I will forward it to you. The City attorney indicated that it will likely be very similar to Lakeland's and you can read their ordinance here.
- The County Government decided not to pass a mask mandate at their meeting yesterday and rather issued a proclamation encouraging mask use. You can read that here.
Disposable face masks will be distributed by the City of Winter Haven government in a drive-through process at the Winter Haven Recreational and Cultural Center parking lot at 801 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and at the Florida Citrus Building (Nora Mayo Hall) at 500 3rd Street NW. This service is available from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Friday, July 10 and from Monday July 13 through Friday, July 17. Area citizens can visit one of these two sites to receive up to three disposable face masks for each person in the car while supplies last.
The Chamber still has about 700 washable, non-medical grade Hanes cotton masks and if you are interested in those we are offering up to 12 per Chamber member business. Please email Rachel@winterhavenchamber.com. I am in discussion with the county to procure 3,000-5,000 Level 1 disposable masks to distribute to businesses in east Polk County and as soon as I receive confirmation I will let you know how to get those from us.
Polk Cares Business Assistance Funding Update:
As of this morning, the County had received $18M in applications for the $20M small business assistance CARES act fund. As a goal to pay as many received applications as possible they will be closing applications for businesses at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 17. Individual assistance applications will close at 11:59 p.m on Friday, July 10. Only complete applications will be processed. The call center is still available for questions at 863-298-7500. Learn more at https://www.polk-county.net/polk-cares-2020.
- With the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise, Governor DeSantis yesterday issued Executive Order 20-166 Emergency Management – Extension of Executive Order 20-52 which is extending the order originally issued in March and renewed in May for an additional 60 days through September 5, 2020. The move allows the state to continue accessing federal funds to respond to the pandemic. For a full list of COVID-related Executive Orders, please click here
- There has been a lot of media coverage regarding schools reopening. The DOE Commissioner's mandate that schools are open 5-days a week does not prevent our local school district from also coming up with alternative modes of education for those parents not comfortable sending their kids back to the physical location, which they are already working on. Stay up-to-date with the reopening plans here.
All my best -
Katie Worthington Decker