Visit Pensacola COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update #4

March 30, 2020

 

Media Contact:

Nicole Stacey
Visit Pensacola
(850) 434-2142
nstacey@visitpensacola.com

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As these unchartered times continue, your Destination Organization for Escambia County continues as a resource to our partners, stakeholders, and community with the most current updates.

The Board of County Commission will meet on April 2, 2020, for their regularly scheduled meeting. This meeting will also allow the commissioners to re-evaluate the current regulations set for Escambia County. The meeting will be streamed live and archived online, seating will be limited due to CDC recommendations of social distancing. The virtual method of communication technology is encouraged.

Visit Pensacola will hold our Board of Directors meeting on April 8, 2020, at 3 p.m. via “Virtual Meeting,” the instructions to participate and watch are on our website (click here).

Destinations Florida serves as the single unifying voice for all of Florida’s destination marketing organizations, providing insight and direction as we face new challenges marked by an increasingly competitive tourism marketplace. Destinations Florida has provided the travel and tourism industry with the following survey to report current impacts in our area and across the state. Please use this link to participate: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5511823/COVID-19-Impact.

Right now, safety and health remain our top priority. The Pensacola Bay Area is working together to flatten the curve during the COVID-19 pandemic. So while our beautiful beaches and many local attractions remain closed, we are asking that you still help support our vibrant dining scene and its dedicated employees. The team has created a Help Out, Take Out landing page and social media campaign to assist all restaurants, bars and breweries now offering curbside and to-go options. Visit www.visitpensacola.com/pensacola-to-go/ to ensure your business is listed.

Share your Pensacola #TravelMemories with Visit Pensacola, in times of uncertainty, there is comfort in knowing that the Pensacola community is strong and that we will get through this hardship together. We know many are missing our slice of paradise, and we are asking the community and our guests to share their favorite Pensacola memories to Instagram and Facebook stories by tagging @visitpensacola and hashtagging #TravelMemories. We hope to flood social media with the very best of our destination.

As of today, the following remains in effect for Escambia County:

· On March 17, Escambia County activated its Emergency Operations Center at a level 2 and declared a local state of emergency. Visit Pensacola is participating in this initiative and will continue to send the most up to date information we receive within our community as well as within the tourism industry.

· As of midnight, March 20, 2020, all Escambia County public beaches will be closed for thirteen days, which includes (sound side and Gulf side, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key). The Pensacola Beach toll booths will be closed, and all tolls will be electronic, via SunPass or toll by plate effective immediately.

· Governor DeSantis has directed all restaurants and food establishments within the State of Florida to suspend on-premises food and alcohol consumption for customers. The establishments may, however, operate their kitchens to provide delivery or take-out services.

· The Executive Order also requires the closures of gymnasiums and fitness centers within the State of Florida.

· The Visit Pensacola visitor centers in an abundance of caution are operating as a “Virtual Offices.” Staff continues to provide the latest COVID-19 information and resources to help keep the traveling public informed; however, lobby doors are locked to public access.

· The Pensacola Beach visitor center continues to operate as a virtual office until further notice. The office staff will be available via phone and email.

· The Santa Rosa Island Authority office remains closed to the public in order to protect the public health and safety of its staff. Customers will be assisted via email or telephone.

Additional Resources:

Visit Pensacola’s healthy travel page with up to date travel information and reliable trusted sources information related to COVID-19. https://www.visitpensacola.com/plan-your-trip/healthy-travel-updates/

The Greater Pensacola Chamber has created a Facebook page to assist local restaurants by utilizing take-out and delivery options they are providing amid the Corona Virus outbreak. OWNERS: please post if you will be offering delivery/carry-out, your menu items if possible, and any other details we should know as well as if there's anything else that the community can do to help. https://www.facebook.com/groups/203490210906567/about/

The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) and DigiPro Media have partnered together to announce the Save Florida Business Initiative as a way to support Florida businesses during this difficult time. The Save Florida Business Initiative will connect consumers in Escambia and Santa Rosa County to area businesses through the SaveFloridaBusiness.com website, where consumers can be connected to companies participating in the program.

Small Business Bridge Loans On March 16, Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. Click here for more information. Damage Assessment Survey Governor Ron DeSantis has activated the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. The survey, managed by DEO, will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the effects the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin. The survey can be taken online at www.floridadisaster.biz.

Reemployment Assistance

Governor DeSantis has reminded Floridians that if their employment has been negatively impacted because of mitigation efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, these Floridians may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance. Click here for more information.

As a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

· Stay home when you are sick.

· Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

· Follow CDC's recommendations for using a face mask.

· Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

· Per President Trump, Americans should not gather in groups of 10 or more people, and social distancing orders should remain through April 30, 2020.

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County Coronavirus Call Center is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1 (866) 779-6121 or you can email your questions to COVID-19@flhealth.gov Visit floridahealth.gov for the most up-to-date resource for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida.

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments.

Sincerely,

 

Jack Brown

Interim President/CEO