Visit Pensacola COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update #2
March 16, 2020
Dear Tourism Stakeholder:
Visit Pensacola, as Escambia County's destination marketing organization, is continually monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is in close communication and coordination with Escambia County, City of Pensacola, Visit Florida and state officials.
With no confirmed cases of COVID-19, we want to remain a resource to our partners, stakeholders and community with current updates in this rapidly changing time. At 8 a.m. tomorrow, March 17, Escambia County will activate its Emergency Operations Center at a level 2. The county will also declare 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 this morning, Escambia County and the City of Pensacola jointly announced following the CDC recommendation that organizers cancel or postpone all publicly-permitted, in-person events that consist of 50 people or more beginning Monday, March 16, until further notice.
The Visit Pensacola visitor centers (Pensacola and Perdido Key) remain open and continue to be provided with the latest COVID-19 information and resources to help keep the traveling public informed. We continue to ask that all stakeholders and partners, communicate what they are experiencing so we can best track and report the impact on our area.
While the two centers remain open, we are encouraging those guests that do not feel well to please utilize our assistance by phone or visiting our website. The safety of our staff is of the utmost importance; therefore, we are practicing safe distancing and increasing sanitary measures to the centers.
The Pensacola Beach visitor center will be a virtual office as of March 17, 2020. The office staff will be available via phone and email. However, the office will be closed to the public until further notice.
The latest update from Visit Florida announced the following steps to ensure the safety of potential visitors, businesses, Florida residents, and their staff:
- Welcome Centers are closed until further notice
- VISIT FLORIDA co-ops and media have been paused
- VISIT FLORIDA press trips and events have been paused
- VISIT FLORIDA team members are being encouraged to telework
- The VISIT FLORIDA Marketing team is currently working on a responsible recovery plan to get back in market very soon to keep Florida top of mind. As this program is finalized, we will be in touch to share how you may participate.
- Florida NOW has been activated on VISITFLORIDA.com to provide the latest travel health and safety alerts
We would also like to share the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida's local business operations. The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin.
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.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- 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's press conference held on March 16, 2020, a new recommendation that over the next 15 days, Americans should not gather in groups of 10 or more people.
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 COVIDemail@example.com
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.