Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Wakulla County will hold an emergency special meeting on Thursday






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Georgia state senator comes to Franklin County to quarantine after being hospitalized with COVID-19

The Franklin County sheriff's office said they have a deputy watching the home of a state senator from Georgia who tested positive for COVID-19 but decided to come to St. George Island to quarantine.

State Senator Bruce Thompson, who lives just North of Atlanta in a town called White, Georgia was confirmed to have the virus in March and was even hospitalized in intensive care for a short time in mid-March.

Thompson is a Republican who represents Senate District 14, which includes portions of Cherokee, Bartow and Cobb counties in Georgia.

He arrived in Franklin County on Tuesday night.

Sheriff AJ Smith said Thompson came to the Plantation with three vehicles and the sheriff is not sure how many people are staying in the home.

The sheriff said the house will be watched and anyone leaving it will stopped and asked why.

The sheriff said everyone in the home needs to quarantine for 14 days.

The county and the health department have also been notified about the state senator's decision to come here.

The sheriff said he is perplexed as to why Thompson would leave his home in Georgia to come to a county with no COVID-19 cases.

The county has been working hard to keep people out by closing beaches and other public areas as well as closing rental homes.

He called the move irresponsible, especially from an elected official who should be working to stop the spread of the virus.

Sheriff Smith told the Apalachicola Times that when he asked Thompson why he is coming here he was told the doctor said it would be good for my lungs.






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Florida residents are being told to stay at home except for absolutely necessary trips to the grocery store or pharmacy

 Florida residents are being told to stay at home except for absolutely necessary trips to the grocery store or pharmacy.

On Wednesday, Florida governor Ron Desantis issued an executive order asking people across the state to stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Senior Citizens and individuals with a significant underlying medical condition should stay at home and take all measures to reduce or limit exposure to COVID-19.

All persons in Florida should limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.

The order takes effect at midnight on Thursday.

There were nearly 7,000 cases of COVID-19 as of noon Wednesday, with more than 900 people hospitalized and 87 deaths.


You can see the full text of the executive order on-line at https://www.franklinemergencymanagement.com/  


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If you own a dog or cat and are having a hard time affording food – there's some help for you

If you own a dog or cat and are having a hard time affording food – there's some help for you.

People have been donating pet food to the humane society to help people experiencing financial difficulties due to covid 19.

Donations of food have been arriving daily.

If you need help feeding your pets, just come to the shelter for food.

The shelter is on Highway 65; it's open from 10 till 4.


If you have questions you can call them at 670-8417.


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We are only a few months from Hurricane Season and Accuweather has issued its forecast for the upcoming season

 We are only a few months from Hurricane Season and Accuweather has issued its forecast for the upcoming season.

Forecasters are anticipating another busy year for the Atlantic Basin in 2020.   

Forecasters expect 14-18 tropical storms during this upcoming season, which runs from June 1 through November 30.

Of those storms, seven to nine are forecast to become hurricanes, and two to four are predicted to strengthen into major hurricanes.

In a normal year, we have around 12 storms, six hurricanes and about three major hurricanes.


This year, forecasters predict two to four storms to impact the US coastline. 


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Volunteer Resources for Nonprofit Organizations

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Volunteer Resources for Nonprofit Organizations
 
Volunteer Florida is here to help support nonprofits and governmental entities as they navigate volunteer recruitment and management efforts during this challenging time. Our agency’s focus right now is encouraging the use of virtual volunteers, in addition to in-person volunteers, who can continue to help your organization achieve its mission.

Virtual volunteering is a great way for Floridians to help support the work of nonprofits and governmental entities. From their homes, volunteers can make phone calls, edit newsletters, search online for information and more. 

Learn how your organization can get started with virtual volunteer opportunities and feature them on Volunteer Connect, Florida’s official volunteer opportunities platform. Join us this week for our series of webinars and explore the resources below. If you have additional questions, please email volunteer@volunteerflorida.org. We’re here to help you serve Florida.

Guidelines for Voluntary Organizations

The Florida Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (FLVOAD) recently released guidelines for voluntary organizations and their volunteers available hereIt’s important that organizations hosting in-person volunteer opportunities follow safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, volunteers should screen themselves for COVID-19 before arriving to the volunteer opportunity. Please visit the Florida Department of Health’s website to learn more.

Webinars Available this Week

Volunteer Connect Features During Grey Skies
Wednesday, April 1 at 2 pm (ET)
Learn more about using Volunteer Connect to recruit and manage volunteers in the midst of uncertain grey sky events, like the COVID-19 pandemic. Use Volunteer Connect to create a database of interested volunteers, schedule volunteers for current opportunities and more.
Click Here to Register

Virtual Volunteer Opportunities 101
Thursday, April 2 at 2 pm (ET)
While weathering the pandemic, organizations need significant support, and individuals want to help their communities in whatever ways they can. Virtual volunteering can be part of the solution, which involves volunteers working remotely rather than onsite. From their homes, these volunteers can make phone calls, edit newsletters, search online for information and more. In this webinar, learn about creating and managing virtual opportunities.
Click Here to Register

Webinars will be recorded and posted on Volunteer Connect. To view our Volunteer Connect Basics webinar, please click here

Follow Volunteer Florida on Facebook (@VolunteerFlorida) and Twitter (@VolunteerFla) for more information and resources. Thank you for serving Florida!
 
###

About Volunteer Florida
In 1994, Volunteer Florida was established in Florida Statutes to manage national service programs, such as AmeriCorps, and advocate for volunteerism throughout the Sunshine State. Since then, Volunteer Florida has evolved to serve as the state’s lead agency for mobilizing volunteers and coordinating donations before, during and after disasters, including managing the Florida Disaster Fund. After 25 years, Volunteer Florida remains committed to promoting volunteerism in Florida, and recently launched the state’s official volunteer opportunities platform, Volunteer Connect. Through our work, Volunteer Florida delivers high-impact volunteer programs and opportunities that engage Floridians, transform communities and make the state a better place to live.
About Volunteer Florida
Volunteer Florida is Florida’s lead agency for volunteerism and national service, administering more than $43 million in federal, state, and local funding to deliver high-impact national service and volunteer programs in Florida. Volunteer Florida promotes and encourages volunteerism to meet critical needs across the state. Volunteer Florida also serves as Florida’s lead agency for volunteers and donations before, during, and after disasters. For more information, visit: www.volunteerflorida.org.
About Volunteer Connect
Volunteer Florida is proud to introduce Volunteer Connect, the State of Florida’s official volunteer opportunities platform. Volunteer Connect serves as an intermediary between 501(c)(3) organizations and governmental entities that mobilize volunteers and Floridians who are interested in engaging in community service. To learn more or to find a volunteer opportunity in your community, please click here.


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COVID-19 CASE IN GULF COUNTY



Contact: Jessie Pippin
Public Information Officer
850-227-4193

Port St. Joe, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Gulf County (FDOH-Gulf) has received notification of a positive case of COVID-19 in Gulf County.

The individual is a 42-year-old female who is a Gulf County resident. This is a travel related case, directly linked to a contact with international travel. She is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. This is Gulf County’s first COVID-19 case.

"We are working closely with the patient, close contacts and healthcare providers to ensure proper precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Sarah Hinds, Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Franklin and Gulf Counties. “The individual followed CDC guidance related to travel and self-isolation. The patient self-isolated in her home and stayed home prior to having any symptoms. I want to stress that social distancing is key to protect those who are most at risk – individuals over 65, individuals with compromised immune systems and individuals with underlying medical conditions.”

Public health efforts at this time are focused concurrently on containing the spread of this virus and mitigating the impact of this virus. A technique called contact tracing is frequently used during such efforts. Contact tracing tracks and prevents the spread of disease. Infectious disease specialists work to find everyone who has been in contact with the positive case. Persons identified to be at-risk through the contact tracing process are interviewed, evaluated, and educated on their risk factors and what to do.

DOH-Gulf encourages our residents and visitors to take steps to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. Everyone can do their part to help. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow the spread of this virus.




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Gulf County Coronavirus Update 4-1

The information contained in our daily update digest is collected from information from local, state and federal agencies delivered each day.

The Gulf County Chamber reminds you to seek trusted sources for updates on the latest COVID-19 information.
Make sure to verify before sharing.

From the Port St. Joe Police Department's Facebook page dated March 30, 2020.

The City Boat Ramp at Frank Pate Park has been closed for two weeks.
From Presnell's Facebook page.


The City Commissioners of Port St. Joe, Florida voted to close the public ramp at Frank Pate Park for a period of two weeks effective the close of business today. We respect their decision and have decided to close our ramp to the public effective immediately for a two week period. The ramp will remain open only to registered campers who have boats on site. Further restrictions may be imposed by county and state authorities. We apologize for this inconvenience but feel it is a necessary measure for our campers and staff. In addition we would not be capable of safely handling the volume of launches that occur at Frank Pate Park.


FROM: Jessie Wagner Pippin
Public Information Officer
Florida Department of Health in Gulf County
2475 Garrison Ave.
Port Saint Joe, FL 32456
Office Phone: (850) 705-6103
Cell Phone: (850)227-4193
Fax: 850-227-7587
3/31/20 COVID-19 UPDATE:
 
Your local health department is here to assist you with questions related to COVID-19 (new coronavirus). There are NO confirmed cases in Gulf or Franklin County.  
 
Gulf and Franklin County Health Department Locations are OPEN and will remain open as staff continue to work on the COVID-19 response efforts. 
 
For Daily Gulf County COVID-19 Updates straight to your phone: text GULFCOVID to 888777 Florida Department of Health in Gulf County: 850-227-1276 Florida Department of Health in Franklin County: 850-653-2111 There is also a hotline available at 866-779-6121 or email COVID-19@flhealth.gov
 
NEW TESTING SITE IN PORT ST. JOE PanCare of Florida will begin alternate COVID-19 testing in Port St. Joe (Gulf County) as of Friday, April 3rd. The COVID-19 response team is available at (850) 215-4181 Monday-Friday to conduct phone screenings. To qualify for testing, you must complete all of the 4 following steps, or you will be turned away at the testing site. Step 1: Exhibit symptoms (fever, cough & shortness of breath). Step 2: Call the PanCare COVID-19 response line at (850) 215-4181. Step 3: Conduct a phone screening. Step 4: Upon qualifying for testing, you will be assigned a unique ID number and given an appointment date and time. You must present the provided ID number at your appointment with your photo ID when you arrive at the testing location (528 Cecil G. Costin Sr. Blvd.) 
 
VISITOR ADVISORY We are sincerely asking you to please stay home. Together, we can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Gulf County is a smaller rural county with very limited resources. The Governor of Florida has suspended all vacation rentals and The Gulf County Board of County Commissioners have passed a resolution urging visitors to stay in their own homes during this time. Please do your part!  
 
MENTAL HEALTH COVID-19 have you feeling STRESSED/ANXIOUS/DEPRESSED/UNSURE? NEED SUPPORT? CALL 850-270-8911, available 9-5pm EST. If you are in need of immediate mental health services call one of the agencies below available 24/7: • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) • SAMSA Disaster Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 or the Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741
Bilingual Emotional Support Helpline Florida Blue launched a 24-hour, free emotional support helpline for all Floridians, in partnership with New Directions Behavioral health. Any Floridian – even if uninsured or insured by another plan – can call 833-8481762 for support in managing feelings of stress, anxiety, grief or fear related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Counselors cannot provide information on COVID-19 testing or treatment.
 
 
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSION UPDATES Gulf County Board of County Commissioners recently signed a letter and resolution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit: http://www.gulfcounty-fl.gov/home Per the resolution, visitors (day trips or extended stays) are asked to stay home in their primary communities. It also advises and directs a mandatory 14-day selfquarantine for visitors entering Gulf County from highly affected areas. Beach closures were extended 14 days (through April 9th).
 
For more information on community spread, see below: • All persons who enter the State of Florida from an area with substantial community spread – (widespread across their entire state or defined areas in their state) – need to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person’s presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter. 
• This includes the following places and more: New York Tri-State Area: (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York), Georgia, California, Illinois, and Colorado. Please see the US map on this CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html. If you hover over a particular state it indicates if there is community transmission in the state (Ex. widespread or defined area). If you click on the state, it will take you to the state health department website for more information. If you have questions, please reach out to us as it is ever changing.
Keep in mind Florida also has defined areas popping up around the state. Examples like Broward, MiamiDade, Palm Beach, and more. CDC Guidance for Travelers from Countries with widespread Sustained (Ongoing) transmission can be found at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/travelers/
 
 
TESTING Call your health care provider first or if you are symptomatic to determine the need for testing. If a person thinks they have COVID-19, they should call their health care provider before going to their office so the provider can take precautions to prevent exposing other people. In some cases, they are going to meet you in the parking lot. It’s just a precaution. We are really trying to keep our healthcare workers safe. Other patients safe. Review your signs, symptoms and travel history with your physician. Your physician will evaluate you for other possible causes of respiratory illness and also contact the county health department to coordinate COVID19 testing. • To be prioritized for testing, patients must meet the state’s criteria, which evaluates a combination of symptoms and risk factors. Their samples will be sent to the closest laboratory. • If you don’t meet priority criteria, you can discuss with your provider about possibly getting tested at a commercial laboratory (e.g. LabCorp or Quest). • State lab results are generally available within 24-48 hours. Commercial labs can take 5-6 days. Turnaround time can for all be affected by demand. • ALL positive tests are reported to the DOH system and contract tracing will begin immediately. 
 
STATE ISSUED EXECUTIVE ORDERS:
 
DOH HEALTH ADVISORY On March 26th, State Surgeon General, Scott Rivkees, M.D. issued a public health advisory stating all individuals over the age of 65 and all individuals of any age with high-risk conditions should remain in their residence and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19. To further encourage social distancing as a COVID
 
19 prevention method, the order advises that businesses allow telework of employees to the extent that can be accomplished without significantly disrupting the ability to conduct business. 
 
TRAVELERS On March 27, Executive Order 20-87 orders all parties engaged in rental of vacation rental properties to suspend vacation rental operations. Vacation rentals are prohibited from making new reservations or bookings and shall not accept new guests for check-in for the duration of this order. 
 
On March 27, Executive Order 20-86 directs all persons who enter the State of Florida from an areas with substantial community spread, to include the State of Louisiana, inclusive of those entering the State of Florida by roadways, to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person’s presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter. 
 
On March 24rd, Governor DeSantis issued an addendum Executive Order 20-82, directing all persons whose point of departure originates from outside the State of Florida in an area with substantial community spread, to include the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), and entering the State of Florida, to self-quarantine/self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida. 
 
RESTAURANTS On March 20, Executive Order 20-71 directs all restaurants and food establishments to suspend on-premises food and alcohol consumption for customers. The kitchens may continue to operate for take-out and delivery services for both food and alcohol, as long as alcohol is accompanied by food and is in a sealed container. Unless otherwise permitted by law, the sale of alcoholic beverages in sealed containers for consumption offpremises requires the containers to be sealed by the manufacturer. 
 
Gulf County Chamber of Commerce resource list: http://business.gulfchamber.org/list/
 
MEDICAL PROCEDURES On March 26, Executive Order 20-85, directed the Secretary of Department of Management Services to amend the state employee health benefits plan to include telehealth and immunization services at no additional cost to employees. 
 
On March 20, Executive Order 20-72 was issued prohibiting medically unnecessary, non-urgent or nonemergency procedures or surgeries. 
 
GYMS AND FITNESS CENTERS Executive Order 20-71 directs the closure of gymnasiums and fitness centers within the State of Florida. This order does NOT apply to gyms or fitness centers which are in hotels with a capacity of 10 persons or less, are in a residential building, are inside fire or police stations or are located inside single-occupant office buildings. 
 
MASS GATHERINGS Governor DeSantis reminded Floridians to limit gatherings to 10 or less people (even in private residences) and practice social distancing. Additionally, he encouraged businesses to have non-essential employees telework if they are able to.
 
 
 
 
SMALL BUSINESS LOANS On March 17, Governor activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period is open and runs through May 8, 2020. Interested businesses should visit FloridaDisasterLoan.org for more information. 
 
CLOSURES & RESTRICTIONS:
 
ALL Gulf County beaches; beach access and beach parking are closed for 14 days (until April 9). 
 
Mexico Beach beaches will be closed effective 11:59 PM on March 31st for fourteen days.
 
City of Port St. Joe closes city boat ramps for two weeks (until April 13).
 
Florida State Parks will close to the public effective Monday, March 23, 2020.
 
ALL Government Buildings will be closed to the public effective at the close of business on March 18. You may reach any department by telephone or email.
 
PHARMACY UPDATES Effective immediately, all BUY RITE DRUG Pharmacies will be operating via drive-through only. Staff will do what they can to assist with store items through the drive-through. 
 
CVS Pharmacy is open and full-functioning and has NO plans on closing.
 
SCHOOLS All schools including Early Head Start and Head Start will be closed until April 15. The district is working on an Instructional Continuity Plan for home-based learning until schools reopen. This plan will be implemented on Monday, March 30th. Lunches are served at Port St. Joe Elementary and Wewahitchka Elementary from 11:30 – 1:00 PM, local time. Lunches are also delivered by school buses. Buses will run their regular morning pick-up routes on a PLUS- 5-hour adjustment for time. An example is, if your normal pick-up time is 7:30 AM, then add 5 hours… which means your lunch will arrive at your regular bus stop by 12:30 PM local time. Lunches will be delivered Monday through Friday. At this time lunches will be delivered through April 15. With questions, please visit your schools website or Gulfcoschools.com
 
LIBRARIES Both Gulf County libraries are closed to the public until further notice. Staff are working at the Port St. Joe location on Tuesday and Thursday and at the Wewahitchka location on Monday and Friday to provide curbside delivery of checked out books. Please call ahead to make reservations on specific items.
 
HEALTH DEPARTMENT In order to promote social distancing and discourage gatherings of 10 or more people, the health department lobby will no longer receive visitors. Clients arriving at the health department for appointments or birth/death certificates are encouraged to call the front desk at (850) 227-1276, before entering the lobby. A clerk or nurse will come to assist the client. Anyone seeking additional services should also call the front desk before attempting to enter the lobby. 
 
 
About COVID-19 COVID-19 transmission is more commonly spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. This is why social distancing and keeping at least 6 feet between you and other people is so important. A person can get COVID-19 by touching droplets that can land on objects and surfaces and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth, although, this is a less common mode of transmission. The vast majority of cases have come from close, sustained contact with an individual with COVID-19.
 
Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure. Most people recover from the COVID-19 without needing special treatment. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes, and those with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop serious illness. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As a reminder, the Department always recommends everyday preventive actions to help impede the spread of respiratory diseases, including: 
 
• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick; • Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health; • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue; • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty; and • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household spray or wipe.
 
What should I do if I recently traveled to an area with an outbreak of COVID-19? If you are returning from an area with an outbreak of COVID-19, the CDC is recommending you self-isolate for 14 days immediately upon returning from your travels, even if asymptomatic (no symptoms). Follow the CDC steps to help protect other people in your home and community: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-youare-sick/steps-when-sick.html
 
If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath during those 14 days, contact your health care professional and mention your recent travel. Your provider will work with the health department to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. If you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from an impacted area, you should call a health care professional and mention your close contact and their recent travel.  
 
STAY INFORMED: To get the latest information, visit FloridaHealth.gov and follow on Social Media: Florida Department of Health: Twitter @HealthyFla or Facebook @FLDepartmentofHealth Gulf/Franklin County Community Health Improvement Partners: Facebook Gulf/Franklin County Community Health Improvement Partners
The Star newspaper is offering a free service for any business owner that wants to list their augmented services such as curb side or delivery services.

Email Sommer Dykes at scincis@starfl.com or call 850-303-1570.

Governor DeSantis has suspended all new vacation rentals in the state of Florida for 14 days.

Guests are not allowed to check into vacation rentals after 3/27/20.
Per Gulf County Administration, anyone who violates these orders and allows guests to check in new rentals will be reported to the proper authority.

There will also be checkpoints installed at all major roads into Florida. The full Executive Orders are in the links:


The Gulf County Board of County Commissioners emergency meeting can be viewed here:

All meetings are listed on the official website for Gulf County Florida at: http://www.gulfcounty-fl.gov/

  
 
 REGISTRATION OPEN
 
SPECIAL FLORIDA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
SMALL BUSINESS COUNCIL CONFERENCE CALL
Small Business Emergency Lending
Special Call - Register Now
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (EDT)
 
 
 
Florida's small business community is facing unprecedented and challenging times. We all know how disruptive COVID-19 has been to our economy, the business community and our workforce, and the tough decisions as a small business owner you are facing.
As a small business leader, you are invited to join the Florida Chamber's Small Business Council for a special conference call on Wednesday, April 1 at 11 a.m., which will focus on available resources for small businesses, including the emergency bridge loan program and SBA programs. We look forward to having you join us.
We are expecting registrations to max out quickly, so don't wait!
 
 
Follow Facts, Not Fear - Florida Chamber's COVID-19 Resource Center
Like businesses across Florida, the Florida Chamber is committed to the safety and health of Florida employers and the millions of people that work for them. Visit the Florida Chamber's COVID-19 Resource Center to view information business leaders can use to prepare, both internally and externally, for possible impacts from COVID-19, as well as sign up for our daily COVID-19 updates
 
Get Involved
For more information on the Florida Chamber's Small Business Council or becoming a member of the Florida Chamber, please contact Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com or (850) 521-1235.

Visit the Gulf County Chamber's Business Directory for contact information for local businesses.


Click Here for a complete list of Gulf County Restaurants.


Most offer curb-side pick up or delivery.

From: Kelli Godwin
Executive Director
Gulf County Tourist Development Council
 

 
Answers to FAQ surrounding this decision:

1. Is the state park closed? If it isn’t can we go to the beach there? 
 -DEP has also closed all state parks, including T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

2. Is the bay open? Can we kayak on the bay?
-Yes, St. Joseph Bay is open

3. Can we launch a kayak/SUP at the public launches in the state park or by Stump Hole?
-The state park is closed, but county boat launches are open as of 3/21/20

4. Can the horseback riding companies still give private group rides on the beach?
-No, horseback riding is not permitted as beaches are closed 

5. What are the fines or penalties for being caught on the beach?
-Those who do not adhere to the ordinance will be given a notice to appear. Details in ordinance.

6. Can locals access the beach on foot or by vehicle?
-No, beaches are closed

7. Can commercial fishing occur from the beach?
-No, beaches are closed

8. Can Gulf Front homeowners access the beach from their property?
-Only the named property owners are permitted. NO GUESTS OR VISITORS will be permitted.

10 Can we still use the bike path?
-Yes, bike paths are open as of 3/21/20

11. Can fishing charters still go out in the bay?
-Yes, charters can operate as of 3/21/20

13. Can we still rent boats (ie not with a captain but on our own)
-Yes, boat rentals are permitted as of 3/21/20

14. Once a “reopen” call is made will it happen immediately?
-This will depend on circumstances. (We will work to distribute information as quickly as possible)

**We are also working with administration about the possibility of an earlier time for this weekly decision on beaches as we know that would allow more time to make your guests aware of circumstance.

Please know that county commissioners, administration and the TDC are working hard to keep our locals and visitors safe and to keep you informed as information changes rapidly. Please reach out to us if you have questions. We are here for our industry and our community.
 

Let us help you! 
In order to better understand the situation within our local tourism industry during this time, please complete this GULF COUNTY TDC short survey. 

Our Room to Breathe landing page is being continuously updated. If you would like to add any business resource to the page, please email kristy@visitgulf.com.

If you would like for us to share anything socially, you can either tag us on all social media platforms or text photos and copy to 850-340-3904

You can also follow the Gulf County Florida Emergency Management Facebook for local up-to-date information. They will begin posting information soon, similar to after Hurricane Michael. 


Joe Whitmer
Executive Director
 
Gulf County Chamber of Commerce
321B Reid Ave
Port St Joe, FL
850-227-1223 Office


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