PALM BAY ― On Monday, March 16, Brevard County and the Florida Department of Health announced the first presumptive positive test for COVID-19 locally. Considered by the World Health Organization to be a global pandemic, COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, now affects 155 countries with more than 181,500 cases worldwide, including over 4,660 cases in the United States. On Saturday, March 14, Brevard County declared a local state of emergency. The County's announcement follows declarations of emergency at both State and Federal levels. The declarations are not a cause for panic, but rather signal a policy shift towards allowing emergency operations and expenditures be fast-tracked to respond to issues and threats associated with COVID-19 effectively.

The City of Palm Bay continues to take actions to suppress the spread of COVID-19 locally, working closely with officials at Brevard County and the Florida Department of Health to monitor the spread of the virus and formulate a coordinated local response. The City is also coordinating with Brevard County Emergency Management to share critical updates with the public.

City Services

The City of Palm Bay has instituted protective measures to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 and remains operational. Essential City services will continue, but in-person meetings and services are strongly discouraged at this time to limit the risk of person-to-person transmission. In place of visiting City Hall in person, residents are encouraged to use available digital services on www.palmbayflorida.org or seek assistance by phone.

Useful City of Palm Bay contacts:

City Hall: (321)952-3400

Customer Service:

Building: (321)953-8924 or building@pbfl.org

Code Compliance: (321)952-3430 or pbcodecompliance@pbfl.org

Public Works: (321)952-3437 or pwcustomerservice@pbfl.org

Utilities: (321)952-3420 or ucs@pbfl.org

Online Payments: pay.palmbayflorida.org

Police Non-Emergency: (321)952-3456

Fire Non-Emergency: (321)409-6300

Facility Closures

Per the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control, the City of Palm Bay urges residents to limit contact with others and to avoid gatherings of ten or more people. To comply with social distancing guidelines, several City facilities have been closed to the public. The Greater Palm Bay Senior Center will be closed through at least March 31 and the Tony Rosa and Ted Whitlock Community Centers will remain closed through at least April 5. City facility rentals are suspended at this time. Patrons who have rented a City facility will be contacted by a Parks and Recreation staff member and offered a refund.

Event Cancellations

After careful deliberation and in an abundance of caution, the City of Palm Bay has decided to cancel or postpone the following events as a preventative measure:

All classes, leagues, day camps, and other programs held at Palm Bay Community Centers are cancelled through at least April 6th

Fun Friday by the Bay on April 3 has been cancelled

Trash Bash on April 4 has been cancelled

Mayor's Fitness Challenge events are cancelled until further notice

Fitness Bootcamps at City Hall are cancelled until further notice

United Way Tax Prep events are cancelled until further notice

Fingerprinting for the public at Palm Bay Police Department suspended until further notice

Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) Meeting on March 24 has been cancelled

All City Board meetings have been cancelled through at least March 31

All special event applications are suspended until further notice

City Council and Board Meetings

The City Council Meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 19, will proceed as planned. Seating in Council Chambers has been spread out to prevent crowding in accordance with social distancing guidelines. While the Regular Council Meeting will remain open to the public for anyone who wishes to speak on an item, residents are encouraged to watch the meeting live on the City's website or Facebook page to avoid contact with others. All other City Board Meetings have been cancelled through at least March 31.

Preventative Measures

To limit the spread of respiratory illnesses at City facilities and to protect City staff, the City of Palm Bay is enacting protective and preventative cleaning measures. Beginning on Monday, March 16, the City has increased janitorial services in all public areas to twice-a-day cleanings, five days per week to include the disinfection of public entry areas at all buildings, publicly-accessible areas including the Dawn Reid Community Meeting Room, restroom door handles, paper towel dispensers, toilet paper dispensers, and soap dispensers.

City of Palm Bay staff have been briefed on enhanced sanitation strategies to reduce the likelihood of viral transmission in the workplace. Department Heads have been encouraged to avoid in-person staff meetings whenever possible in favor of virtual meetings. All City Business travel has been suspended through March 31. Additionally, staff has been directed to cancel all employee gatherings, award ceremonies, and other events through the end of March. City Department heads are actively working with staff for telework requests to enable effective quarantine measures when needed, accommodate childcare needs due to school closures, and to reduce the core number of City employees at each facility.

Impacts to Business

The City is monitoring impacts to the local business community at this situation progresses. In response to COVID-19, the State of Florida has activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on local business operations to help direct State resources and enable access to federal programs. The City encourages any business affected by COVID-19 to complete the survey online at http://floridadisaster.biz/.

Results from the survey will be shared with state agencies and local partners. Surveys submitted by small businesses can be used to access the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan, made available through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.

The Small Business Administration is partnering with the Small Business Development Center to provide business owners who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 with resources. The agencies will host two informational webinars on Wednesday, March 18th, to detail available resources and answer frequently asked questions. Calls will take place at 11am and 2pm. Interested parties can call in to either call at (786)749-6387 and using conference ID#590047996.

Moving Forward

The City of Palm Bay will continue to work closely with partner agencies to coordinate COVID-19 planning efforts in the coming days and weeks. We encourage residents to continue observing preventative measures like frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or the bend of your arm, and social distancing. If you believe that you may have COVID-19, or if you believe that you may have been in contact with someone with the illness, it is imperative that you contact your healthcare provider and self-isolate at home to prevent spreading the virus. Additional recommendations and guidelines are available at www.coronavirus.gov.

During this time of uncertainty, the City would like to remind residents to be caring and kind to one another. Help protect vulnerable populations by doing your part to limit the spread of COVID-19. Consider checking in on older and/or immunocompromised family, friends, and neighbors with a call, text, or email. Only shop for the needs of your household and resist the urge to stockpile goods as this may causes shortages for others.

Helpful Resources

Residents are encouraged to stay informed by following updates from official sources. Information on the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic, frequently asked questions, prevention guides, and more are available at the following resources:

COVID-19 Information Hotline

1-888-779-6121, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

COVID-19@flhealth.gov

2-1-1, available 8am until 6pm daily

Florida Department of Health: www.floridahealth.gov

Centers for Disease Control: www.coronavirus.gov

World Health Organization: www.who.int

Brevard County Emergency Management:

Phone: (321)637-6670

Website: https://www.brevardfl.gov/EmergencyManagement/covid-19

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrevardEOC

AlertBrevard Emergency Notifications: https://www.brevardfl.gov/EmergencyManagement/AlertBrevardSignup

City of Palm Bay:

Phone: (321)952-3400

Website: www.palmbayflorida.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/palmbayfl

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