Walton County COVID19 Updates

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Teresa, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    Just read that we are up to 9 now. At least 4 new cases within the WCSO.
     
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  2. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    Well that is a simmering disaster.:yikes:
     
  3. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too SoWal Insider

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    It will be.
     
  4. Ty Webb

    Ty Webb Beach Lover

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    I do not live my life in fear. Only the brave will be free..
     
  5. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    Walton County Beach Vending Permits Suspended

    At this morning’s (Tuesday, March 24) Walton County Board of County Commissioners meeting, the board made the decision to suspend all beach vending permits due to COVID-19. This results in no beach vending allowed on all beaches in Walton County. This change is effective immediately, with education and voluntary compliance beginning today, and education and enforcement beginning tomorrow (March 25.)

    Vendors who are non-compliant will be in violation of Walton County Municipal Code Chapter 22, Walton County Waterways and Beach Activities, Section 22-60 (b) and Florida Statute 256.36 – Emergency Management Powers of the Governor.

    Enforcement of such will be implemented by Walton County Beach Code Enforcement and Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

    At this time Beach Code Enforcement will not issue any new vending permits until further notice.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact Walton County Beach Operations if you should have any questions: (850) 267-4578
     
  6. leeboy

    leeboy Beach Comber

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    Okaloosa votes to close ALL beaches and more facilities, Crab Island remains open

    Regarding private beaches, that is, those beaches behind many hotels and resorts, the board voted to exercise their emergency authority to close all private beaches on Okaloosa Island. That is, all gulf-front beaches will be closed effective March 25, 2020 through April 30, 2020.

    Effective March 25, 2020 through April 30, 2020, the following County properties and facilities are closed:

    • Pavilions
    • Athletic fields and courts; Exception: open space fields designated by the Public Works Director for non-organized, general public recreational use only.
    • Baker Arena; Exception: individual boarders and riders located on the property.
    • Camping and RV facilities
    • Community Centers
    • Public bathrooms
    • Playground related equipment
    • Parks, if effectively all facilities within the park are closed.
    Trails, boardwalks, passive parks and boat ramps will remain open.

    Regarding private beaches & Crab Island

    At the same March 19th meeting, the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners decided to close public beaches, beach accessways, certain beach parking areas, beachfront parks, limited the use of the pier, and suspended beach vending permits and Crab Island vending permits.

    Although these were big steps in preventing the spread of the virus, additional measures have since been taken by other local governments and the State which seek to prevent larger gatherings and community transmission.

    Okaloosa County has been in touch with the National Park Service regarding Crab Island. The NPS gave the county to okay to close Crab Island if deemed necessary. After much discussion on whether it was the right choice to close Crab Island, the board chose to keep Crab Island open for the time-being.
     
  7. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    How to Protect Your Family from Covid-19

    Excellent video advice from NYC Pulmonologist on the front line of the Covid-19 fight. Long video, but really good common sense approach with facts, not fear:



    For those that don't like watching, it boils down to:

    1) Never touch your face -- eyes, nose, mouth, anything.
    2) Wash your hands
    3) Wear a mask -- this is mainly NOT to prevent transmission by people breathing on you, because that's not a real transmission vector. The real reason for a mask is to remind you of rule #1 -- don't touch your face, ever. You don't need an N95 mask. You could use a homemade one or even a bandana, because the primary reason for it is to remind yourself not to touch your own face.
     
  8. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    March 25

    The Florida Department of Health in Walton County announces additional positive cases of COVID-19 in Walton County. This brings the total to 13 positive tests

    The additional individuals are:
    • 20-year-old female Florida resident

    The Florida Department of Health in Walton County is working closely with all individuals, their close contacts, and healthcare providers to determine what additional COVID-19 testing may be required.

    The FDOH is also coordinating with local and state officials to ensure proper precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. DOH Walton stresses the importance of following the local, state, federal and CDC guidelines and practicing social distancing to protect those that are most at risk.

    Updated information can also be found at Florida Department of Health in Walton, www.floridahealth.gov and www.cdc.gov or you can call the COVID-19 Call Center (866) 779-6121 24/7 or email COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

    The Florida Department of Health has launched a COVID-19 dashboard that will be updated twice daily with specific County information.
     
  9. Visit SoWal

    Visit SoWal Beach Fanatic

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    Accommodations Updates


    Alys Beach:

    • Effective 3/21/2020, Alys Beach Vacation Rentals will be suspended until further notice. Alys Beach will also be closing its beaches at sunset, effective 3/20/2020.
    • Guests will be offered full refunds or may reschedule for a later date.
    • No new reservations are being accepted for the time period of the next 30 days.
    • Most amenities have been closed (including Caliza Restaurant, Caliza Pool, NEAT Bottle Shop and Tasting Room, ZUMA Wellness Center- including basketball and tennis courts, Piper’s Kitchen, Alys Shoppe, The Bike Shop, Beach Service and Recreation activities, Amphitheatre Splash Pad), and a curfew has been set for 10 p.m. for nonresident minors.


    Howard Hospitality:

    • The leadership team has made the decision to temporarily close Howard Hospitality hotels (Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard, Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard, and Hyatt Place Sandestin at Grand Boulevard) until April 30, 2020.


    Rosemary Beach:

    • Effective immediately, the Rosemary Beach community is closing its beaches to all owners and guests until April 12th, 2020.
    • In response to changing marketplace conditions, Rosemary Beach Cottage Rental Company is committed to ensuring our customers experience flexibility during these challenging times.
    • We are implementing the following policies:
      • We have made the difficult decision to recommend all reservations cancel for the week of March 21-28, 2020. We will be contacting all guests scheduled to arrive during this period to either postpone to a future date or cancel with a full refund. Additionally, we will no longer be accepting new reservations to arrive March 21 – 28, 2020.
      • For guests with existing reservations arriving on (or before) April 11, we will allow guests to postpone their reservation or cancel with a refund. Please note that any changes to existing reservations will be subject to availability and any rate differences.
      • We ask that those with travel insurance and qualified claims file a claim through Red Sky Sun Trip Preserver.
      • Guests with existing reservations arriving after April 11, we will continue to update this page with any changes to our current COVID19 policies. Guests who booked via online travel agents or other third-party travel professionals are advised to contact their booking provider for information on their policies.
    • We are experiencing a very high call volume and are working diligently to respond to voicemails as quickly as possible. We encourage you to email us at rentals@rosemarybeach.com with any questions you may have.


    Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort:

    • Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort will be closing to non-residential guests on Monday and will remain closed until April 6. We will be assessing the closure on a weekly basis at that time.
    • We will not be accepting new reservations for that time period.
    • Sandestin’s private beach, the Beach Club beach, clubhouse, and pool are closed effective immediately.
    • The Sandestin-owned retail outlets in the Village of Baytowne Wharf, Island Clothiers, Barefoot Princess, Sandestin Clothing Company, and Coconut Kidz have been closed.


    Seascape:

    • Has closed its beach, as well as its pools and Triangle Tennis Courts. The golf course and Tennis Village courts remain open. Additional information can be found here.


    The Pearl Hotel:

    • In an effort to do our part in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, we have made the difficult but responsible decision to close our property. Beginning Saturday, March 21, at 11 a.m., The Pearl Hotel will be closed until at least Sunday, April 5. All reservations made for this time period will be cancelled and refunded. We will not be accepting reservations for the period of March 21 - April 5; however, we are currently accepting reservations for stays beginning April 6 and extending refundable rates for new bookings within the hotel’s cancellation policy timeframe of two weeks.
    • Given the fluid nature of this situation, this status is likely to change frequently. Our team will be assessing the situation on a day-by-day basis and providing updates accordingly.


    WaterColor Inn:

    • In an effort to do our part in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, we have made the difficult but responsible decision to close our property. Beginning Saturday, March 21, at 11 a.m., WaterColor Inn will be closed until at least Sunday, April 5. All reservations made for this time period will be cancelled and refunded. We will not be accepting reservations for the period of March 21 - April 5; however, we are currently accepting reservations for stays beginning April 6 and extending refundable rates for new bookings within the hotel’s cancellation policy timeframe of two weeks.
    • Given the fluid nature of this situation, this status is likely to change frequently. Our team will be assessing the situation on a day-by-day basis and providing updates accordingly.


    WaterSound Inn:

    • In an effort to do our part in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, we have made the difficult but responsible decision to close our property. Beginning Saturday, March 21, at 11 a.m., WaterSound Inn will be closed until at least Sunday, April 5. All reservations made for this time period will be cancelled and refunded. We will not be accepting reservations for the period of March 21 - April 5; however, we are currently accepting reservations for stays beginning April 6 and extending refundable rates for new bookings within the hotel’s cancellation policy timeframe of two weeks.
    • Given the fluid nature of this situation, this status is likely to change frequently. Our team will be assessing the situation on a day-by-day basis and providing updates accordingly.
     
  10. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Walton County Emergency Management
    March 26

    In order to provide information and important links regarding COVID-19, we have established www.waltoncovid19.org.

    This will be updated as we receive new information and links.

    Currently, the pages include updated numbers on COVID-19 testing and results in Walton County, mental health assistance information, information on closures and services of local businesses and restaurants and links to other health information sites.

    3/26/2020
    COVID19 - 13 Cases Reported in Walton County
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020 at 10:30 AM
  11. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    March 27
    Walton County Closes Morrison Springs and Grady Brown Parks

    Effective immediately and based upon updated monitoring info and a recommendation from Sheriff Michael Adkinson, Walton County has closed Morrison Springs and Grady Brown Parks to the general public.

    While the parks are closed, the boat ramps at each park will remain open.
     
  12. jocean

    jocean Beach Crab

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    Hi everyone,
    Some good news maybe for some, 2019 Florida Property tax deadline is extended to April 15th with no penalty. Here is the facebook link to Walton County Tax Collector
     
  13. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WKRG) –Governor Ron DeSantis said during his daily briefing Friday that checkpoints will be set up at state lines in Florida, limiting travel from covid-19 hot spots like Louisiana.

    Commercial vehicles would be allowed to move freely. DeSantis said that vacation rentals will also be suspended for two weeks, “if you’re coming from one of the epicenters, we probably think you should obey the directions of your state and local officials. And if they are telling you to shelter in place do that but don’t come here.”

    DeSantis says Panhandle communities have relatively low numbers of cases and they want to keep it that way.

    The Governor said this is an effort to prevent people from traveling to Florida to escape other “hot spots” of the coronavirus. Details on the checkpoints weren’t extremely clear, but DeSantis said people with certain license plates would be diverted and “if they blow through the checkpoints they could be pulled over”
     
  14. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Don’t come here.” Desantis: Checkpoints at state lines to keep travelers from covid-19 “epicenters” out of the panhandle

    Governor Desantis says during his press conference now he will put in checkpoints on Florida highways to require people coming in from New Orleans and LA to isolate and self-quarantine so that people don't come into Panhandle.
     
  15. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    Alot more info here. If you scroll to the bottom and "See the Report" it lists by age, location, whether or not it was travel related etc. It is showing 1 new case today. 7residents/7 non residents...
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020 at 6:49 PM
  16. Abby Prentiss

    Abby Prentiss Beach Fanatic

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    Hello Visit South Walton partners!

    It’s Friday! Take a deep breath — it’s been a stressful week, but we’ll make it through this together. How is everyone? I’ve talked to many of you in our industry, and the current crisis is hard on everyone. Some businesses have closed temporarily, while others are facing an uncertain future. However, we are all still hoping for – and planning for – a quick recovery once COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

    Visit South Walton wants to help our industry bounce back quickly, and support you however we can. If you have a business website or Facebook page, we suggest that you update your Frequently Asked Questions section to include your COVID-19-related policies, with updated information such as cancellations, closings or current hours of operation.

    There are many useful resources out there that may be of assistance to your business in this difficult time. We have collected a few here:

    Visit the COVID-19 Travel Updates page on VisitSouthWalton.com at the top of the page, or here. Please feel free to contact me or our Content Manager Matt Algarin at Matt@visitsouthwalton.com if you would like to share your business’s information on this webpage, as it’s continually updated throughout the day.

    At 2 p.m. today, the National Restaurant Association is hosting a webinar outlining how the newly passed stimulus package is going to help small business. Find the information attached and register here: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2244746/E852DEDBC9ADC7691945DD0728DE7CA0

    Under the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Reemployment Assistance Center offers both workers and employers information about temporary wage replacement benefits for qualified individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. Click here for more information.

    Governor DeSantis’ request to the federal U.S. Small Business Administration to make the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program available for Florida’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19 has been granted. Small businesses are eligible to apply for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans that offer up to $2 million in economic assistance to help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue resulting from COVID-19.

    Governor DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by DEO, 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 www.FloridaDisaster.Biz, the website for assistance from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM). Together they coordinate local, state and federal agency actions to provide immediate and short-term assistance and identify available resources to business and industry as well as economic stabilization.

    Apply for a small business disaster loan here.

    The Business Damage Assessment survey is activated 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 impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin. The survey can be taken online here.

    Find more information on DEO’s response to COVID-19 here.

    The Department of Revenue issued an emergency order extending the due dates for March sales taxes for taxpayers adversely affected by COVID-19. More information can be found here.

    Careeronestop.org, which is sponsored by the U.S. Labor Department,has career training and job search information for both employees and businesses.

    The Walton Area Chamber of Commerce has a detailed webpage dedicated to links for further business assistance.

    The U.S. Travel Association has details about the federal COVID-19 CARES Act, which is expected to be signed into law today (March 27).

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health have the most up to date guidelines for COVID-19.

    The Walton County Emergency Management has a Facebook page for more information, as does the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. WCSO Facebook

    VISIT FLORIDA has provided a data dashboard updated daily with several key performance indicators such as impacts on travel planning, hotel and vacation rental bookings and airline capacity. Click here for more information from VISIT FLORIDA.

    Please feel free to call us at the Visitor Center (850-267-1216) or contact me at Lisa@visitsouthwalton.com or (850) 333-2728 if you have questions or feedback about this current situation, or if we can help in some way. The Visitor Center at Highways 98 and 331 is currently closed to the public, but we have information specialists manning the phones, and most of our staff are working remotely.


    Kindest regards,

    Lisa Foster
    Industry Relations Specialist
    Walton County TDC
    (850) 267-1216 ext 8512 | (850) 333-2728 Cell | Lisa@VisitSouthWalton.com
     
  17. liz coats

    liz coats Beach Lover

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    It's a step in the right direction for non-essential business to voluntarily close although it obviously is a huge financial burden for the business owners, but it seems to be strictly voluntary. Alys Beach's businesses closed but right next door, I understand that the main business at Seacrest Beach is still open and it's always been a hot spot for people to hang out. Is it going to take an executive order from the governor for everyone to do the right thing to prevent the spread of the virus?
     
  18. tutic1971

    tutic1971 Beach Comber

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    This is a fabulous video with your questions answered by a doctor on the front lines of this virus in New York. Take the time to watch and listen to what he says. Education is key!

     

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