Wellington Fights Virus With Closings And Online Operations

As people hear phrases like “do the five” and “social distancing,” the information and instructions for self-care during the COVID-19 virus emergency can be overwhelming. The Village of Wellington is working hard to bring consistent and relevant information to the community during this stressful time.

This has included daily videos with village updates distributed through social media channels and a constantly updated information page at www.wellingtonfl.gov/coronavirus.

“Gov. DeSantis has issued an executive order telling restaurants to limit customer entry to 50 percent of capacity and stagger and limit seating to ensure parties are separated by a distance of at least 6 feet,” Planning, Zoning & Building Director Tim Stillings said in a public service announcement released on Wednesday, March 18. “We encourage restaurants to continue and expand takeout and delivery services, screen all employees and prohibit entry for employees who answer ‘yes’ to a series of health and travel questions. All bars and nightclubs throughout the state will be closed for the next 30 days.”

The purpose of social distancing is to “flatten the curve,” or reduce the number of COVID-19 cases to an amount that will not overwhelm local healthcare services. Data from across the globe has shown that large groups lead to widespread cases of infection, as many carriers have no symptoms during much of the time they are contagious.

Wellington is aware of the hardships that the pandemic is bringing to local small businesses. “There are options for assistance available to businesses that are now facing a marked decline in clientele as a result of these social distancing measures,” Stillings said.

Businesses are encouraged to visit www.floridadisaster.biz to complete the survey in place to help the state asses the sectors of greatest need during this time. This web site also links to the emergency bridge loan program in place for small businesses in Florida.

The recommendation is that no groups of more than 10 people gather in any one location. For this reason, many Wellington events and programs have been canceled or postponed until further notice. Canceled events include the Bacon & Bourbon Festival, A Day for Autism Picnic, the Egg Hunt and Earth Day celebrations.

As of March 19, all indoor and outdoor programs through recreation services are canceled. The Wellington Amphitheater, Wellington Aquatics Complex, Scott’s Place Playground, Tiger Shark Cove Park, Village Park and Wellington Park playgrounds are also closed. Senior events and programming are also canceled. Peaceful Waters Sanctuary is closed, but the Wellington Environmental Preserve remains open from dawn to dusk, as is the Wellington Dog Park.

The Wellington Tennis Center and neighborhood parks are still open, dawn to dusk, but residents are encouraged to practice social distancing when visiting those areas. The pro shop at the tennis center is closed.

Wellington Regional Medical Center also remains proactive, providing a list of tips and facts about the virus. Prevention of the virus remains the most common advice, and WRMC joins the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in recommending the following actions:

• Social Distancing: Avoid crowds and crowded spaces, avoid handshaking and hugging, deliberately stay at least six feet away from other people, and replace in-person visits with remote check-ins using technology.

• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue.

• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60 to 95 percent alcohol.

• Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.

• Stay home when you are sick, particularly with any respiratory disease symptoms.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it or if you have the virus and are showing symptoms.

For up-to-date information regarding available services, testing and visitation at WRMC, visit www.wellingtonregional.com. If you are in medical distress, call 911.

Wellington residents are encouraged to regularly check the village web site for the latest information on available services and facility operations. For more info., visit www.wellingtonfl.gov/coronavirus.

Wellington’s main switchboard at (561) 791-4000 and the senior call center at (561) 791-4726 are also available for non-medical-related questions.