PBC Officials Update Community On COVID-19

Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner held a media briefing Friday, Aug. 7 at the Emergency Operations Center on local COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Joining him were Commissioner Mack Bernard and Lake Worth Beach Mayor Pam Triolo, who gave an update on the 2020 Census.

Kerner said that 36,114 total positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported to date in Palm Beach County with 377 new cases Friday. There were four new hospitalizations overnight and 27 deaths due to COVID-19 since Thursday. Statewide, 518,075 total positive cases have been reported with 7,745 new cases since Thursday; 599 new hospitalizations were reported statewide and 180 fatalities.

Emergency Order 2020-017 takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8. Titled “Adoption of State Executive Orders by Reference and Enforcement of County Emergency Orders,” the order provides for application of the enforcement mechanisms recently codified and adopted in the Emergency Management Ordinance to the COVID-19 emergency. This includes civil citations, code enforcement, criminal remedies (second degree misdemeanor) and business closure. It also reinforces the county’s ability to enforce state executive orders. “Nothing in the order deviates from previously adopted board policy and code, and it is largely technical in nature and is necessary for effectively enforcing emergency orders applicable to Palm Beach County,” Kerner said.

CECT Update — The COVID Education Compliance Team (CECT), a countywide multiagency, multijurisdictional team, has made hundreds of inspections and interactions with business owners to date; 52 written warnings have been issued and 24 businesses have been closed for noncompliance. Seven notices of violation have been issued; each carries a fine of up to $15,000 per day. Kerner noted that most of the CECT’s emphasis initially was on public education. “There comes a time then that we start to transition to enforcement, what we also call compliance,” he said. The team will be at a public event at the South Florida Fairgrounds this weekend monitoring social distancing compliance.

Masks Update — More than 582,000 “Combat COVID” mask packages (four masks per package) have been mailed out to county residents. The last of the 660,000 mailings is expected to go out next week.

COVID App Update — The Combat COVID app has been downloaded 207,000 times. Visit the Google or Apple app store and enter pbccombatcovid for more info.

Census Update — Bernard reported that 60.8 percent of Palm Beach County residents have completed and returned their 2020 Census forms, slightly better than the statewide self-response rate of 60.1 percent, but below the national rate of 63.2 percent. “This week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the self-response options and field data collection will be cut by one month and now end Sept. 30, 2020,” Bernard said. “We must act now and no longer procrastinate.” All residents who have not yet filled out their 2020 Census forms are urged to do so at www.my2020census.gov.