The Board of County Commissioners of Collier County declared a state of emergency for the county Monday to take further steps against coronavirus (COVID-19).
One thing commissioners stressed when making this decision was that they do not want this to cause fear in the public. This was a move to help get more funding for the county.
Commissioner Bill McDaniel says this will help with the purchasing of testing kits and other necessities the county many need to help combat the virus.
In Collier County, six people have tested positive for COVID-19 and every day things continue to change. That is why the commissioners believe they need to have certain measures in place to be prepared.
“I think it’s going to help with any kind of mobilization, health care issues, law enforcement issues, those kinds of very important things that happened during an emergency,” said Collier Commissioner Penny Taylor. “We won’t have the devastation of a hurricane, but we have a structure that we have to create and maintain to ensure the safety of everyone.”
With the confirmed cases in the county, commissioners want to do everything possible to keep the current numbers low.
“The majority of people out here are retired and that means they are older,” said Lily Boone in Naples. “And that means they are more susceptible to the virus.”
Boone says she hopes people stay healthy.
“Before it gets really bad,” Boone said. “It would be too late then.”
With the state of emergency declared, Collier County commissioners canceled group events at county parks, little league and are discussing the possibility of closing beaches. With major cities on the east coast already shutting down beaches, like Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, commissioners also say that is bringing more people to Southwest Florida.
“Right now in Collier County, we are fortunate that our cases are travel-acquired,” said Kristine Hollingsworth with the Collier Florida Department of Health. “We don’t want to have community-wide transmission. We want to prevent that.”
Some worry that will come next.
“It will definitely have a huge effect because, as you know, this is the season,” Boone said. “As you know, Naples is very seasonal.”
Commissioners also discussed concerns for feeding families who are going to lose money as businesses close. Currently, Collier County Public Schools is helping feed students in need at 27 sites around the county.
“I think it’s getting out of hand, making people panic,” said Bob Long in Collier County. “All you got to do is be careful out there.”
IF YOU FEEL SICK:
The Florida Department of Health has opened a 24-hour COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Questions may also be emailed to [email protected] Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
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