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Posted on: March 10, 2020

City is monitoring Coronavirus, following best practices to prevent spreading germs

City Manager is sitting at a desk behind a laptop computer holding a piece of paper with a Centers f

City Manager John Regan offers a status report to City Commission

The following information was presented to the City Commission on Monday, March 9, 2020, by City Manager John Regan:

As we continue to monitor the development of Coronavirus, Fire Chief Carlos Aviles, our Emergency Manager, and Melissa Wissel, Communications Manager are following closely with state and local agencies and attending meetings frequently.

Collaborative communication is ongoing with all key partners including the Florida Department of Health as the lead agency, Flagler Health+, the St. Johns County School District, St. Johns County Emergency Management and Medical Services, the City of St. Augustine, and the City of St. Augustine Beach.  In addition, all emergency management plans are being reviewed and updated as necessary.

Most of what we are doing is an enhanced protocol of our existing practices and procedures:

  • Wiping down frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, countertops, doorknobs, elevator buttons
  • Providing hand sanitizer at many of our public buildings and customer service counter tops to ensure that all employees and visitors to our facilities will have access to hand sanitizer
  • Our Police, Fire, and Public Works departments follow the protocols that are already in place for having sanitary conditions in their vehicles, trucks and workplace
  • Reviewing Personal Protective Equipment inventories
  • Training of new staff
  • We have reviewed sick policy and provided a comprehensive memo to employees.  If staff are reporting in to work that they are not feeling well, we are asking that they stay home, or we are sending them home, so as to not compromise the work environment for other staff
  • Employees are encouraged to use the TeleDoc service offered by our healthcare provider so they can avoid going to the doctor in person for diagnosis
  • Chief Aviles has developed cross-functional training program to assist within the agency
  • We have briefed our front line customer service representatives and administrative staff with information and resources, website addresses, and contact phone numbers for the Centers for Disease Control, the Florida Department of Health (which is currently the lead agency for this health crisis), as well as the St. Johns County Department of Health. Click here to download (pdf).
  • In particular, we want to monitor calls for anyone who is fearful of some kind of “void” in care or support

What does this mean to you, our community of residents, business owners and stakeholders?  We are asking that you take the necessary precautions to responsibly protect yourself:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Get a flu shot (most pharmacies give flu shots, also Publix pharmacy)
  • Stay home when you are sick

While there are confirmed positive cases in Florida, the majority of reported respiratory illnesses are not Coronavirus.  Should there be a confirmed case of Coronavirus in our county, local health officials will provide guidance for any necessary response.  St. Johns County has an emergency management plan in place and is confident in local first responders and the medical community’s ability to respond to the virus, should the need arise.  

City Manager is sitting at a desk behind a laptop computer holding a piece of paper with a Centers f

Click here to watch the city manager’s update. 

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