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Important COVID-19 Updates

STATE EXECUTIVE ORDER 21-102: IMPACTS TO OSCEOLA COUNTY. On May 3, 2021, Governor Ron Desantis signed Executive Order #21-102: Suspending All Remaining Local Government Mandates and Restrictions Based on the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Updated May 5, 2021. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. When is State Executive Order 21-102 effective? • The Executive Order was signed by Governor Desantis on Monday, May 3, 2021, and was effective immediately. Is Osceola County's Emergency Ordinance #2020-74, requiring facial coverings in public places, still in effect? • State Executive Order 21-102 suspends Osceola County's Ordinance #2020-74 and its requirements for facial coverings. Is Osceola County still under a Local State of Emergency? • Yes, as Governor De Santis has extended the statewide State of Emergency until June 26, 2021, the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners have voted to continue a Local State of Emergency (LSE), renewed every seven days. This LSE allows us to waive the procurement process for vaccine operations; continue with emergency contracts needed to support vaccine operations; and ensures that we remain eligible for full reimbursement to recover expenses incurred during the COVID-19 incident. Are facial coverings still required in schools/daycares? • According to a statement released by the Florida Department of Education on May 3, 2021, Executive Order 21-102 does not apply to Florida's school districts. The State Executive Order applies to city and county governments only. Children in schools or daycares should adhere to the regulations set forth by that school or daycare. Are facial coverings required inside Osceola County Government buildings? • The public is still required to wear face coverings in Osceola County facilities and at public meetings for the safety of County employees and visitors. The County will continue to encourage residents to follow updated health and safety guidelines shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Can a business require the use of facial coverings inside its establishment? • Yes, private businesses, including businesses offering personal services such as salons and spas, and places of assembly, may require facial coverings and social distancing. If a business owner chooses to require facial coverings, adequate signage should be visible reflecting this condition. The State Executive Order does not prohibit a private business from requiring these practices. If a customer is non-compliant, the business may refuse service or contact law enforcement.

GUIDANCE FROM THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC)

Everyone is encouraged to continue to follow the latest guidelines released from the CDC in May 2021 that identify safety recommendations for those fully vaccinated and those not vaccinated. The CDC states that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick, and people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.  Read more from the CDC here.

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions.

These recommendations can help you make decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. They are not intended for healthcare settings.

Please remember that businesses may still require the use of face coverings.

CDC Guidelines for Choosing Safer Activities

FEMA Assistance for COVID-19-related Death Funeral Costs

In early April, FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020, for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. The policy was finalized on March 23, 2021, and FEMA is now moving rapidly to implement this funeral assistance program nationwide.

To be eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance, the policy states

  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19.
  • If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant. FEMA will also consider documentation from other individuals not listed as the applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual.
  • An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.
  • The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
  • This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application.
  • Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.

In the coming weeks, a dedicated 800 number will be established to help individuals who apply. In the meantime, potential applicants are encouraged to start gathering the following documentation:

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the U. S. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19 like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.
  • Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. Funeral assistance may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial government programs or agencies, or other sources.

More information regarding this assistance can be found at COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov.

CDC PROVIDES TOOLS FOR GUIDING REOPENING

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a set of one-page decision tools to provide health and safety guidelines for reopening key sectors.

Access these tools from the CDC here:

OSCEOLA COUNTY COVID-19 TRACKING DASHBOARD

In collaboration with federal, state and local agencies, Osceola County has compiled the following briefing dashboard for citizens to find important data being tracked in the continuing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Osceola County, Florida COVID-19 Leadership Briefing Dashboard

Note: Osceola County is not responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of the data contained in the dashboard. We make every possible attempt to ensure the accuracy and availability. Please be aware the data sources may be delayed due to third-party reporting.

LEVEL 2 ACTIVATION OF EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER

Osceola County Government’s Emergency Operations Center is activated at Level 2 in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). At this time, official are continuing to coordinate with local, state and federal agencies to ensure resources are available and distributed in support of our community’s health needs and to minimize the spread of the virus.

On March 1, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order directing a Public Health Emergency and statewide response for Coronavirus Disease. Declaring a State of Emergency is a common proactive practice that allows state resources and personnel to respond to any incidents.

To better serve and assist residents regarding concerns about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Florida Department of Health has established a Call Center to answer general questions residents and visitors may have. The phone number is 407-723-5004. The General Questions Call Center is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Please visit FloridaHealth.gov/COVID-19 for current updates.

The Florida Department of Health's dedicated COVID-19 Call Center is 1-866-779-6121. The Call Center is available 24/7. Residents can also send questions via email at COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

Note: The Florida Department of Health is the lead agency monitoring infectious disease within the state of Florida. Osceola County Government is taking proactive steps to provide support to health officials and to follow DOH and CDC guidance.

CITIZEN INFORMATION CENTER HOTLINE

Though much information is available on this site, the Osceola County Citizen Information Center hotline is active for residents that have specific questions or need to speak with an Osceola County representative about local agencies or resources during the COVID-19 crisis.

This service is available at 407-742-0000, and is open from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

NOTE: Questions regarding testing and medical care for coronavirus should be directed to the Florida Department of Health.

Stop the Spread of Germs

Residents and visitors in Osceola County are asked to stay diligent with their personal health. There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. These include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
You can help prevent the spread of respiratory illness with these actions. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. www.cdc.gov/covid19

More information can be found on the CDC's webpage.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) FACT SHEETS

What you need to know:

What to do if you are sick:

Symptoms and What To Do If You Are Sick

Wondering if you should you be tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19)? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer a Coronavirus Self-Checker online, which is a simple guide to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. Find the information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html.

This online checker does not replace the judgment of healthcare professionals or the performance of any clinical assessment. Patients with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness, and the symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Residents who suspect that they are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately and isolate themselves from others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. If you have been in China or in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks and develop symptoms, call your doctor.

Residents who suspect that they are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, should contact their healthcare provider immediately. Those residents should restrict activities outside of their home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

More information can be found on the CDC's webpage.