Insider Newsletter March 23, 2020

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Dear resident or business owner:

 Your City government is focused on the safety and well-being of West Palm Beach residents, businesses, and employees.

 The COVID-19 pandemic presents a significant health and economic threat to our community. COVID-19 knows no boundaries, whether by geography, race or socio-economic status. We are in this together, and are working collaboratively with National, State and County leaders to provide a coordinated response and plan. 

 HEALTH SERVICES

COVID-19 is expected to spread, and the number of COVID-19 cases is expected to rise. Therefore, we continue to encourage everyone to practice social distancing by avoiding crowds, staying indoors and limiting travel for essential needs only. It’s important for everyone to follow this.

Our Emergency Operations management team is working with local healthcare providers and non-profits to ensure the city is prepared and ready. If you are sick, please call your doctor or medical provider before going to the hospital. To protect our police and fire personnel, please be honest in your response to questions about COVID-19 symptoms.

IMPORTANT UPDATES

CITY EMERGENCY OPERATIONS

A State of Emergency remains in effect for our City. Our Emergency Operations Center remains activated at Level 2. We are operating within the emergency-response framework set forth by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

 DOING BUSINESS IN WEST PALM BEACH

We are coordinating efforts with our Chamber of Commerce, merchants associations, and local business leaders to minimize the impacts that COVID-19 will have on local businesses and employees.

Last week, Governor DeSantis issued an executive order closing all Palm Beach County beaches, movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, arcades, gyms, and fitness studios. Also, any restaurants, bars, taverns, pubs, night clubs, banquet halls, cocktail lounges, cabarets, breweries, cafeterias and any other alcohol and/or food service businesses with seating for 10 or more are closed. These closures are in effect through March 31st. These establishments can remain open for takeout, pickup or delivery service. Businesses not outlined in the Governor’s executive order can remain open, and that decision should be made by each individual business owner.

My administration is developing short-term and long-term strategies to support our local business community.  We immediately developed pick-up zones for restaurants. We are also connecting businesses to information about federal loans and financial assistance. We are working with our local banks on financial assistance to local businesses. We are also developing a marketing campaign to promote West Palm Beach businesses during and after COVID-19. More information will be made available once these efforts are completed.

The City is implementing extra security measures with our police department to protect local businesses and residents. Looting will not be tolerated.

RESIDENTIAL AND NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES

We are working with our Emergency Operations Management Team on ensuring our City’s most vulnerable are protected. Coordinated efforts are in place to check on nursing and senior facilities. Food distribution options for the elderly are being put in place with assistance from the private sector.

During this time, it is important that we continue to be good neighbors with each other. Check on your neighbors, support local businesses where you can, and if you are sick, please contact your doctor or medical provider first.

FOOD AND GROCERY UPDATES

  • Publix Stores and Pharmacies will be open early from 7 am – 8 am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for customers 65+ to shop ahead of the crowds.
  • Whole Foods will open at 7 am daily for customers 60+.
  • Target will allow for the first hour of shopping on Wednesdays only for the most vulnerable customers – 65+, pregnant women and CDC-defined vulnerable or at-risk.
  • Walmart, beginning on Tuesday, March 24th and for each Tuesday after through April 28, will open one hour early for customers 60+.
  • Please check with your local grocery to confirm these details.

 As information and recommendations change, we will keep you updated. Please stay informed by visiting https://www.wpb.org/, following us on social media, or subscribing to the Insider Newsletter.

 West Palm Beach is working to make sure our city is prepared, coordinating efforts with other governmental organizations and making the safety of our community a top priority. 

 Yours in Service, 

Keith A. James, Mayor

 

City of West Palm Beach Announces New Closures, Service Suspension 

The City of West Palm Beach values the safety of the public and our employees. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the City announces the following closures and service suspension:

  • City of West Palm Beach Parks – Our parks remain open but are now closed to any recreational activities. Closures include basketball courts, soccer fields, tennis courts, dog parks, and playgrounds.
  • The Currie Park Boat ramp is closed to ALL boaters. 
  • City of West Palm Beach Trolley Service—Suspended effective immediately. 

The City will continue to regularly update residents and business owners about City closures, cancellations and resources pertaining to COVID-19 through the City’s website: https://www.wpb.org/.

 

COVID-19 and the Safety of Our First Responders

The West Palm Beach Police and Fire Departments are committed to keeping West Palm Beach safe now more than ever. During this time, emergency dispatchers are asking callers screening questions regarding COVID-19. It is imperative to answer these questions with complete honesty to avoid exposing first responders to potential virus symptoms or being placed on an extended quarantine. The City is currently experiencing a high volume of medical need from community members and requires all available personnel to ensure that these needs are met. By keeping first responders safe, they can continue to keep our City safe.

 

COVID-19: Resources

 

The library has a wide variety of digital offerings for library cardholders. These offerings include e-books and audiobooks, streaming TV and movies, music downloads, databases and more. Visit https://www.wpb.org/government/mandel-public-library-of-west-palm-beach/e-books-movies-music for more information on how to Connect 24/7 to the library.

For those don’t have a library card, you can apply for one by visiting https://www.wpb.org/government/mandel-public-library-of-west-palm-beach/support-the-library/get-a-library-card-copy or calling (561) 868-7701 (TTY: 800-955-8771). This card will provide immediate access to the library’s digital content for a year. Your new card will be mailed to you. Once the library is back open, use your card to check out books at the library!

 

Census 2020 and COVID-19

According to The U.S. Census Bureau, "the 2020 Census is underway and the most important thing you can do is respond online, by phone, or by mail when you receive your invitation. Responding now will minimize the need for the Census Bureau to send census takers out into communities to follow up."

 
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Questions? Contact us today: 1-561-822-2222 (TTY: 800-955-8771)