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COVID-19 Updates and Information

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What's Open and What's Closed in West Palm Beach
Order out a meal from a list of restaurants in West Palm Beach
Links to health information and guidelines from the CDC and Florida Dept. of Health 
Reemployment Assistance from Florida Dept. of Equal Opportunity
Learn about the City's Recovery and Assistance Program for small businesses
Food Distribution Registry Form
Volunteer to Support Our West Palm Beach Community During COVID-19
A list of City facilities and services impacted

July 4 Fireworks Planned, but DIY HOMEGrown Activities to Replace City’s Waterfront Festivities

 (WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) – Instead of the traditional 4th on Flagler event along the waterfront, the City of West Palm Beach is planning for a DIY 4th of July. While the City’s Independence Day celebration will include fireworks, they will not be launched from near Flagler Drive but, instead, from two different undisclosed north and south locations to reach as many people as possible. The fireworks will ignite over West Palm Beach at a time to be announced. To promote the public’s health and safety, the City’s beloved July 4 waterfront festivities are canceled. Instead, residents are encouraged to have a “POP” – a party on their porch. As part of the Community Events Division’s DIY Event Guide, the City will create a series of videos to help patriots party at home. The content will include how-to videos for recipes, decorations, and games. While some residents will be able to see the fireworks from their home, all residents will be able to see them by tuning into WPBF 25. Through a special partnership, the Hearst Television owned ABC affiliate will broadcast the fireworks live to everyone in the station’s viewing area.

 

“Though our Fourth of July plans might look a little different, they are no less significant,” said City of West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “In fact, I’d say they are more significant this year than in years past. We are celebrating the culmination of 125 years strong and pushing through this pandemic together. As such, we will celebrate at home, together – and our award-winning Community Events Division will show you how!”

 The campaign encourages residents to indulge in a full afternoon of at-home entertainment, with the 15-minute show as the grand finale. Prior to the start of the show, residents are encouraged to order take out in support of West Palm Beach Eats and stage a “POP” – a party on their porch. The DIY Event Guide content will help people host their own “event,” using common and inexpensive household items. The videos will be released on Sunday, June 14. Everyone is encouraged to post pictures and videos of their POP to social media, using #WPBTogether, to join the virtual DIY 4th of July celebration.

 In addition to airing the fireworks, WPBF 25 will also highlight West Palm Beach's storied history spanning 125 years. The time of the show will be announced soon. WPBF 25 can be viewed on Comcast channel 10 and 431, Direct TV/Dish Network/AT&T U-Verse on channel 25, and over the air on channel 25-1. The broadcast will also be streamed live on wpbf.com and in the WPBF 25 News App.

  "We are honored to be the exclusive broadcast partner for this year's patriotic fireworks display and are proud of our long-standing partnership with West Palm Beach,” said WPBF 25 President & General Manager, Caroline Taplett.  "It will truly be a special broadcast celebrating both the Fourth of July and the City's 125th anniversary.  WPBF 25 is happy to step forward to produce the live broadcast for the entire viewing area to safely enjoy from the comfort of their homes."

 “While unique, this is one of the most exciting Fourth of July celebrations we have ever hosted,” said Mary Pinak, Community Events Manager for the City of West Palm Beach’s Department of Parks and Recreation, who has been part of organizing nearly every 4th on Flagler since its inception. “We are thrilled to reach even more people with our creative ideas and fireworks. We hope everyone who joins us virtually this year will mark their calendar to join us in person next year.”

 DIY 4th of July is produced by The City of West Palm Beach. Collaborators include West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority/Arts & Entertainment District, Visit Palm Beach, Northwood Village and Historic Northwest Neighborhood. Sponsors include Town of Palm Beach, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center at Wellington, Discover The Palm Beaches, FPL, The Palm Beach Post, The Ben Hotel, WPBF 25, 97.9 WRMF, SUNNY 107.9, X 102.3, New Country 103.1, PARTY 96.3, Fox Sports 640 South Florida, News Talk 850 WFTL, and Jimmy Johns.

For more information about the City’s DIY 4th of July, visit wpb.org/events, call 561-822-1515 (TTY: 800-955-8771) or follow the City of West Palm Beach on Facebook @CityofWPB and on Twitter and Instagram @westpalmbch. 

City of West Palm Beach to Reopen Phipps Skate Park
Park will operate with adjusted protocols due to COVID-19 mitigation

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 29, 2020) – Beginning Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020, Phipps Skate Park will reopen to the public with safety measures against COVID-19 in place. Under these new operations, a maximum of nine skaters will be allowed in the facility for two-hour sessions. Reservations are required.

Phipps Skate Park is located at 4715 S. Dixie Highway, and will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 12pm-6pm. For more information, or to make your reservation, please call the skate park at (561) 835-7170 (TTY: 800-955-8771).  

 

City of WPB Encourages Local Businesses to Apply for CARES Restart Business Grants Program

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 21, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach encourages local businesses to take advantage of the CARES Restart Business Grants Program, which is being administered locally by Palm Beach County. West Palm Beach businesses that were negatively impacted by COVID-19 and are planning to reopen may be eligible for grants in amounts up to $25,000. The county’s online application is expected to launch on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and will be accessible through the Palm Beach County website.

 

Program guidelines and eligibility criteria are currently posted on the County’s website: http://pbcgov.com/hes. Required documents include:

  • A fully executed application from the County’s online portal,
  • Certifications, affirmations and acknowledgements,
  • Tax returns,
  • Payroll reports,
  • An active Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt, and
  • An active registration on SunBiz.

Applications will be processed on a first come, first eligible basis.

For more information about the PBC CARES Restart Business Grans Program, please call (561) 233-3600.

For information about City of West Palm Beach programs in support of small businesses, including the City’s Small Business Recovery and Assistance Program, please call the City’s Department of Economic Development at (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771).

City of WPB Approves Additional Recipients for COVID-19 Recovery and Assistance Program

Program provides short-term financial relief for local businesses

 WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 21, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach’s COVID-19 Recovery and Assistance Program was created to help local businesses that have been negatively affected by the ongoing pandemic. Through contributions from the City, the City’s Community Redevelopment Agency, the Downtown Development Authority and the Knight Foundation, the program received $519,000 in funding. To date, more than 30 applicants have been approved to receive a combined total of nearly $265,000. The loans range in amounts from $5,000 to $10,000 and are to be used for payroll, rent costs, inventory needs, and more.

 Businesses that have been approved include:

 

  • Agora Mediterranean Restaurant
  • Anzo West Palm Beach
  • Audio Video Systems, Inc.
  • Cityside Suites Business Café
  • Cousins Law, APA
  • Cuttin’ Up, Inc.
  • Day by Day Shoppe
  • DJ’s Backyard Smokin & Grill LLC
  • Finer Optics
  • FIT West Palm Beach LLC
  • Fleur de Paris Skin Care
  • Hawthorne, Inc.
  • Heath & Company Lighting
  • Inches and Ounces
  • LB Limited & Associates, Inc.
  • PB Marketing Group LLC
  • Printing & Branding Solutions
  • Telegance HCS, Inc.
  • The Box Gallery
  • Truffies of West Palm Beach
  • Upscale Events by Mosaic, LLC
  • Wardall Antiques
  • Zeidel LLC
  • Zen Sweat Den


The Recovery and Assistance Program is a collaboration between the City, Downtown Development Authority, Community Redevelopment Agency, Urban League of Palm Beach County and Valley National Bank. The program also includes technical assistance from the Small Business Development Center at Florida Atlantic University. Free consulting services are available to help candidates with the loan application process and other business planning needs.

 To apply, businesses must meet the specified eligibility requirements. The applicant must be located within the City’s municipal boundaries. The business must generate less than $1,000,000 in gross annual revenues and have less than $150,000 in cash on hand. Additional eligibility requirements and the application are available at www.wpb.org/covid-19 in the Business Resource Center section of the webpage.

For more information, please call the City’s Department of Economic Development at (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771).

 

Mayor Keith A. James Signs Two, New Executive Orders

Executive Order 2020-12 helps establish a temporary outdoor dining program in support of businesses impacted by COVID-19. Executive Order 2020-13 addresses City of West Palm Beach parks closures.

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 20, 2020) –West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A.  James recently signed two new executive orders:

  • Executive Order 2020-12 helps establish a temporary outdoor dining program in support of businesses impacted by COVID-19.
    • City of West Palm Beach Code of Ordinances requiring permits and regulating restaurant outdoor seating and public-right-of-way use are temporarily suspended. Restaurants are permitted to expand their business footprint following the process and regulations outlined in the Temporary Outdoor Dining Program Guidelines contained in the order. All applicants wishing to provide outdoor seating on private property or public right-of-way shall apply, as provided in the Guidelines. The permit fees associated with expanding the footprint are waived until the Governor expands Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery to allow restaurants to operate at 75% capacity or more. To read the order, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/home/showdocument?id=1163
  • Executive Order 2020-13 addresses City of West Palm Beach park closures.
    • City Parks and Park Facilities: City of West Palm Beach parks, including dog parks, are open for passive activities. All other park facilities including, but not limited to, aquatic centers, community centers, basketball courts, multipurpose sports fields, and playgrounds, remain closed.
    • Tennis & Racquetball: The City of West Palm Beach racquet ball courts are open. Tennis courts are also open for doubles play. Individual tennis instruction may be conducted provided on a one-to-one basis. All racquetball and tennis participants are required to follow CDC guidelines and social distancing requirements.
    • Boat Ramps, Fishing and Docks: The City of West Palm Beach boat ramps are open, and its docks are open for day docking and for fishing provided social distancing guidelines are followed.
    • To read the order, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/home/showdocument?id=1165

To read recent executive orders issued by the City of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, and the State of Florida, please visit the City of West Palm Beach COVID-19 resource page at wpb.org/covid-19

For information about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/. To contact City Hall, please dial: (561) 822-1200 (TTY 800-955-8771).

 

Local Food Assistance Options for West Palm Beach Residents

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 19, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach reminds residents of the many food assistance programs available throughout their community. Please remember to follow social distancing guidelines when attending these events.

Ongoing Events

  • Palm Beach County Youth Services’ Summer Food Service Program, in partnership with the Palm Beach County Library System (Highridge Family Center: 4200 N Australian Ave., West Palm Beach)
    • Mondays, 10:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Feeding South Florida is hosting the following events:
    • Food Distribution at Palm Beach Outlets (1751 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.)
      • Mondays, 8:00 a.m. -10 a.m. (Note: New time)
    • Grocery Pick-Up (3950 Georgia Ave.)
  • Hospitality Helping Hands provides warm meals to families who arrive by car, and to homebound, low-income seniors. Note: Services will no longer be offered after the week of 5/18 - 5/22. The organization has two pickup points within the City:
    • Howley’s Restaurant:
      • 4700 S Dixie Highway
      • Daily, 1pm-6pm
    • Hullabaloo:
      • 517 Clematis Street
      • Daily, 1pm-6pm
  • Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches, a non-profit organization that delivers meals to homebound seniors, is offering a short-term emergency food delivery option. This service, available for homebound seniors 70 years or older, provides frozen dinners every Tuesday. For more information, please call Debbie Emerick at (561) 802-6979.
  • Palm Beach County School District is providing two days’ worth of ‘grab and go meals’ on a daily basis for students 18 years and younger (22 years and younger in the case of ESE students) regardless of financial need.
  • St. Ann Catholic Church (310 N Olive Ave.) invites West Palm Beach residents to its food pantry.
    • Every Thursday and Friday between 12:30pm – 2pm.
    • For more information, call (561) 832-3757
  • The Lord’s Place (2808 N Australian Ave.) is offering ‘grab and go meals’.
    • Monday through Friday from 10:30am-1pm.
  • True Fast Outreach Ministries (638 6th St.) is also providing meal and grocery pickup on the following schedule:
    • Thursdays, 1pm-3pm (registration required, call 561-594-5689 between 9am – 11am)
    • Saturdays, hot meal distribution starting at 12pm

Food Stamps Application Assistance

The City’s Housing and Community Development department will help residents with their Food Stamps application. Required documentation includes:

  • Proof of identification and West Palm Beach residence
  • Proof of immigration status (if not a U.S. citizen)
  • Income verification
  • Unemployment information
  • Dependent/childcare information

To schedule an appointment, residents can call (561) 822-1274 (TTY: 800-955-8771) and leave a voicemail with their name and contact information. Calls with be returned within 48 hours. 

 

 

West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James Updates Public on City’s COVID-19 Response Plan

Sweeping Plan to Help Residents, Business Owners Recover from COVID-19 Impacts, Keep Economy Running

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 15, 2020) – At a press conference on May 15, 2020, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James provided updates on the City’s response to COVID-19 and his plan to respond to the health crisis, to keep the City’s economy running, and to care for our most vulnerable including children, seniors, and the poor.

“The pain is real. The hardship is real. We have all heard the stories or have been personally impacted. It’s agonizing to say the least,” said Mayor James. “As leader of this city, I am working hard each and every day to help alleviate the pain being experienced by so many of our residents and business owners.”

Mayor announced the following updates:

TESTING

  • Saturday Event: The City of West Palm Beach, Quantum Foundation, and FoundCare have partnered to offer COVID-19 testing to West Palm Beach residents, who are unable to travel to existing testing locations, on Saturday, May 16, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at Gaines Park, located at 1501 N. Australian Avenue. Testing is free.
  • Future Testing Events: Next week, the City will partner with the Health Care District of Palm Beach County to offer pop-up testing in low-income and public housing neighborhoods. The City will go door-to-door to notify residents and encourage them to preregister for the testing event.
  • Health & Well-being of Residents:  The City has provided pop-up COVID-19 testing to more than 400 residents. An additional 50 homeless individuals and migrant workers were tested, thanks to a partnership with Vita Nova.

REOPENING

  • Phase 1: Earlier this week, the City entered Phase 1 recovery, which involves, in part the reopening of in-store retail sales; in-restaurant dining; and museums and libraries—all at 25% capacity. These entities are required to follow applicable social distancing and safety guidelines.
  • Enhanced Safety Measures Ordered: Mayor mandated that barbershops, cosmetology salons, and cosmetology specialty salons adhere to enhanced safety guidelines including, but not limited to, the provision of unworn makes to clients for use during their appointment and daily, thorough cleansing and disinfection.
  • Library: The City’s library will remain closed until further notice.

RELIEF FOR PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES

  • Rental assistance: The City has approved 35 West Palm Beach residents to receive rental assistance to help cover up to two months of rent. Combined, the City has provided $80,000 in rental assistance to ensure residents, their loved ones, and their families continue to have a roof over their head.
  • Reemployment/Food Stamps: The City has helped 75 residents with reemployment application assistance and 30 residents with food stamp application assistance.
  • Small Business Recovery & Assistance Program: Working with the DDA, Urban League of Palm Beach County, and Valley National Bank, the City has approved 29 small business for $263 thousand in short-term loans in amounts between $5,000 and $10,000. This program provides financial assistance to assist small business with meeting basic obligations such as rent, payroll and utilities.
  • West Palm Eats & Shops: Approximately 130 small businesses have been featured as a part of the City’s West Palm Eats and West Palm Shops campaigns to promote small businesses.
  • Dining on the Spot: The City intends to expand outdoor seating for restaurants to help customers to social distance while ensuring businesses can serve even more customers while adhering to the state’s capacity guidelines.

COVID RESPONSE UNIT

  • Virtual Town Hall Meetings: The City’s COVID-19 Response unit held virtual Town Hall meetings to engage with the community, answer questions, and provide updates on the City’s recovery and relief efforts. Video recordings will be posted on the City’s YouTube Channel and in Mayor’s weekly Insider Newsletter email.

CENSUS 2020

  • Mayor urged all West Palm Beach residents to respond to the Census. The Census gathers data that tells the story of our community and who we are. Data is used for many things including redistricting of state and federal legislative seats and the funding of local programs such as school meals, infrastructure improvements, and public health programs. You can respond to the Census now by visiting www.2020Census.gov or calling 844-330-2020.

SAFETY FIRST!

  • Everyone, especially the elderly or individuals with a pre-existing condition, should continue to take precautions that are necessary to stay healthy and safe. Practice social distancing. Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing. Face masks are recommended for face-to-face interaction and where you can’t social distance.

LEARN MORE

“We are not out of the woods yet,” said Mayor. “We all must continue to work together in this fight. We will survive this the West Palm Beach way—working together.”

Pop-Up, Mobile COVID-19 Testing Offered to WPB Residents on Saturday, 5/16/20

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 13, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach, Quantum Foundation, and FoundCare have partnered to offer COVID-19 testing to West Palm Beach residents, who are unable to travel to existing testing locations, on Saturday, May 16, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at Gaines Park, located at 1501 N. Australian Avenue. The pop-up testing event is in line with Mayor Keith A. James’ goal of ensuring that every West Palm Beach resident who wants and needs a COVID-19 test can access a test. Testing is free. Appointments are required. To schedule an appointment, please call the City of West Palm Beach at (561) 822-1245 (TTY: 800-955-8771). Phone lines will be open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. through Friday.

WHO:                   West Palm Beach Residents

WHAT:                 COVID-19 Pop-up Testing Event

WHERE:               Gaines Park, 1501 N. Australian Ave. (enter from Australian Ave.)

WHEN:                 Saturday, May 16, 2020 (9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

AND:                    Appointments are required. Please dial: (561) 822-1425 (TTY: 800-955-8771).

COST:                   FREE

 

Volunteer Connect Program Launched for WPB COVID-19 Response Unit

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 12, 2020) – Are you interested in volunteering? Sign up for the Volunteer Connect Program of the City of West Palm Beach COVID-19 Response Unit (CRU)! The CRU is a newly created volunteer unit that identifies community needs and provides assistance in overcoming COVID-19 challenges. There are many organizations in the City that need help with supplies, relief efforts or additional resources. The volunteer connect program will work to connect those who can help with those organizations or individuals that need assistance. Organizations needing volunteer help may also submit a request to the CRU.

To volunteer:  Interested potential volunteers can sign up to volunteer by creating an account at Volunteer Florida. Please visit: https://volunteer.volunteerflorida.org/organization/001f400001AEhMGAA1.

For non-profit organizations requesting volunteer help: Please email your request to volunteers@wpb.org.  When submitting your request please include the following:

  • Who: name of organization
  • What: what you are in need of (volunteers, supplies, etc.)
  • When: when is your activity / event
  • Where: where will it take place
  • How: list contact information for volunteers to sign up with you directly 

To learn more about volunteering with the City of West Palm Beach, please contact Michelle Terebinski, Recreation Manager in the Volunteer Services Division of the City of West Palm Beach Parks and Recreation Department at (561) 804-4900 (TTY: 800-955-8771). For information about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit: www.wpb.org

Enhanced Safety Measures Ordered for
WPB Barbershops, Cosmetology Salons, Cosmetology Specialty Salons 

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 11, 2020)— In the interest of public health and safety and to slow the spread of COVID-19, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James has signed Executive Order 2020-11 which mandates that barbershops, cosmetology salons, and cosmetology specialty salons may operate within the City of West Palm Beach provided they follow the mandatory guidelines found at www.myfloridalicense.com/emergency and provided that they follow these additional mandatory guidelines:

  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect prior to reopening. Make sure to disinfect all surfaces, tools, and linens, even if they were cleaned before you originally closed. This type of cleaning shall continue between each day of operation; and
  • Provide unworn masks to clients for use during their appointment; and
  • Remove all unnecessary, frequently touched items like magazines, newspapers, service menus and any other unnecessary paper products and décor from customer service areas.

Restaurants, food establishments, and in-store retail establishments may operate in the City of West Palm Beach as provided in Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-112. All services and activities allowed within the City of West Palm Beach, permitted in ‘Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery’ as expanded by Executive Order 20-112, shall implement all applicable guidelines established by the CDC and OSHA.

View Executive Order 2020-11 signed by Mayor James.

To contact the City of West Palm Beach, please dial (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771). For information about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit: http://www.wpb.org

 

West Palm Beach to Host COVID-19 Community Town Halls

City Commissioners, community leaders to discuss services, programs to support residents, businesses

 WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 8, 2020) – West Palm Beach City Commissioners and former Mayor Jeri Muoio as part of the West Palm Beach COVID-19 Response Unit (CRU) are hosting Community Town Hall meetings to offer updates on response and recovery efforts, provide information on local assistance programs and services, and foster community discussion on the pandemic’s impact on residents and business owners.

 The Community Town Hall meetings will be organized by topic in the following areas: Housing & Homelessness; Economic Support & Recovery; Seniors, Children & Families; Food, Water & Medicine; Community Services & Volunteer Engagement and Non-Profits & Faith-based Outreach.

 All residents and business owners are invited to attend any Town Hall that interests them. The Town Halls will be held online via Zoom and the city’s Facebook page. During the Town Hall, residents can participate using the chat feature. Residents can submit questions in advance by emailing them to TownHall@wpb.org. Please indicate which group the question is for so they can be answered during the meeting. 

 The Community Town Hall schedule for the week of May 11th is:

 

Tuesday, May 12

5:00 PM: Community Services & Volunteer Engagement with Commissioner Christina Lambert

Learn about existing city outreach programs and resources, opportunities to volunteer and support our community, and hear from residents and organizations who are making a difference in West Palm Beach.

  • Join via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/94281290480
  • Or Telephone: US: 877 853 5257 (Toll Free) or 888 475 4499 (Toll Free), Webinar ID: 942 8129 0480

 

Wednesday, May 13

5:00 PM: Food, Water & Medicine with Commissioner Christy Fox

Learn about existing food distribution programs in West Palm Beach, what food resources are available to support you and your family and hear from local experts on food related issues.

  • Join via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/98553019117
  • Or Telephone: US: 888 475 4499 (Toll Free) or 877 853 5257 (Toll Free), Webinar ID: 985 5301 9117

 

Thursday, May 14

3:30 PM: Non-Profits & Faith-Based Outreach with former Mayor Jeri Muoio

Join local non-profits and faith-based leaders for a discussion on programs and resources that are available to support you and your family during this time or how you can support a non-profit or faith-based organization.

  • Join via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/96990550736
  • Or Telephone: US: 877 853 5257 (Toll Free) or 888 475 4499 (Toll Free), Webinar ID: 969 9055 0736

 

5:00 PM: Seniors, Children & Families with Commissioner Joe Peduzzi

Learn about city programs and resources available to support our seniors, children and families. Local agency experts who provide services to our community will join the discussion.

  • Join via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/98274921525
  • Or Telephone: US: 888 475 4499 (Toll Free) or 877 853 5257 (Toll Free), Webinar ID: 982 7492 1525

 

6:30 PM: Housing & Homelessness with Commissioner Cory Neering

Learn about city programs to support individuals with rental assistance and Reemployment Assistance applications. Local experts will join in to discuss programs that are in place to support homeless individuals and how residents can support our community during this time.

 

Friday, May 15

1:00 PM: Economic Support & Recovery with Commission President Kelly Shoaf

A panel discussion for West Palm Beach businesses. Learn about the city’s Recovery and Assistance Loan Program, existing programs to support West Palm Beach restaurants and retail as well a discussion about reopening phases and plans.

  • Join via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/94668241960
  • Or Telephone: US: 877 853 5257 (Toll Free) or 888 475 4499 (Toll Free), Webinar ID: 946 6824 1960

 

For more information on West Palm Beach resources and programs to help community members overcome the negative effects of COVID-19, please visit www.wpb.org/covid19 or call (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771). 

 

West Palm Beach & ‘Phase 1’ Recovery

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 8, 2020) -- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that, on Monday, Palm Beach County will be allowed to enter ‘Phase 1’ recovery, which involves, in part, the reopening of in-store retail sales; in-restaurant dining; and museums and libraries at 25% capacity, respectively, and requires businesses to follow applicable social distancing and safety guidelines. Mayor Keith A. James supports implementation of ‘Phase 1’ recovery in the City of West Palm Beach. However, the library will remain closed for at least a week.

“We are committed to re-opening the City of West Palm Beach in a smart and safe manner,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “This is one of several steps being undertaken that will greatly help many businesses and residents. I urge everyone, especially the elderly or individuals with pre-existing conditions, to continue to take precautions that are necessary to stay healthy and safe.”

Senior citizens should avoid close contact with people outside the home. All individuals, when in public, should maximize physical distancing from others.  Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing. Face masks are recommended for all those in face-to-face interactions and where you can’t social distance.

Should the Governor’s executive order allow for the re-opening of barber shops, hair salons, and nail salons, the Mayor may enter a moratorium on those services for 72-hours.

For information about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/. To contact the City of West Palm Beach, please dial: (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771).

MAYOR KEITH A. JAMES DELIVERS COVID-19 STATE OF THE CITY

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 1, 2020) – West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James delivered a COVID-19 State of the City address to inform the public about the City’s response to and recovery from COVID-19, at a socially-distanced press conference on May 1, 2020. Mayor was joined by West Palm Beach Fire Department Chief Diana Matty, Commission President Kelly Shoaf, Commissioner Joe Peduzzi, and Commissioner Christy Fox.

 Mayor stated that West Palm Beach remains under a State of Emergency. He encouraged everyone to continue to follow the guidance from the CDC including social distancing, the wearing of face masks, and the following of any stay at home guidance, especially for individuals who are 65+ or have underlying health conditions.

 Mayor stated that the future reopening of the City would be based on guidance from state health experts and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Mayor noted that Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties are on a different reopening schedule than the rest of the state, due to the comparatively high number of COVID-19 cases in these three counties.

“The numbers are decreasing, and if we do our part, we will reopen soon,” said Mayor James. “Right now, our actions are consistent with the recommendations of the State and Palm Beach County. The goal is to ensure a coordinated response. We will continue to look to state health experts and the Governor for guidance about reopening. We believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

The City has tested 400 people in two weeks at pop-up, mobile testing locations in Coleman Park and Gaines Park, thanks to the Urban League, Foundcare and Quantum Foundation.

Mayor underscored the importance of ensuring residents in our vulnerable neighborhoods—made up mostly of African American, Hispanic and undocumented communities—have access to tests. Since April 6, data has been released showing that communities of color are bearing a disproportionate amount of the burden in the fight against COVID-19. Mayor called on Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County to obtain more testing kits. Palm Beach County is the distributor of the tests to the City.

“The City has two fire trucks ready to go. Our firefighters are ready to go door to door. We just need testing kits. Please, Palm Beach County, get us the testing kits. We are trying to save lives,” said Mayor.

Mayor also delivered the following announcements:

  • OPENINGS: City tennis and racquetball courts are scheduled to reopen on Tuesday. The City intends to reopen boat ramps at Lake Mangonia and Currie Park next week. Also on Tuesday, the City intends to open the Grassy Waters Preserve North Side, Owahee Trail, and Apoxee Park Trails. West Palm Beach parks have remained open and will stay open for walking and jogging. The parks amenities—such as basketball courts and soccer fields—remain closed until further notice. Users of the tennis courts, racquetball courts and boat ramps must follow the COVID-19 safety guidelines set forth in Palm Beach County’s Executive Order 2020-005. These guidelines will be posted at reopened City facilities and spaces.
  • FOOD DISTRIBUTION EVENT: The City has partnered with The Tree of Life, Schumacher Automotive, and Farm Share to bring a drive-thru distribution event to our City. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Dreher Park.
  • RENTAL EVICTION PROTECTION PROGRAM: The City has approved 26 applications for a combined $60,000 to provide up to two months of rental assistance to eligible West Palm Residents.
  • REEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE: The City has assisted 45 people with their application for reemployment benefits from the state. 
  • FOOD STAMPS ASSISTANCE: Beginning Monday, the City will provide assistance with applications for food stamps.
  • SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERY & ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: This week, seven recipients became the first to receive loans of between $5000 - $10000 for the purposes of payroll, rent costs, inventory needs, and more. A total of 26 businesses have been approved for $214,500 IN funding provided by the City, DDA, and CRA.
  • CENSUS: Now, more than ever, the public’s help is needed completing the Census. If you have not completed the Census, we urge you do to so now. An accurate Census count is needed to continue funding City programs, like the ones that are making a difference today. To take the Census, please visit www.2020Census.gov.
  • COMMUNICATIONS: More than 3500 people joined Mayor’s Telephone Town Hall to get their COVID-19 questions answered. Mayor was joined by Rep. Lois Frankel, Palm Beach County mayor David Kerner, West Palm Beach Fire Chief Diana Matty, and Small Business Development Center Network CEO Michael Myhre. Additionally, the COVID-19 Community Toolbox is being updated with resources, non-profit services, and links on various programs for residents. The toolbox has been translated into Spanish and Creole also. To obtain a copy, please email jtagle@wpb.org.

To learn about COVID-19 programs and services, please visit: wpb.org/covid-19.

In closing, Mayor delivered a message of hope.

“I remain hopeful and optimistic that our city can and will overcome COVID-19,” said Mayor. “Each and every day, our businesses are finding new and innovative ways to conduct business and keep the economy going. We are hearing stories of neighbors helping neighbors, stories of churches, non-profits, and community groups doing whatever it takes to make things better for our residents and our city.

“I have said it before: WPB stands not only for ‘West Palm Beach’ but also for ‘Witnessing People’s Best’. Covid-19 might have us feeling at our worst, but we are indeed witnessing people’s very best.”

 

MAYOR JAMES, STATE AND LOCAL LEADERS ANSWER RESIDENTS’ QUESTIONS DURING COVID-19 TELEPHONE TOWN HALL

Meeting available for playback

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 1, 2020) – In a Town Hall held by telephone, Mayor Keith A. James was joined by Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, West Palm Beach Fire Chief Diana Matty, and Florida Small Business Development Center Network CEO Michael Myhre. More than 3,700 people listened as each panelist shared updates on the ongoing efforts to mitigate COVID-19, to address the needs of residents and business owners, and to accelerate the local economy.

The Telephone Town Hall is available for playback. Please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3NoWpXapgg&feature=youtu.be

Many of the questions asked by residents dealt with financial relief and the need for quick response from all levels of government. Among the questions:

What do we do with our landlords when they want their rent? I’ve lost my job, and unemployment hasn’t kicked in.” Mayor James responded: “We do offer assistance to help you complete your unemployment application. City staff are available by appointment. We have another program the City put together, which is our Rental Eviction Relief Protection Program, that can provide up to two months of rent.”

I’m semi-retired, and I had a part time job since November. I’ve been furloughed, and I may not have enough time in to qualify for Florida unemployment. Are there any changes that allow me to qualify?” Congresswoman Frankel responded: “I can give you happy news to your question. Before the pandemic there was no relief for folks in your situation. With the passage of recent legislation, folks who are either self-employed or otherwise not eligible for Florida unemployment can apply. You will get a benefit that is somewhat equivalent to what Florida pays and you’ll get $600 from the federal government. The benefit period is also extended.”

Program and updates shared during the COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall included:

  • Mobile Testing: In two weeks, the City has conducted mobile testing of approximately 400 people unable to get to the county’s testing sites. Mayor intends to bring more mobile testing to West Palm Beach.
  • Rental Eviction Protection Program: The City has received almost 50 applications to its Rental Eviction Protection program, which provides temporary rental assistance of up to two months of rent due to a loss of income as a result of COVID-19 mitigation. For information, please call: (561) 904-7900.
  • S.O.S. Program: The S.O.S. program provides temporary assistance for critical needs to low-income, elderly residents in West Palm Beach. For information, please call: (561) 804-4970 .
  • WPB Together Fund: Mayor James established the WPB Together Fund and encourages the private sector individuals and organizations who are able to donate to match City funds of $309,000. The fund will be used to fund non-profit assistance to residents impacted by COVID-19. To donate, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/wpbtogether 

“West Palm Beach is strong. It is resilient. It is a collaborative community. We’re also motivated and determined,” said Mayor James, “COVID-19 will not get the best of us, and I strongly believe we will come out event stronger than before.” 

For residents who emailed or left voicemails with questions during the Town Hall, the City is currently working to ensure every resident with a question receives a response.

The telephone-based meeting was part of the ongoing effort to keep the residents of West Palm Beach informed on City policy and efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. The City has used social media, emailed newsletters and eNotifications as well as the City television channel to share information during the outbreak. You can subscribe to the Mayor’s Insider Newsletter by visiting https://www.wpb.org/newsletter. You can get City eNotifications by visiting https://www.wpb.org/enotify .

For information about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/. To call the City of West Palm Beach, please dial (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771).  

 

City of West Palm Beach Releases Funds
to COVID-19 Recovery and Assistance Program Recipients

WPB Mayor Keith A. James Signs Loan Documents in Support of West Palm Beach Businesses

 WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 1, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach’s COVID-19 Recovery and Assistance Program was created to help local businesses that have been negatively affected by the ongoing pandemic. This week, seven recipients became the first to receive loans in amounts between $5,000 - $10,000 for the purposes of payroll, rent costs, inventory needs, and more. A total of 26 businesses have been approved for $214,500 of funding.  The program is a collaboration between the City, Downtown Development Authority, Community Redevelopment Agency, Urban League of Palm Beach County, and Valley National Bank. To date, the City has received nearly 130 applications for the program.

 “While COVID-19 has presented severe health risks, we are all aware that the economic impact of this pandemic has also been significant,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “In addition to looking after the well-being of our residents, helping local businesses recover from this challenge is also paramount. I am thrilled to be able to make this offering to our local business community and encourage interested parties to submit an application.”

To apply, businesses must meet the specified eligibility requirements. The business must be located within the City’s municipal boundaries. The business must generate less than $1,000,000 in gross annual revenues and have less than $150,000 in cash on hand. Additional eligibility requirements and the application are available at www.wpb.org/covid-19 in the Business Resource Center section of the webpage.

 The program also includes technical assistance from the Small Business Development Center at Florida Atlantic University. Free consulting services are available to help candidates with the loan application process and other business planning needs.

For more information, please call the City’s Department of Economic Development at (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771).

 

City of West Palm Beach Unveils ‘West Palm Shops’

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 1, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach is committed to assisting its local business community in relief and recovery efforts during COVID-19. The Economic Support and Recovery team with the City’s COVID-19 Response Unit has created “West Palm Shops,” a promotional campaign that encourages customers to shop online or purchase gift cards from participating retailers.

 “Our local business community plays a critical role in the economic health of our City and we will do whatever it takes to keep businesses running,” said Mayor Keith A. James. “As many of you know, this pandemic has affected countless people on a global scale in terms of public health and economic prosperity. Regardless, your City leaders are working hard to make sure we all make it through this together.”

 Like “West Palm Eats,” “West Palm Shops” is a landing page linked to the City’s main website. The page includes details about local shops’ hours of operation, website location and more. Businesses interested in being listed on either “West Palm Eats” or “West Palm Shops” can send this information to EcoDev@wpb.org.

 To read more about “West Palm Shops,” visit https://www.wpb.org/our-city/west-palm-shops. To read more about “West Palm Eats,” visit www.wpb.org/west-palm-eats. Call (561) 822-1400 (TTY: 800-955-8771) for additional information on the City of West Palm Beach’s COVID-19 recovery efforts.     

 

Select Grassy Waters Preserve Trails to Open

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 1, 2020) – The Grassy Waters Preserve North Side, Owahee trail, and Apoxee Park trails will reopen on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. The trails on the south side of the preserve, the boardwalk, and the Grassy Waters Preserve Visitor Center remain closed until further notice.

Previously the City announced that City tennis courts and racquetball courts are scheduled to reopen on Tuesday. The City announced its intent to reopen boat ramps at Lake Mangonia and Currie Park next week.

Users of the courts and ramps shall follow the COVID-19 guidelines set forth in Palm Beach County Executive Order 2020-005.                     

During COVID-19 impacts, all 55 City of West Palm Beach Parks have remained open for walking, and residents have been encouraged to use the trails at City parks. Park amenities including, but not limited to playgrounds, fitness equipment, soccer fields and basketball courts, remain closed.

To learn more about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit www.wpb.org. To call the City of West Palm Beach, please dial (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771). 

City of West Palm Beach Update on Parks, Boat Ramps, Future Openings

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 29, 2020) – During COVID-19 impacts, all 55 City of West Palm Beach Parks have remained open for walking, and residents have been encouraged to use the trails at City parks. Tennis/racquetball facilities, Warren Hawkins Aquatic Center, soccer fields, playgrounds, fitness equipment, community centers, downtown waterfront docks, and athletic fields remain closed.

The City is working diligently to safely reopen boat ramps at Lake Mangonia and Currie Park next week. City tennis/racquetball courts are scheduled to reopen on Tuesday. Users shall follow the COVID-19 guidelines set forth in Palm Beach County Executive Order 2020-005.                       

Grassy Waters Preserve and the Mandel Public Library remain closed until further notice. City Hall remains open by appointment only. Please visit the City’s website for information about virtual programming and how to do business with the City online.

The re-opening of businesses located in the City of West Palm Beach will occur upon the lifting of executive orders.

Homeowners/condo associations seeking information about the reopening of community pools, privately-run golf courses, and tennis/outdoor racquet facilities may view Palm Beach County Executive Order 2020-005 issued on April 27, 2020.

To learn more about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit www.wpb.org. To call the City of West Palm Beach, please dial (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771).

WPB Extends Community Events Cancellations through 5/11/20

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 20, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach is extending the cancellation of community events on public property, including Clematis by Night and Screen on the Green, through May 11, 2020 due to COVID-19 mitigation. For information about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/. To call the City of West Palm Beach, please dial (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771).

 

WPB Establishes Registry to Promote Safety During Food Distribution Events

Mayor James Signs Executive Order Requiring Coordinators of Food Distribution Events for Individuals in Need to Register with the City.

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 16, 2020) – To promote the safety and security of West Palm Beach residents, first responders, and food event coordinators, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James signed Executive Order 2020-10 on April 15, 2020 which requires food distribution event coordinators to register their event with the City. For the purpose of the order, “food distribution event” is defined as an event organized for the purpose of distributing food including, but not limited to, prepared meals, raw vegetables and fruit, and prepackaged food items, irrespective of whether the food is perishable or non-perishable. The order, which applies to events of 10+ people in the City of West Palm Beach, aims to address and prevent potential health and safety issues such as traffic and inadequate distancing between those serving and those receiving food.

 

Prior to holding a food distribution event, any individual or organization that has scheduled or arranged a food distribution event shall:

  1. Email the West Palm Beach Police Department (twest@wpb.org) and West Palm Beach Fire Department (evillalobos@wpb.org) with a Security and Traffic Plan to be reviewed and approved; and
  2. Organize and coordinate enough volunteers to adequately staff the event and implement the approved Security and Traffic Plans.

 

If the event is not yet scheduled and is to occur within three days of the order effective date of April 15, 2020, the event coordinator must register now. For events scheduled more than three days from the order’s effective date of April 15, 2020, the organizer must register at least three days prior to the food distribution event. To register, the organizer shall:

  1. Go to the City’s website at http://www.wpb.org/FDR;
  2. Complete the form; and
  3. Click “submit”.

 

During the event, the event coordinator and all participants shall comply with all applicable CDC recommendations regarding social distancing. Immediately following the conclusion of the food distribution event, the event area shall be cleared of any trash resulting from the food distribution event.

 

To read the order in its entirety, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/home/showdocument?id=995. To contact the City of West Palm Beach, please dial (561) 822-1200 (TTY 800-955-8771). For information about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/.

 

2020 Census Operations Adjusted Due to COVID-19; WPB Residents, Families Urged to Complete Census

Complete Census Count Urgently Needed to Help City’s Long-term Recovery from COVID-19

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 15, 2020) – The 2020 Census has been underway for a few weeks now with West Palm Beach’s completion rate at approximately 40%.

***Mayor Keith A. James and the City of West Palm Beach stress the importance of each family or resident completing their census document. Many programs currently supporting COVID-19 relief and recovery are funded based on an accurate census count of our City. Given the ongoing challenges facing our community as a result of COVID-19 mitigation, a complete and accurate census count is more important than ever. ***

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting census operations in order to:

  • Protect the health and safety of the public as well as Census Bureau employees.

  • Implement guidance from federal, state and local authorities regarding social distancing.

  • Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

The Census Bureau temporarily suspended 2020 Census field data collection activities in March. Plans are in motion to reactivate Census field offices beginning June 1, 2020, in preparation for the resumption of field data collection operations as quickly as possible.

According to the Census Bureau, in-person activities, including all interaction with the public, enumeration, office work and processing activities, will incorporate the most current guidance to promote the health and safety of staff and the public. This will include recommended personal protective equipment and social distancing practices.

Once 2020 Census data collection is complete, the Census Bureau will begin a thorough and scientifically rigorous process to produce the apportionment counts, redistricting information and other statistical data products that help guide hundreds of billions of dollars in public and private sector spending per year. In order to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the 2020 Census, the bureau is seeking statutory relief from Congress of 120 additional calendar days to deliver final apportionment counts.

If approved by Congress, this plan would allow the Census Bureau to extend the window for field data collection and self-response to October 31, 2020 which would allow for apportionment counts to be delivered to the president by April 30, 2021. Redistricting data would be delivered to each state no later than July 31, 2021. The adjusted deadline may result in additional mailings to homes that have yet to respond and a possible in-person visit from a census worker when possible.

For each person who is not counted, it is estimated that our community could lose up $2,000 per person per year in funding from the federal government. That equals $20,000 lost per person that is uncounted for the next ten years. These funds are used to create and maintain schools, hospitals, public health resources, streets, financial aid programs and so much more.

The census can be completed in one of the following ways:

  • Online: www.census.gov

  • By mail: Most households have received mailings from the U.S. Census Bureau with their individualized code.

  • Telephone: (800) 354-7271

For more information on how census results impact our community, visit www.wpb.org/census.

 

 

The City of WPB Reminds Residents of Upcoming Food Distribution Events

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 15, 2020) – As part of its relief efforts for families and individuals who have been adversely affected by COVID-19, the City of West Palm Beach would like to remind residents about upcoming food distribution events to be held in the City.

Feeding South Florida

Feeding South Florida, a food bank that serves Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, has hosted several events in West Palm Beach during this difficult time. The organization is hosting the following events:

  • Food Distribution at Palm Beach Outlets: 1751 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
  • Food Distribution at West Palm Beach Police Athletic League: 720 N. Tamarind Avenue
  • Grocery Pickup: 3950 Georgia Ave.

Families are welcome to drive up and pop their trunks to receive a bag filled with meats, milk, fresh produce and more. To stay up to date with schedule distribution events through Feeding South Florida, visit https://feedingsouthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Distribution-Dates.pdf.

Hospitality Helping Hands

Hospitality Helping Hands is a non-profit organization that was created to help hospitality workers who have been laid-off, or had their hours significantly reduced, due to COVID-19. The organization provides warm meals to these individuals who arrive by car, and to homebound, low-income seniors. Hospitality Helping Hands has two pickup points within the City:

  • Howley’s Restaurant: 4700 S Dixie Highway
  • Hullabaloo: 517 Clematis Street

Guests simply arrive to the location, and volunteers will take and deliver their orders, all while following social distancing protocols.

To learn more about upcoming events or how you can donate to Hospitality Helping Hands, visit their website www.hospitalityhelpinghands.org.

The City of West Palm Beach has created various resources and aid programs to help community members overcome the negative effects of COVID-19 mitigation. For a list of these resources, visit the City’s website www.wpb.org or call (561) 822-1400 (TTY: 800-955-8771). 

 

WPB Encourages Use of Cloth Face Coverings

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 11, 2020) – Mayor Keith A. James and the City of West Palm Beach Emergency Management team are encouraging the public to wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).

The CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measures. For information from the CDC about cloth face coverings (including sew and no sew instructions), please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html. To contact the City of West Palm Beach, please dial (561) 822-1200 (TTY 800 955-8771). For information about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit: wpb.org

Historic Swearing-In Ceremony Held for Commissioners Fox, Lambert and Shoaf

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 10, 2020) – West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James congratulates Commissioners Christy Fox (District 3), Christina Lambert (District 5) and Kelly Shoaf (District 1) on their historic swearing-in. During a special meeting of the City Commission on April 9, 2020, the commissioners were virtually sworn-in via teleconference due to COVID-19 mitigation. The Commission also approved Commissioner Shoaf as Commission President. The West Palm Beach City Commission also includes Commissioners Cory Neering (District 2) and Joe Peduzzi (District 4).

 

“These are challenging times for our city, but I continue to be optimistic about our city’s future due in no small part to the team [of City Commissioners] assembled on the dais,” said Mayor James during the Special Meeting. “The residents of the City are better off because of the three of you. I very much look forward to working with you.”

 Virtual Swearing In - 041020

Mayor James thanked outgoing Commissioner Richard Ryles for his service and wished him the very best. Mayor also applauded the work of 1700 City employees working to keep the City running during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To view the virtual swearing-in ceremony, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MNPSzAm0i8. To contact the City of West Palm Beach, please dial (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771). For information about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/.

 

City of West Palm Beach Offers Reduced/Suspended Sanitation Service
to Commercial Accountholders

 

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 10, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach continues to support the business community impacted by COVID19-mitigation. At a potential cost-savings to business owners, the City’s Public Works Department is offering a reduced number of sanitation pickup days for commercial accountholders impacted by COVID-19 mitigation. For closed businesses, the City will allow sanitation pickup service to be suspended or reduced until the business is able to reopen.  Additionally, the $15 administration fee is waived for accountholders wanting this service change.

 

Commercial accountholders wishing to suspend or reduce sanitation services due to COVID-19 mitigation may email a request to PublicWorks@wpb.org. Please include your account number, name of accountholder, business address, phone number, and the requested effective date. Billing will be updated during the next billing cycle based upon the service reduction/suspension date requested by the customer. Please allow up to 5 business days for the change to take effect.

 

For information about the City’s Department of Public Works, please visit:  https://www.wpb.org/government/public-works .

 

For information about sanitation pickup schedules, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/government/public-works/sanitation

 

To call the Department of Public Works, please dial (561) 822-2075 (TTY: 800-955-8771).  

 

West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James Recognizes ‘WPB Together Heroes’

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 10, 2020) – West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James has announced the “WPB Together Heroes” campaign to highlight community members and local business owners who have joined the effort to provide relief and recovery to our City in the wake of COVID-19. 

This week, Mayor James wishes to acknowledge the generosity of:

  • Martha & Ralph Reyes: Owners of Havana Cuban Restaurant in West Palm Beach
  • Jason Batallan and Tony Batallan: Owners of Property Works in West Palm Beach
  • Tony Hernandez: Local West Palm Beach artist
  • West Palm 100: A not-for-profit charitable organization
  • Rodney Mayo & Hospitality Helping Hands: A non-profit charitable organization
  • Feeding South Florida: Food bank serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties

Together, Mr. and Mrs. Reyes, the Batallans and Mr. Hernandez all donated bags of food to the West Palm Beach Police Department (WPBPD). Distributed by WPBPD Chief Frank Adderley, Asst. Chief Frank Morris, members of WPBPD and Neighborhoods First Director Tiffany David, these donations supplied 500 families and individuals adversely impacted by COVID-19 with a week’s worth of groceries.

West Palm 100 purchased $500 in hand sanitizer from Steel Tie Spirits Co. and donated it to West Palm Beach first responders. They also donated $500 to Hospitality Helping Hands, an organization which feeds unemployed restaurant workers and low-income seniors. If you know of a non-profit organization needing financial assistance at this time, please email: admin@westpalm100.com.

Rodney Mayo, owner of the Subculture Group, quickly jumped into action to help countless local hospitality workers who have lost their employment due to COVID-19 mitigation. Hospitality Helping Hands was created to provide warm meals to these workers and seniors who are unable to leave their homes. Since this non-profit was established, thousands of free meals have been handed out at Howley’s Restaurant and Hullabaloo.

Feeding South Florida, a recognized name in the fight against hunger, has hosted various food distributions throughout West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County. Most recently, the organization teamed up with the City’s parks and recreation department for an event at Gaines Park. Approximately 700 individuals and families received a bag of groceries during the two-hour drive-thru food distribution event. Feeding South Florida will be hosting additional events like this soon.

“As we work together to fight the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing and stay-at-home orders, we must also fight COVID-19 with compassion,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “It is my intent to acknowledge and thank the everyday heroes who-- through kindness and generosity—are putting our community’s wellbeing at the forefront. I hope this campaign inspires others who are able to join the #WPBTogether team in committing acts of kindness in our city.”

If you know of an organization or individual who is a #WPBTogetherHero, please send their name, organization name, a brief description of their philanthropic work and a picture to Amanda Paez, Marketing Coordinator, at apaez@wpb.org. This information will be included in the Mayor’s Challenge section on the City of West Palm Beach’s website.

WPB Together was created by Mayor James as a challenge to the private sector to match the City’s COVID-19 recovery assistance funding. Donations to the WPB Together fund will be used to satisfy the needs of West Palm Beach citizens and business owners adversely impacted by COVID-19 mitigation. These needs may include meals, housing/rental assistance, and more. Funding will be allocated based on findings of the West Palm Beach COVID-19 Response Unit established by the Mayor. For more information on WPB Together or to make a donation, visit https://www.wpb.org/our-city/mayor-s-office/mayor-s-challenge.

City Hall is available to community members now more than ever. To learn more about the City’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, visit www.wpb.org or call (561) 822-1400 (TTY: 800-955-8771).

City of WPB Will Soon Provide Assistance to Residents Filing for Reemployment Benefits

 

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 9, 2020) – Beginning Monday, April 13, 2020, the City’s Housing and Community Development (HCD) team will assist West Palm Beach residents in completing the Reemployment Assistance application on an appointment basis only.

 

Residents who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 are encouraged to apply for this program, formerly known as “unemployment benefits.” If City residents require help from the HCD department during this process, they must provide proof of West Palm Beach residency and valid appointment information. On the day of the scheduled appointment, the following documentation and/or information must be provided:

 

  • Name, address and phone number
  • Social Security card
  • Driver’s license or state ID
  • Employment history for the last 18 months (including timeframe with each employer)
  • First and last day of work
  • Reason for termination of employment
  • Gross earnings (before taxes) during the listed dates
  • Federal Employer Identification Number, or FEIN (found on W2 or 1099 tax forms)
  • If FEIN is unavailable, employer details from a recent paystub may be used

 

Those who prefer to apply directly with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity may do so through any of the following methods:

 

 

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
P.O. Box 5350
Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350

 To schedule an appointment with the City of West Palm Beach, residents can call (561) 822-1274 (TTY: 800-955-8771) and leave a voicemail with their name and contact information. All calls with be returned within 48 hours.

West Palm Beach’s HCD department has implemented various relief programs as a result of COVID-19. For more information on available assistance, please visit https://www.wpb.org/government/housing-community-development or call (561) 822-1274 (TTY: 800-955-8771). 

 

WPB Residents Encouraged to Take Advantage of
City’s Housing and Community Development Services,
Participate in Virtual Public Meetings

 WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 8, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach’s Housing and Community Development department continues to provide public services even through the COVID-19 pandemic. While staff are providing virtual assistance during this time, residents may apply for or inquire more information on any of the following services:

COVID-19 Rental Eviction Prevention Program

The COVID-19 Rental Eviction Prevention Program provides one-time rental assistance to eligible West Palm Beach residents who have experienced loss of income, reduction in hours, or unemployment as a result of the COVID-19.  Assistance will only be provided for rents due beginning on April 1, 2020 and onward.  Eligible applicants must be able to continue to make rental payments and meet basic needs once assistance is provided.

The City of West Palm Beach has made several changes and updates to this program.  The most significant is that individuals will no longer have to wait to receive a three-day or eviction notice. Frequently asked questions on the Program is available by visiting this page.

*Please note, this program is available STRICTLY for current West Palm Beach residents who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. To request an application, email HCD_Help@wpb.org. An application and additional information will be sent within 24 business hours.

Northend RISE Homeownership Assistance Program

The Northend RISE Homeownership Assistance Program is designed to provide assistance in an amount not to exceed $50,000 to eligible applicants residing in the Primary RISE Impact Area in West Palm Beach to purchase eligible housing units located in this same vicinity.  The assistance comes in the form of a deferred payment second loan as down payment financing toward the purchase price and closing costs of housing units that will be occupied by the homebuyer. 

To apply, contact Community Partners of South Florida at (561) 841-3500, ext. 1002, to schedule an appointment for an interview and assessment.  The organization will assist with eligibility and completion of the program application.

Serving Our Seniors (SOS)

SOS is designed to provide temporary assistance for critical needs to low-income elderly residents in the city of West Palm Beach. The program will assist seniors in the event of an emergency and/or financial hardship for eligible activities.

Assistance is in the form of a one-time emergency grant not to exceed $600 to provide resources such as: 

  • Utility assistance
  • Medical prescription assistance 
  • Reimbursement of the City’s Fire Assessment Fee
  • Transportation
  • Handicapped accessibility

The Program will only support the costs not covered by insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, or any other programs providing duplicate services and/or resources.

To apply, contact the City’s HCD department at (561) 804-4970. 

In addition to these public aid resources, the HCD department will soon host two virtual public meetings regarding its 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan, 2020 Annual Action Plan and the Citizen Participation Program. Organizations who serve low and moderate-income residents and/or special needs populations, and anyone else who may be interested, are invited to provide suggestions, comments and general feedback.

The meetings will be held on:

  • Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 from 1pm-3pm – Virtual public meeting.
  • Monday, July 27th, 2020 from 5pm-7pm – Public hearing and City Commission meeting.

For additional information about these meetings, please contact Mark White at (561) 822-1250 or email HCD_Help@wpb.org. To learn more about the City’s HDC departments, or any of these programs and meetings, visit www.wpb.org.

Additional Resources

Apart from assistance from the City of West Palm Beach’s HCD department, individuals requiring assistance can also choose any of the following:

 

For Local Businesses

 

City of West Palm Beach, Feeding South Florida
Host Food Distribution Event at Gaines Park

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 7, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach and Feeding South Florida recently teamed up to provide a weeks’ worth of groceries to help local families facing sudden hardship as a result of COVID-19.

The food distribution event took place on Monday, April 6 at Gaines Park where more than 700 families received staple items to ensure adequate meals for those who need it most. The City’s parks and recreation staff, and volunteers from Feeding South Florida and Titou Hospitality supplied fresh produce, milk, meat items and more.

In addition to food distribution events like this, the City of West Palm Beach has established various programs and resources to help community members who have been adversely affected by COVID-19. For a list of available financial assistance options, please visit www.wpb.org

 

‘WPB Together’ Fund Established to Support
WPB Residents, Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

West Palm Beach Mayor James Challenges Private Sector to Match City’s $309,000 Contribution

“Each of us can do a little something… but together, we can achieve so much,” said Mayor

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 7, 2020) – At last night’s virtual meeting of the City Commission, Commissioners approved the creation of the WPB Together fund to collect private donations to assist with the COVID-19 recovery efforts. The concept of WPB Together was put forth by West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James as a challenge to the private sector to match the City’s COVID-19 recovery assistance funding. Donations would be used to satisfy the needs of West Palm Beach citizens and business owners adversely impacted by COVID-19 mitigation. These needs may include meals, housing/rental assistance, and more.

Funding would be allocated based on needs identified by the West Palm Beach COVID-19 Response Unit established by the Mayor. The unit is made of teams led by City Commissioners Christina Lambert, Kelly Shoaf, Cory Neering, Joe Peduzzi as well as Commissioner-elect Christy Fox and former West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. The unit helps to identify community needs and supports the City’s COVID-19 response efforts in the areas of Housing & Homeless; Economic Support & Recovery; Seniors, Children & Families; Food, Water & Medicine; Community Services & Volunteer Engagement; and Non-profits & Faith-based Outreach.

“I thank the City Commission for their support of WPB Together, and I challenge the private sector—especially our local business leaders—to join the City in providing the funding needed to help return our community to normal,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “Each of us can do a little something to help our fellow residents and business owners, but together, we can achieve so much. Ours is a very kind and giving community. Together, we can overcome COVID-19’s impacts to our City.” 

WPB Together was established through the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Donations may be accepted here: https://www.yourcommunityfoundation.org/Donors/Give-to-Donor-Funds?fn=WPB+Together+Fund.

To volunteer with the City’s COVID-19 response efforts, please visit the Volunteer Page.

To date, the City of West Palm Beach has contributed $309,000 toward COVID-19 recovery efforts. Funding has been allocated for a variety of programs. COVID-19 programs offered by the City include microloans for small businesses, rental eviction protect, and more. To learn about some of the COVID-19 programs offered by the City, please visit the City’s website wpb.org.

Swearing-In Ceremony Scheduled for Thursday, April 9, 2020

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (April 6, 2020) – A special meeting of the City Commission will be held on Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. for the purpose of swearing-in Commissioners-elect Christy Fox, Christina Lambert, and Kelly Shoaf and for the selection of the Commission president.

The meeting will be conducted via Zoom technology. Zoom is a cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems.

To promote social distancing in the City of West Palm Beach, the public is encouraged to witness this historic event in real time via the City’s digital platforms which include:

 

As always, the City’s Facebook page will be open for comments including congratulatory messages to the Commissioners-elect. 

 

Virtual CRA and City Commission Meetings 

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (April 6, 2020) – To promote social distancing in the City of West Palm Beach, the City is turning to Zoom technology to host public meetings, including the April 6, 2020 CRA meeting at 4:00 p.m. and the City Commission meeting at 5:00 p.m. Zoom is a cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems.

To ensure that the public can view the virtual meeting, the meetings will also be broadcast through all the usual channels and avenues that are provided when a City Commission meeting is regularly held in the Commission Chambers at City Hall. The meetings can be viewed live on:

 

Public comments can be submitted via the following options and must not exceed 3 minutes:

COVID-19 UPDATE #35

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 3, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach invites families to hop on over to their local recreation center and pop their trunks to get DIY egg hunt supplies! Due to the recent social distancing guidelines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the City’s parks and recreation department have made arrangements so that the community can still enjoy an egg hunt at home. Instead of hosting the annual Giant Egg Hunt at a City park, families can claim a free bundle of treat-filled plastic eggs and still enjoy this traditional Spring activity.

On Saturday, April 11th from 10am-12pm, eggs can be picked up from the following locations:

 

  • Coleman Park
    1116 21st Street
  • Gaines Park
    1501 N Australian Avenue
  • Howard Park
    1302 Parker Avenue
  • Pleasant City Community Center
    501 21st Street
  • South Olive Park
    345 Summa Street

 

Guests simply open their trunk and event representatives will hand over the plastic eggs. Supplies are limited. For more information, call the City’s parks and recreation department at (561) 804-4900 (TTY 800-955-8771), or visit www.wpb.org/parks

COVID-19 UPDATE #34

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 3, 2020) – At a press conference on April 3, 2020, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James delivered his second COVID-19 ‘State of the City.” Mayor provided updates on the City’s response to COVID-19 and introduced new policy initiatives.

Mayor expressed his heartfelt thanks to the City’s 1700 employees including employees in Public Utilities and Sanitation departments. He thanked first-responders including the West Palm Beach Emergency Operations Team and West Palm Beach Police and Fire personnel. He also expressed thanks to hospital workers, medical staff, and professionals on the front lines.

“All of your tireless work, sometimes in the face of danger, is helping to keep our city running and our residents safe,” said Mayor James. “You are indeed my heroes. Thank you for all you do.”

Mayor also expressed his appreciation to the public for practicing social distancing. Mayor noted encouraging data showing that social distancing IS beginning to work in our community. He stated that we are not out of the woods just yet. He encouraged everyone to continue to practice social distancing and to follow state and county ‘Stay at Home’ orders.

Mayor announced the creation of the City of West Palm Beach Recovery Assistance Program in partnership with Valley National Community Bank and the Urban League of Palm Beach County. The West Palm Beach Recovery Assistance Program makes available to eligible West Palm Beach businesses short-term loans in amounts between $5,000 - $10,000 with minimal interest rates and generous repayment periods. More information can be found at the City’s website.

“We want to extend a lifeline to our business community to help small businesses recover from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 and to help protect the jobs of West Palm Beach residents,” said Mayor James. “Making sure that money and resources will, indeed, get to our residents—especially those who are hurting the most—remains a top priority of my administration. I am working to ensure our residents have jobs, access to life’s basic needs, and –most importantly – hope for the future.”

Mayor also announced his intent to establish the “West Palm Beach Together” fund through the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. He challenged the private sector to match the City’s contributions to date of $309,000 toward COVID-19 recovery efforts. Mayor will present the concept of the fund to the City Commission on Monday for approval. If approved, funds would be used to provide support in areas identified by the COVID-19 Response Unit, and WPB Together will be activated on Tuesday. More information about the “WPB Together” fund can be found at the City’s website, wpb.org.

Mayor gave an update on the COVID-19 Response Unit. The Unit has been working together to quickly launch, organize, and begin to support our residents, neighborhoods and businesses. The six different groups are focused on Housing & Homeless; Economic Support & Recovery; Seniors, Children & Families; Food, Water & Medicine; Community Services & Volunteer Engagement; Non-Profits & Faith Based Outreach; and Health & Public Safety. These groups have completed their recruitment of private sector volunteers to assist our city in this effort and have started meetings and begun their initial needs assessments. Mayor thanked participants for their service.

Mayor delivered these additional updates:

  • Mayor intends to sign an Executive Order allowing public access to City facilities, including City Hall, by appointment-only (with the exception of public meetings and requests for public records). The public is encouraged to make an appointment to do business with the City OR conduct business online. There are drop boxes at the City Hall entry for Planning & Zoning, Permitting, Engineering. Public Utilities Bills payments may be placed in a drop box located on the Banyan side of City Hall. To call City Hall, please dial (561) 822-1200 (TTY 800-955-8771).
  • The City is beginning to implement tele-commuting for some public meetings. More details will be shared as available.
  • The swearing-in ceremony for Commissioners-elect Christina Lambert, Kelly Shoaf, and Christy Fox is scheduled for April 9, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. This will be a “Virtual Swearing-In,” and the public is encouraged to witness this online or on the City’s TV channel, WPB-TV.
  • Volunteers wanting to assist in COVID-19 recovery efforts may share their interest with the City on the City’s website

 

For more information, please contact the City of West Palm Beach at (561) 822-1200.

COVID-19 UPDATE #33

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA (April 3, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach is committed to supporting its business community during this time of unprecedented need. During this morning’s State of the City COVID-19 update, Mayor Keith A. James announced the creation of the City’s Recovery and Assistance Program in partnership with Valley National Community Bank and the Urban League of Palm Beach County. This program makes available short-term loans in amounts between $5000-$10,000 with minimal interest rates and generous repayment periods, to eligible small businesses. In addition to the state and federal resources available to small businesses, this program is one of the many relief offerings for establishments in our City that have been negatively affected by the pandemic.

The City Commission approved an initial contribution of $259,000 to be split into loans for qualifying businesses. The Downtown Development Authority contributed an additional $50,000 to the program for business that are within the City’s Downtown boundaries, which brings the total funding available to $309,000.

Some eligibility requirements include:

  • Location must be within the City of West Palm Beach.
  • Business must be in operation for 18 months or longer.
  • Proof of adverse effects of COVID-19 mitigation.

Some documentation that may be requested through the approval process includes:

  • Business income statement.
  • Bank statements for the last three months.

“We are extending a lifeline to our business community to help small businesses recover from the economic downfall caused BY COVID-19 and to help protect or restore the jobs of West Palm Beach residents,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “Making sure that money and resources will, indeed, get to our business owners and our residents –those who are hurting the most-- remains a top priority for my administration.”

Once submitted, applications will be processed within 3-5 business days. The goal is to issue the first loans to businesses by April 10.  Here is a complete list of eligibility requirements, additional information on the Recovery and Assistance Program and to access the application. There, you can also find details on other offerings available to small businesses. 

For questions about the program, please contact the City’s Economic Development Director Christopher Roog at (561) 822-1416 (TTY 800-955-8771) or ecodev@wpb.org.

 

Your Utility Department Services: Safety & Convenience

Your utility service, billing and payment options are available by phone and online

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 2, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach continues to provide essential utility services during COVID-19. Access to utility accounts, requests for services, billing, and payment activities are available online or by calling our customer service department. For your safety and convenience, payments or requests for West Palm Beach Public Utilities services are available without the need to visit City Hall. 

The following bill pay services are available for your safety and convenience:

  • Online Payments: Online payments are quick and easy.  You will first need to create an online profile and log in. From the City’s home page, under “I WANT TO,” choose Pay my utility bill .  Create an online profile and pay your bill. Instructions are provided in English and Spanish.
  • Pay by Phone: You can pay your utility bill over the telephone by calling a Customer Service Representative at (561) 822-1300 (TTY 800-955-8771). You will be required to have your utility account number.
  • Pay by Mail: Please email City of West Palm Beach, P.O. Box 30000, Tampa, FL  33630-3000
  • Automatic Bank Draft: For information, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/government/public-utilities/billing-payments/billing-forms.
  • Pay at Drop Box: You may make your payments at the 24/7 drop box located on the north side of City Hall on Banyan Boulevard.

QUESTIONS:

  • For questions about your account or payment options, please speak to a Customer Service Representative at (561) 822-1300 (TTY 800-955-8771) between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • For Stormwater billing questions, please call (561) 822-1303 (TTY 800-955-8771).
  • For questions regarding Backflow Prevention and/or Cross Connections, please call the Backflow Hotline at (561) 822-2244 (TTY 800-955-8771) between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • For 24-Hour Dispatch Service for after-hours or emergencies call (561) 822-2210 (TTY 800-955-8771)

COVID-19 UPDATE #32

Teleconferencing & Public Meetings

West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James has signed an executive order suspending some provisions contained in the City of West Palm Beach Charter that govern public meetings. Mayor mandated that all meetings and hearings conducted by the City of West Palm Beach, its staff, and any of its Boards and Committees may use communications media technology, such as telephonic and video conferencing, as provided in section 120.54 (b)(b)2., Florida Statutes. View the order here. More details about public participation via teleconferencing during public meetings will be provided soon.

 

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downtown. Through the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during or restore their payrolls afterward.  The federal government will soon release more details including the list of lenders offering loans under the program. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has developed the following guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file a loan.
Read more information here.

 

School District ‘Grab and Go’

Our partners at the School District of Palm Beach County are continuing to feed students while schools are closed. According to the School District, 35 sites across Palm Beach County are distributing ‘Grab and Go’ bags filled with breakfast, lunch, supper, and a snack. Boxes of food from Feeding South Florida will also be available on specific dates per location. Food distribution will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the meals are FREE to anyone under 18 years of age (under 22 for ESE students), regardless of financial need. Read more information here.

COVID-19 UPDATE #31

SOCIAL DISTANCING/STAY AT HOME

Social distancing is key to preventing the spread of COVID-19. If you are around other people, keep 6 feet between you when possible. Avoid hugs, handshakes, large gatherings and close quarters. Be sure to follow ‘Stay at Home’ orders.

FLORIDA STAY-AT-HOME ORDER ANNOUNCED

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced a 30-day ‘Stay at Home’ order for the State of Florida. The order tells residents to stay indoors unless they are pursuing “essential services or activities.”

According to the order:

  • Seniors and people with significant underlying medical conditions “shall stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk for exposure to COVID-19.”
  • All people “shall limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.”

For the purposes of the Governor’s order, the list of essential services can be found on the Department of Homeland Security web page at https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce.

The order is scheduled to go into effect at 12:00 a.m. on Friday.

MAYOR JAMES SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-04

West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James has signed an executive order mandating the closure of the plaza area of West Palm Beach City Center except for the limited purpose of providing a means of ingress and egress necessary to conduct business or access offices that are lawfully operating within City Center. This order is enforceable by the West Palm Beach Police Department to protect the public health, safety and welfare. 

COVID-19 FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

West Palm Beach hospitality workers who have been laid-off due to COVID-19 mitigation are encouraged to claim their free, freshly prepared meal on behalf of Hospitality Helping Hands. Families can wait in their vehicles as volunteers process their requests, all while following social distancing guidelines. Additionally, Hospitality Helping Hands is delivering meals to low income seniors who are confined to their homes. Meal distribution is held daily from 1pm-6pm at Howley’s Restaurant: 4700 S. Dixie Highway. A second distribution site has been established at Hullabaloo: 517 Clematis St.

The City Commission recently approved an additional $18,000 for a COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance program to benefit hospitality workers who have been impacted by the pandemic. These funds, combined with the $12,000 the City had previously approved and another $20,000 on behalf of the Downtown Development Authority, bring the total contribution to Hospitality Helping Hands, a local non-profit, to $50,000.

Mayor Keith A. James announced a challenge to the private sector to match or surpass these funds for Hospitality Helping Hands and other entities actively engaged in COVID-19 relief efforts. Details about this effort will be announced shortly.

Beware COVID-19 Fraud Schemes

 

Be alert for scams and email phishing schemes designed to exploit public fear during the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal authorities warn of a rise in emails claiming to be from phony health organizations offering information on the virus. Do not click links or open attachments in such emails. Criminals are using malicious websites to install ransomware. Phishing emails may also claim to be related to:

 

  • Charitable contributions,
  • General financial relief,
  • Airline carrier refunds,
  • Fake cures or vaccines,
  • Fake testing kits,
  • Fake personal protection equipment like masks and sanitizers (More information on faked goods can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh) .

 

Do not open attachments or click links from senders you don’t recognize. Don’t provide usernames, passwords, dates of birth, Social Security numbers or any other sort of personal data in response to an email or robocall. Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link before clicking on it.

 

U.S. Census

The U.S. Census is happening now. You can respond online, by phone, or by email. Click here to learn more: https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond.html/

COVID-19 UPDATE #30 

Emergency Food Assistance Program Funded, Social Distancing to Continue, New Closures Announced

CITY HALL ACTIONS

Social Distancing: At a special City Commission meeting on March 30, 2020, Mayor Keith A. James continues to urge the public to practice social distancing and to stay at home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you are around other people, keep six feet between you when possible. Avoid hugs, handshakes, large gatherings, and close quarters. For more information, please visit: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/prevention/.

 

Emergency Food Assistance Program: City Commissioners unanimously approved the allocation of an additional $18,000 to the COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Program. The allocation brings the total City funding for the program to $30,000. The program provides temporary food assistance to households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City will partner with existing food providers, volunteers, and non-profits to provide the funding to help provide prepared meals to City residents impacted by job loss and to low-income elderly. The intent is to also provide some restaurant workers with an opportunity for short-term employment. This program is meant to fill the assistance gaps until state and federal funds begin to be distributed locally.

 

COVID-19 TESTING

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing site has been established at FitTeam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches located in the City of West Palm Beach. The site has been established by Palm Beach County, the Health Care District of Palm Beach County and other partners. Individuals requiring testing must be prescreened. Tests are conducted by appointment only.  To schedule an appointment, please call (561) 642-1000. 

 

NEW CLOSURES/CANCELLATIONS

Neighborhood Meetings with the Mayor: The regularly scheduled Neighborhood Meetings with the Mayor with the North End and the Downtown/South End neighborhoods for the month of April have been cancelled. For more information, please contact Neighborhood Services Coordinator Jose Tagle at (561) 822-1412.

 

Grassy Water Nature Preserve Closed: The City of West Palm Beach is temporarily closing all public boardwalks, docks, biking, and walking/hiking trails at Grassy Waters Preserve, located at 8264 Northlake Blvd., through April 15, 2020. The Preserve closures include: The Nature Center (including Kayak and Canoe docks), Hog Hammock Trail, Eagle Trail, Gator Lake, Cypress Boardwalk Trail, Owahee Trail. Grassy Waters Preserve is located at 8264 Northlake Blvd.

 

U.S. CENSUS

As we face the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, your response to the U.S. Census is needed now more than ever. By now, you may have received an invitation from the U.S. Census to participate. The Census is a count of our nation’s population, and results help guide decisions about planning, education, redistricting, federal funding for our community and much more. To complete the Census.

.

E-NOTIFICATIONS

Get the latest City of West Palm Beach news on COVID-19 sent directly to your email. e-Notifications from WPB.org keep you updated on the very latest developments from City Hall. To sign up for updates, please visit https://www.wpb.org/things-to-do/sign-up-for-enotifications-from-the-city-of-wpb.

 

COVID-19 UPDATE #29

CITY HALL ACTIONS

Social Distancing: At a special City Commission meeting on March 30, 2020, Mayor Keith A. James continues to urge the public to practice social distancing and to stay at home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you are around other people, keep six feet between you when possible. Avoid hugs, handshakes, large gatherings, and close quarters. For more information, please visit: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/prevention/.

Emergency Food Assistance Program: City Commissioners unanimously approved the allocation of an additional $18,000 to the COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Program. The allocation brings the total City funding for the program to $30,000. The program provides temporary food assistance to households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City will partner with existing food providers, volunteers, and non-profits to provide the funding to help provide prepared meals to City residents impacted by job loss and to low-income elderly. The intent is to also provide some restaurant workers with an opportunity for short-term employment. This program is meant to fill the assistance gaps until state and federal funds begin to be distributed locally. 

COVID-19 TESTING

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing site has been established at FitTeam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches located in the City of West Palm Beach. The site has been established by Palm Beach County, the Health Care District of Palm Beach County and other partners. Individuals requiring testing must be prescreened. Tests are conducted by appointment only.  To schedule an appointment, please call (561) 642-1000. 

NEW CLOSURES/CANCELLATIONS

Neighborhood Meetings with the Mayor: The regularly scheduled Neighborhood Meetings with the Mayor with the North End and the Downtown/South End neighborhoods for the month of April have been cancelled. For more information, please contact Neighborhood Services Coordinator Jose Tagle at (561) 822-1412. 

Grassy Water Nature Preserve Closed: The City of West Palm Beach is temporarily closing all public boardwalks, docks, biking, and walking/hiking trails at Grassy Waters Preserve, located at 8264 Northlake Blvd., through April 15, 2020. The Preserve closures include: The Nature Center (including Kayak and Canoe docks), Hog Hammock Trail, Eagle Trail, Gator Lake, Cypress Boardwalk Trail, Owahee Trail. Grassy Waters Preserve is located at 8264 Northlake Blvd.

 U.S. CENSUS

As we face the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, your response to the U.S. Census is needed now more than ever. By now, you may have received an invitation from the U.S. Census to participate. The Census is a count of our nation’s population, and results help guide decisions about planning, education, redistricting, federal funding for our community and much more. Complete the Census here.

 

E-NOTIFICATIONS

Get the latest City of West Palm Beach news on COVID-19 sent directly to your email. e-Notifications from WPB.org keep you updated on the very latest developments from City Hall. To sign up for updates, please visit https://www.wpb.org/things-to-do/sign-up-for-enotifications-from-the-city-of-wpb.

COVID-19 UPDATE #28

 

  • Social Distancing for HOAs, Condo Associations
  • Closures for Golf Courses
  • Updated City Events Cancellations/Postponements
  • Social Distancing
  • Reemployment
  • Assistance
  • Reemployment Assistance
  • COVID-19 Response Unit

 

City Urges HOAs, Condo Associations to Practice Social Distancing

 

The City of West Palm Beach urges HOAs and Condo Associations to practice social distancing in their communities. Condominium and homeowner’s associations are governed by state law and the association governing board, meaning that they are responsible for adopting an emergency plan when needed. Some associations may have already implemented these plans and should have detailed emergency preparedness and response procedures. Many have policies in place to restrict or close the use of community amenities, such as gyms, pools and clubhouses in the name of social distancing.

 

Whether it be a public or neighborhood common area, all residents should stay at least six feet away from others and avoid groups of more than 10 people. Persons aged 65 years or older, or with a pre-existing condition placing them at higher risk of contraction, should continue to shelter in place.

 

To know more about what steps your neighborhood is taking to manage COVID-19, contact your property manager.

 

Closures for Golf Courses

Pursuant to the newest executive order issued by Palm Beach County, public and private golf courses are now closed.

 

Updated City Events Cancellations/Postponements

 

The City has extended its cancellation of City-produced community events through the first week in April. There will be no Clematis by Night on Thursday, April 2nd and no GreenMarket on Saturday, April 4th. Please stay tuned on social media for the latest updates on community events.

 

Social Distancing is Key to Help Stop Spread of COVID-19

 

City Hall remains open, and the public is encouraged to do business with the City online. For a list of some of the many services offered online, including utility payment options, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/our-city/mayor-s-office/covid-19-updates-and-information/online-city-services.

For the safety and wellbeing of the public and our employees, please practice social distancing when interacting with our employees. For questions about doing City business online, please contact City Hall at (561) 822-1200 (TTY 800-955-8771).

 

Reemployment Assistance

If your employment has been negatively impacted as a result of the COVID-19 mitigation efforts in Florida, you may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance. For more information, please visit the Florida Dept. of Economic opportunity website: http://www.floridajobs.org/

 

Assistance

The City of West Palm Beach wants to ensure that our residents, business and employees have access to community programs and services aimed at helping those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For a list of resources available in our community, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/our-city/mayor-s-office/covid-19-updates-and-information/assistance

 

Mayor Keith James Rolls Out COVID-19 Response Unit for West Palm Beach

 

On Friday, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James delivered the first of a new, regularly scheduled COVID-19 ‘State of the City’ address to update the public on the City’s response and relief efforts, which include recent policy adjustments and initiatives. Mayor James announced the launch of the COVID-19 Response Unit—the first of its kind in the State of Florida—in cooperation with the City Commission and the private sector. The COVID-19 Response Unit is a public-private partnership that expands the City’s resources by creating groups focused on these areas:

  • Housing & Homelessness,
  • Economic Support & Recovery,
  • Seniors, Children & Families,
  • Food, Water & Medicine,
  • Community Services & Volunteer Engagement, and
  • Non-Profits & Faith-Based Outreach Group.

 

The unit takes models and best practices from other cities and looks ahead to what things will be needed for our City. Each group has a leader who will be supported by City staff and will include members from the private sector who have expertise and resources to help the City. These groups will support the work already being done by our emergency management team to support the health and public safety of our community. The City of West Pam Beach emergency management team is led by WPBFD Chief Diana Matty, WPBFD Asst. Chief Brent Bloomfield, and West Palm Beach Police Department Chief Sarah Mooney.

COVID-19 UPDATE # 27

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 27, 2020) --  West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James delivered the first of a new, regularly scheduled COVID-19 ‘State of the City’ address to update the public on the City’s response and relief efforts, which include recent policy adjustments and initiatives. Mayor James announced the launch of the COVID-19 Response Unit—the first of its kind in the State of Florida—in cooperation with the City Commission and the private sector.

During his remarks, Mayor James highlighted the devastating effects of COVID-19 on citizens, families and the local economy. He strongly urged the public to take precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We will likely be dealing with COVID-19 and its effects for some time,” said Mayor James. “In order to ‘flatten the curve’ to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, we all need to work together to practice social distancing. The actions that we all are taking today are difficult, but they will help save lives.”

Mayor James provided critical updates about his administration’s response to the crisis, which included the following:

  • The establishment of a COVID-19 Rental Eviction Protection Program to help eligible residents with temporary rental assistance to avoid displacement due to loss of income as a result of COVID-19.
  • The approval by Commissioners of a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Fund consisting of $259,000 to help small businesses with micro-loans of $10,000 or less.
  • Strategies to help make it easier for online ordering with local businesses and a marketing campaign to promote West Palm Beach businesses.

Mayor stated that the COVID-19 Response Unit expands the City’s resources during this emergency. The plan is a collaborative effort that is supported by his administration with guidance and oversight from West Palm Beach Fire (WPBFD) Chief Diana Matty and input from national crisis management experts. The unit is made up of groups with key focus areas. The unit takes models and best practices from other cities and looks ahead to what things will be needed.

Each group has a leader who will be supported by City staff and will include members from the private sector who have expertise and resources to help the City as part of a public-private partnership. The groups and their leaders are as follows:

  • Housing and Homeless Group, led by Commissioner Cory Neering. This group will focus on:
  • Economic Support and Recovery Group, led by Commissioner Kelly Shoaf. This group will focus on:
  • The Seniors, Children and Families Group, led by Commissioner Joe Peduzzi. This group will focus on:
  • The Food, Water and Medicine Group, led by Commissioner-Elect Christy Fox. They will focus on:
  • The Community Services and Volunteer Engagement Group, led by Commission President Christina Lambert. This group will focus on:
  • The Non-profits and Faith-Based Outreach Group, led by Former Mayor Jeri Muoio. This group will focus on:

These groups will support the work already being done by our emergency management team to support the health and public safety of our community. The City of West Pam Beach emergency management team is led by WPBFD Chief Diana Matty, WPBFD Asst. Chief Brent Bloomfield, and West Palm Beach Police Department Chief Sarah Mooney.

Each of the groups will be scheduling a weekly community meeting online so that residents can get updates and provide input on issues that are important to them.

“I want to ask our residents to stay safe and stay close to home as much as possible,” Mayor stated. “We can each do our part in our neighborhoods and our city to make a difference. The day WILL come when we have the upper hand on COVID-19. There will be a life after COVID-19 in our City and Community. We will get through his together, no matter what it takes.”

               

To view Mayor’s COVID-19 State of the City.

For additional information about the City’s response to COVID-19, please visit our website: https://www.wpb.org/ or contact the Mayor’s Response Hotline at (561) 822-2222 (TTY 800-955-8771).

 

 

VIDEO: Mayor Keith A. James Delivers COVID-19 State of the City Address (March 27, 2020)

Mayor Keith A. James updates the public on the City of West Palm Beach COVID-19 response and relief efforts. Mayor James states that residents must continue to practice social distancing. The City has recently implemented several programs to respond to the crisis: a COVID-19 Rental Eviction Protection Program, a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Fund, a 'West Palm Eats' program, and a marketing campaign to promote WPB businesses. The City is also launching the West Palm Beach COVID-19 Response Unit.

COVID-19 UPDATE #25

  • State Public Health Advisory Issued for persons 65+
  • WPB Rental Eviction Protection Program Established
  • City Conducts Needs Assessment of WPB Businesses
  • FREE, Designated Parking for Food Pickup Customers, Delivery Drivers

 

**A state public health advisory has been issued stating that all persons age 65 and older or with high risk underlying medical conditions are to stay at home and self-quarantine to limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19**

**To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, please remember to practice social distancing in our parks and public spaces. Please remember to avoid groups of 10 or more people and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet. Recreational facilities in our parks are closed to the public. ***

**Those who need to do business with the City of West Palm Beach may do so online. For a list of online City services including bill pay, please visit:  https://www.wpb.org/our-city/mayor-s-office/covid-19-updates-and-information/online-city-services***

Mayor Keith A. James, City of WPB Establish COVID-19 Rental Eviction Protection Program

The City of West Palm Beach Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) department works to connect West Palm Beach residents and businesses to housing, social, and economic opportunities.

Due to the hardships many are facing due to recent impacts of COVID-19, Mayor Keith A. James and the City’s HCD department have established the COVID-19 Rental Eviction Protection Program to be administered by the City’s HCD department.

The COVID-19 Rental Eviction Protection Program was created to assist eligible City of West Palm Beach households with temporary rental assistance to avoid displacement due to a loss of income as a direct result of COVID-19. The assistance is limited to a one-time payment equal to a maximum of 2 months’ rent. Applicants must be able to evidence loss of income due to COVID-19 and have no other available resources. They must not have utilized any other services for the timeframe of payment request.

For additional information, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/government/housing-community-development or call (561) 822-1250.

Residents may also take advantage of the Serving Our Seniors (SOS) program offered through the City’s Vickers House. The program provides financial relief from high-energy costs to prevent service disconnection for seniors 62 and older in crisis. The assistance is limited to a one-time payment not to exceed $600. Applicants must not have any other resources available. For more information, please call the HCD at (561) 804-4970.

“Because of COVID-19, these are challenging times for residents and business owners alike,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “Now, more than ever, it is important for our citizens to know that we are here for you. The economic effects of COVID-19 are catastrophic. Therefore, we must do what we can to support our citizens, including our most vulnerable, by providing access to resources offered by the City and partner agencies.”

For more information about the City’s Housing & Community Development department, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/government/housing-community-development. Please call (561) 561-822-1250 (TTY 1-800-955-8771) or email HCD_Help@wpb.org.

For a list of resources made available by our partner organizations, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/our-city/mayor-s-office/covid-19-updates-and-information/assistance.

 

City Conducts COVID-19 Needs Assessment of West Palm Beach Businesses

The City of West Palm Beach invites West Palm Beach business owners to participate in the City’s COVID-19 Business Needs Assessment Survey. The City has created a survey to offer West Palm Beach businesses an opportunity to share their issues, problems and concerns. The results of the survey will better help the City to understand the needs of the West Palm Beach business community so that the City can help devise an economic development strategy to best help our local businesses and effectively deploy resources. To take the survey, please visit: https://polco.us/surveys/6520512d-3087-415a-af62-89c8c5b558aa or www.polco.us/wpb.

 

City of West Palm Beach Creates FREE, Designated Parking for Food Pickup

To support West Palm Beach restaurants affected by COVID-19 dining-in closures and to expand access to food for residents, the City of West Palm Beach has established several “pickup zones” in the downtown to facilitate easy pickup of takeout orders from restaurants for customers and delivery drivers. The zones have been designated as FREE 3-minute parking for only carry-out customers and delivery drivers.

The pickup zones are in the following locations:

  • Clematis Street Blocks 100 N., 100 S., 200, 300, 400, 500
  • Evernia Street 400 Block
  • N. Olive 100 Block
  • S. Olive 200 Block
  • S. Dixie 100 Block

While dining-in areas remain closed due to efforts to limit the spread COVID-19, many restaurants in the City welcome take-out or delivery orders. A directory of restaurants can be found here: https://www.wpb.org/WPB-Eats.

For information about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit: wpb.org or call (561) 822-2222. (TTY-Voice: 800-955-8770, Florida Relay-TTY: 800-955-8771).  

 

Closures/Cancellations

The West Palm Beach Fishing Club Open House planned for March 26 and 27 in celebration of our City’s 125th anniversary has been CANCELED.

 

For More Information:

COVID-19 UPDATE #24

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 24, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach continues to monitor the recent emergence of COVID-19. As part of the City’s emergency response plan to combat this pandemic, the public is reminded to follow the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it pertains to hand hygiene, disinfection and social distancing.

Wash or Sanitize Your Hands

Wash your hands, multiple times throughout the day, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after you have been in a public place, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

If you don’t have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Make sure to rub all surfaces of your hands until they feel dry again. Avoid touching any part of your face with unwashed hands.

City Hall, which is now a “handshake-free zone,” has located various hand sanitizing stations throughout the building, all of which are available to visitors and employees.

Keep Your Distance

The CDC and Florida Department of Health have recommended “social distancing” yourself from others by staying at least 6 feet away from others. Additionally, social gatherings are not to exceed a capacity of 10 people until further notice.

In compliance with these recommendations, the City has cancelled or postponed all mass gatherings for the next several weeks. Local restaurants have also been instructed to provide carry out and delivery services only, and establishments that have lobbies or seating areas (apart from essential businesses) have been ordered to close these options.

Make Sure Your Surroundings are Clean

Remember to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a daily basis. These include doorknobs, countertops, light switches, desks, phones, keyboards faucets and more. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Disinfection and cleaning measures have been expanded throughout City Hall.

Protect Others Around You

If you are sick or have symptoms that are closely associated with COVID-19, please stay home unless you are seeking medical treatment.

Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing with your elbow or a tissue, and immediately dispose of used tissues. Wash your hands according to the previously mentioned routine.

If you are sick, it is appropriate to wear a face mask in public places or when around others. If you are not sick, please only wear a mask only if you are caring for someone who is sick and unable to wear a mask. Mask supplies should be saved for healthcare workers and first responders.

The City of West Palm Beach and its dedicated first responders are committed to the safety of community members. For more information on helpful resources, closures and more, visit the City’s dedicated COVID-19 page at www.wpb.org

COVID-19 UPDATE #23

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 24, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach values the safety of its customers and employees. To help keep these groups safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City’s development services department asks that users conduct their business through the department’s online portal. This online system allows customers to pay or apply for a permit without the need for face-to-face interaction. As an added measure, drop-off mailboxes will be available for those who submit their documents at City Hall to either the Building Division on the first floor or the Planning Division on the second floor. These mailboxes will be available as of Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

The online portal for the West Palm Beach Development Services Department can be found at https://www.wpb.org/government/development-services/permits. The department can also be reached by calling (561) 805-6700 (TTY: 800-955-8771).

For more information on COVID-19 and the City of West Palm Beach, please visit the City’s dedicated COVID-19 web page at www.wpb.org.

COVID-19 UPDATE #22

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 24, 2020) – West Palm Beach businesses impacted by COVID-19 will soon get a boost from the City of West Palm Beach. Last night, Mayor Keith A. James and City Commissioners reviewed a marketing campaign to support local restaurants and shops. Additionally, Commissioners unanimously (4-0) approved a resolution creating an economic recovery fund to provide financial assistance to businesses adversely affected by COVID-19.

The marketing campaign, originating in the City’s Department of Economic Development, aims to encourage residents to support local businesses from the comfort of their own home while maintaining social distancing. Called “West Palm Eats,” the campaign encourages users to dine and shop from home while supporting their local business community. Residents can expect to start seeing web-based and social media-based ads targeting online users in West Palm Beach and surrounding zip codes. 

Additionally, the City has created a landing page on its website, where residents can locate a list of businesses that are offering pickup and delivery options. To visit: https://www.wpb.org/our-city/west-palm-eats.

Restaurant and business owners are invited and welcome to participate. To be a part of the campaign, please send your business name, web address, and menu to ecodev@wpb.org. (To help us ensure ADA compliance on our website, please provide your menu in Word as we are unable to accept PDF files.)  

A COVID-19 Economic Recovery Fund is now being established by the City of West Palm Beach. Last night, Commissioners approved setting aside $259,000 to be used to help small businesses in the form of short-term micro-loans of $10,000 or less. The funds will be allocated through a local community bank where the terms and conditions will be defined. Additional details will soon follow on how to apply for this assistance.

“We know that many business owners, employees and residents are suffering greatly right now as a result of COVID-19,” said Mayor Keith A. James. “Beyond its health impacts, COVID-19’s economic impacts are being felt throughout our city. We are committed to doing everything we can to support our local business community. The establishment of a marketing campaign and recovery fund are two of the ways the City of West Palm Beach is rising to that challenge.”

“The pandemic is requiring all levels of government to come forward with resources and assistance to help our community and work together with our local businesses to ensure that all come out stronger after these difficult times pass,” said Economic Development Director Christopher Roog. 

Restaurants nationwide are urging people to participate in The Great American Takeout on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 to support the restaurant industry.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES:

COVID-19 UPDATE #21

West Palm Beach, FL (March 23, 2020) – On March 16, 2020, West Palm Beach Firefighters responded to an emergency medical call for person who fell, but was uninjured. Dispatch screened the patient with a series of questions to rule out possible infection with COVID-19. Based on the patient’s response to the questions, the patient was not suspicious for possible infection. When crews arrived, they repeated the screening questions. Once again, based on the patient’s answers, the patient was not suspected of possible infection and the patient was helped up.

 The patient refused transport to the hospital. Later that evening, the patient fell again, and again only wanted help up. The patient then called a third time and was transported to the hospital. It was not until the patient was in the truck that they stated a family member had traveled recently. The firefighters then alerted the hospital of the possible infection with COVID-19 prior to arrival at the emergency room.

 On March 20th, 2020, the Fire Department was notified by the hospital that the patient tested positive. Three firefighters have been taken out of service and placed on home quarantine out of an abundance of caution. None of these firefighters are exhibiting any symptoms as of today, seven days past the patient contact.

 If you feel you are experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19, contact the Palm Beach County Department of Health at 561-840-4500.

 Information on Coronavirus, COVID-19 is available on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/.

 

An Open Letter from Mayor Keith A. James
March 23, 2020

 

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

  • To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, our parks remain open but are now closed to any recreational activities. Closures include basketball courts, soccer fields, tennis courts, dog parks, and playgrounds.

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 theatres, 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

 

COVID-19 UPDATE #20

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 23, 2020) – 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.

 

COVID-19 UPDATE #19.5

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 20, 2020) –  West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James signed an Executive Order mandating that all West Palm Beach restaurants are to close effective 9:00 p.m. March 21, 2020. This does not prohibit the restaurant from providing takeout, delivery and pickup only services.  The City of West Palm Beach Police Department shall use its authorities under Florida law to implement and enforce the provisions of this Executive Order to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

Simultaneously, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an order –effective immediately -- to shut down all non-essential businesses (restaurants, bars, taverns, pubs, nightclubs, banquet halls, cocktail lounges, cabarets, breweries, cafeterias, movie theatres, concert houses, auditoriums, play houses, bowling alleys, arcades, gymnasiums, fitness studios, and beaches.) effective immediately. This order shall not apply to delivery services, pickup, or takeout services provided by any of the establishments listed.

The City of West Palm Beach is committed to working with the local business community to provide assistance during this time of emergency. Signage identifying business pickup locations will soon be deployed to help streamline consumers to their destination. Efficient carry out protocols are imperative during this time to ensure continuous traffic flow.

Additionally, the City will soon launch “West Palm Beach Eats,” a campaign centered around supporting local restaurants during times of unprecedented hardship. Customers will be directed to a landing page detailing nearby establishments that are providing carry out services. In order to participate, business must provide their website, menus and hours of operation. As the campaign develops, a badge will be created that establishments can use to signal their participation in this campaign.

Short-term solutions for businesses include:

Businesses that would like to be included in the West Palm Beach Eats campaign, are providing pickup and delivery services, or would like more information about financial assistance can email EcoDev@wpb.org.

Consumers and merchants can stay up to date with local business happenings on the City’s dedicated COVID-19 update page at www.wpb.org.   

COVID-19 UPDATE #19

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 20, 2020) – Following the latest guidance from Governor Ron DeSantis to shut down all non-essential businesses, the City of West Palm Beach is imposing business closures Citywide, as well as implementing a “pickup only” status for restaurants. Beginning at 9pm on Saturday, March 21, all restaurants are required to close to dine-in options, even if previous social distancing guidance had been followed.

Below are some examples of essential and non-essential businesses:

 Essential

  • Convenience stores
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Medical offices
  • Pharmacies

 Non-Essential:

  • Bars
  • Beaches
  • Gyms
  • Recreation
  • Theaters

The City of West Palm Beach is committed to working with the local business community to provide assistance during this time of emergency. Signage identifying business pickup locations will soon be deployed to help streamline consumers to their destination. Efficient carry out protocols are imperative during this time to ensure continuous traffic flow.

Additionally, the City will soon launch “West Palm Beach Eats,” a campaign centered around supporting local restaurants during times of unprecedented hardship. Customers will be directed to a landing page detailing nearby establishments that are providing carry out services. In order to participate, business must provide their website, menus and hours of operation. As the campaign develops, a badge will be created that establishments can use to signal their participation in this campaign.

Short-term solutions for businesses include:

Businesses that would like to be included in the West Palm Beach Eats campaign, are providing pickup and delivery services, or would like more information about financial assistance can email EcoDev@wpb.org.

Consumers and merchants can stay up to date with local business happenings on the City’s dedicated COVID-19 update page at www.wpb.org.   

COVID-19 UPDATE #18

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 20, 2020) – 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 UPDATE #17

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 19, 2020) – The Mandel Public Library will close on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.  The library will remain closed until further notice.  No materials will be due at this time.  Please take advantage of our online e-books, movies, music & more.  Call 561-868-7701 (TTY: 800-955-8771) for more information.  We know that many of you who use our library services may have some questions.  Below is a list of services still available to you:

DIGITAL LIBRARY:

If you are interested in using our library services virtually, 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.

MATERIALS CURRENTLY CHECKED OUT
If you have an item that is currently checked out, you will have a new due date of June 1, 2020.

GET A FREE LIBRARY CARD
Those who don’t have a library card may 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!

MATERIALS ON HOLD
You will not be able to place holds on physical materials at this time. Holds currently in the system will be honored once we resume normal operations.

GET IN TOUCH!

If you need to update your library card, get a card, get help downloading movies or books, ask a question or want to learn about our online resources, call (561) 868-7701 or (TTY: 800-955-8771). You may also email MPL@wpbcitylibrary.org, and we will get back to you within 24 hours. 
 
We will continue to update you on any changes in our operations as warranted and encourage you to visit the City of West Palm Beach web page https://www.wpb.org/ for related COVID-19 updates.

 

COVID UPDATE #16

City of West Palm Beach Offers COVID-19 Updates Via Email

eNotify service allows subscribers to receive latest news in their in-box.

 WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 19, 2020) -- The City of West Palm Beach is offering a new way to stay informed about the City’s response to COVID-19. The City’s Website www.wpb.org now offers eNotifications, a feature that will email subscribers as soon as updates are published to the Website. Subscribing to the service is free. The subscription page is available on the City Website.

 The City will continue to regularly update residents and business owners about City closures, cancellations and resources pertaining to COVID-19 through:

Mayor James Radio Interview on COVID-19

Mayor Keith James talked with the morning team at NewsTalk 850 WFTL on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Here is a recording of the interview.

COVID-19 UPDATE #15

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 18, 2020) – With our residents’ well-being and safety at the forefront, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James and the City of West Palm Beach continue to monitor the recent emergence of COVID-19. The City is following the guidance set forth by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, who are leading the efforts in our state to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City’s Emergency Operations Center remains activated at Level 2 operations.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the public is strongly encouraged to practice social distancing. Social distancing measures are taken to restrict when and where people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing measures include limiting large groups of people coming together, closing buildings and canceling events.

The City advises social distancing measures of no more than 10-people in an area together. Also, for any gatherings, people should have the availability to have six feet of personal space. For information on social distancing, please download the following guide.

Updates:

  • WPBPD: During this time, West Palm Beach Police Department 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.
  • BUILDING INSPECTIONS: Building and code inspections are ongoing. However, if you suspect that you may have COVID-19, please refrain from in-person contact with Development Services when requesting an inspection to avoid exposing City employees to potential virus symptoms. For Development Services’ resources contact information.
  • PUBLIC UTILITIES: To ensure that our wastewater system functions properly, Public Utilities urges residents to avoid flushing wipes, including wipes advertised as ‘flushable’.
  • VICKERS HOUSE: Vickers House, the City’s social services resource center, is now seeing clients on an appointment-only basis. To make an appointment, please call: (561) 804-4970 (TTY: 800-955-8771)
  • ON-STREET MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR HOMELESS: Mental Health America on-street services to the City’s homeless population are suspended until further notice. In addition, the City’s homeless engagement team, provided by the Lord’s Place, will provide virtual services until further notice. To reach the Lord’s Place community outreach department, call (561) 234-6752 or email outreach@thelordsplace.org.
  • GRASSY WATERS PRESERVE NATURE CENTER: The Grassy Waters Preserve Nature Center is now closed through March 31. All Nature Center programs for the remainder of March have been postponed. The Grassy Waters hiking and nature trails will remain open for use during regular scheduled hours.
  • PUBLIC MEETINGS: Public meetings are continuing as planned. Social distancing is strongly encouraged at public meetings.
  • LIBRARY: Closed to the public.
  • CITY HALL: Open to the public
  • SPRING BREAK CAMPS: Spring Break camps previously scheduled for the week of 3/23-3/27 at City community/recreation centers have been canceled. Contact your respective community center for refund information. To contact the Department of Parks and Recreation, please call (561) 804-4900 (TTY 800-955-8771).
  • QUESTIONS FOR THE CITY?: Call the Mayor’s Response Hotline: (561) 822-2222 (TTY: 800-955-8771).
  • BUSINESSES: Business owners with questions about these social distancing recommendations or information about federal aid/recovery programs for businesses may contact the City’s Economic Development Director Christopher Roog at croog@wpb.org.

Resources:

Mayor James applauds and thanks West Palm Beach businesses who have followed social distancing recommendations and have responsibly chosen to self-regulate, including (but not limited to):

  • Civil Society Brewing,
  • E.R. Bradley’s,
  • West Palm Beach Brewery and Pankauski Law,
  • Aioli,
  • Florida Crystals, and
  • Rybovich.

The City will continue to regularly update residents about actions taken by the City pertaining to COVID-19 through the City’s website: . For questions, please call City Hall at (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771)

If you have any medical questions about COVID-19, please contact the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 Hotline (open 24/7) by phone at 1 (866) 779-6121 or by email COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

For the latest information and recommendations from the Florida Department of Health, please visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/index.html.

For the latest information and recommendations from the CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

COVID-19 UPDATE #14

GRASSY WATERS PRESERVE NATURE CENTER CLOSED THROUGH MARCH

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 18, 2020) – Out of an abundance of caution for the health and well being of our visitors and employees, the Grassy Waters Preserve Nature Center is now closed through March 31 due to the recent emergence of COVID-19. All Nature Center programs for the remainder of March have been postponed. The Grassy Waters hiking and nature trails will remain open for use during regular scheduled hours. For more information, Grassy Waters Nature Center staff can be reached at (561) 804-4895 (TTY: 800-955-8771). For information about Grassy Waters Preserve.

COVID-19 UPDATE #13

West Palm Beach Spring Break Camps Cancellations

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 17, 2020) -- The City of West Palm Beach announces that spring break camps previously scheduled for the week of 3/23-3/27 at City community/recreation centers have been canceled. If you pre-registered for a spring break camp session, please reach out to your respective community center for refund information.

 City of West Palm Beach Community Recreation Centers:

  • Coleman Park Community Center: (561) 804-4965
  • Gaines Park Community Center: (561) 804-4960
  • Howard Park Community Center: (561) 804-4950
  • South Olive Community Center: (561) 804-4945

 For more information, please visit the City’s website: https://www.wpb.org/ or call the City of West Palm Beach Department of Parks and Recreation at (561) 804-4900  (TTY 800-955-8771).

 The City of West Palm Beach will provide regular updates, specific to COVID-19 and the City, on its website: https://www.wpb.org/. The City has also created a resource page with links to information provided by the health department and the CDC, which can be found here.

COVID-19 UPDATE #12

Helpful Links and Contacts for WPB Residents | Grocery Delivery, WPB Restaurant Carryout/Delivery, Business Resources, SDPBC Meal Pickup Sites

GROCERY DELIVERY SERVICES:

 

WPB RESTAURANTS OFFERING CARRYOUT & DELIVERY OPTIONS:

Special thanks to the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) for compiling this list.

 

SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PALM BEACH COUNTY MEAL PICKUP SITES (561) 969-5840:

 

 

FOR BUSINESSES

 

DID YOU KNOW: A Lot of City Business Can Be Done Online

 

COVID-19 RESOURCES:

COVID-19 UPDATE #11

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA (March 17, 2020) –  In keeping with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County (health department), the City of West Palm Beach urges all residents to practice social distancing.

Social distancing measures are taken to restrict when and where people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing measures include limiting large groups of people coming together, closing buildings and canceling events.

Mayor Keith A. James and West Palm Beach Emergency Manager Asst. Chief Brent Bloomfield urge robust distancing measures of no more than 10-people in an area together. Also, for any gatherings, people should have the availability to have six feet of personal space.

“We are urging residents, business owners and event planners to make responsible decisions to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James.

“To limit person-to-person contact, we urge you to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Health, and the federal government. If you can conduct business online or work from home, do it. Consider ordering delivery or food pickup, instead of dining out. Avoid large gatherings of no more than 10-people in an area. Everyone should have a minimum of six feet of personal space.”

The City wants to minimize economic impacts to business owners. However, if CDC and Florida Department of Health guidelines are not followed, the City may be forced to take further action to protect the health, wellbeing, and safety of citizens and business owners.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered the closure of bars and nightclubs for at least 30 days effective 5:00 p.m.

City Hall remains open, and vital City services continue to be provided. Public meetings are being held. Social distancing is being practiced at City Hall, where a “handshake-free zone” has been implemented.

The health department recommends these social distancing measures:

  • Protect yourself and your community: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If you don’t have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you’re sick.
  • Change your daily habits: Avoid shopping at peak hours and take advantage of delivery or pick-up services with retailers.
  • Work with your employer: Cooperate with leadership to change company practices, set up flexible shift plans, have employees telecommute, and cancel any large meetings or conferences.
  • Look for communications from universities and colleges: Regarding suspending classes, going to web-based learning and canceling all large campus meetings and gatherings.
  • Keep at least six feet between you and other people. Avoid Shaking hands as a social greeting.
  • Avoid public transit if possible: Don’t travel to areas with active outbreaks.
  • Avoid crowded places: Sporting events, community festivals, and concerts.

Yesterday, Mayor Keith A. James declared a State of Emergency for the City of West Palm Beach. The State of Emergency declaration gives City administration the ability to establish curfews, implement emergency procurement procedures, make provisions for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing, among other abilities.  At this time, no curfew has been announced for the City of West Palm Beach.

The City will continue to update residents regularly about closures, cancellations and resources pertaining to COVID-19 through the City’s website: https://www.wpb.org/our-city/mayor-s-office/covid-19-updates-and-information

If you have any medical questions about COVID-19, please contact the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 Hotline (open 24/7) by phone at 1 (866) 779-6121 or by email COVID-19@flhealth.gov

For the latest information and recommendations from the Florida Department of Health, please visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/index.html.

For the latest information and recommendations from the CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Business owners with questions about these social distancing recommendations or information about federal aid/recovery programs for businesses, may contact the City’s Economic Development Director Christopher Roog at croog@wpb.org.

COVID-19 UPDATE #10

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 16, 2020) -- The City of West Palm Beach cares about its local businesses and their sustainability during these difficult times. To aid our business community, the City will be in regular contact with other economic development organizations including the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Atlantic University. Together, a series of resources and assistance are being developed to respond to the challenges brought on by COVID-19. Below are a series of resources and tools that businesses can use to help prepare, respond and recover from the recent emergence of COVID-19.  

 

Additionally, the SBDC is encouraging small businesses to complete the business damage assessment. This survey helps determine the need for COVID-19 Federal, State disaster assistance. The survey can be found here.

 

For General Information and Updates for Businesses:

 

For information and to apply for aid:

 

Any other questions or to provide additional information to help your small business needs:

 

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

 

COVID-19 UPDATE #9

 

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 16, 2020) – On March 16, 2020, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James declared a State of Emergency to prepare for and respond to the threat of COVID-19.

For several weeks, Mayor James—along with the City’s Emergency manager and Administration--  has coordinated the monitoring, preparations and communications in regard to COVID-19.  City staff have been preparing for a potential increase in demand for services, especially regarding public safety/health.

The City previously cancelled large gatherings including Clematis by Night, Screen on the Green, GreenMarket and Sunday on the Waterfront through the end of March. The City also worked with producers of large-scale events to postpone, cancel or reschedule their event on City-owned property until further notice.

The State of Emergency declaration gives City administration the ability to establish curfews, implement emergency procurement procedures, make provisions for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing, among other abilities.  No curfew has been announced for the City of West Palm Beach.

The City will continue to update residents regularly about closures, cancellations and resources pertaining to COVID-19 through the City’s website: https://www.wpb.org/government/mandel-public-library-of-west-palm-beach

###

DRIVE-THRU TESTING: According to Palm Beach County, a health center is now offering free drive-thru testing for COVID-19. FoundCare, a nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center, is setting up a testing station in the FoundCare building parking lot at 2330 S. Congress Ave. in West Palm Beach. The testing will be open to Palm Beach County residents who have called to complete a screening process and have made a scheduled appointment. Prospective patients must call (561) 967-0365 for the screening and to schedule an appointment.

PRICE GOUGING: Price gouging can be reported by calling 1-866-966-7226 or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com. Florida’s Attorney General is urging the public to report any coronavirus-driven price gouging.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19? If you have any medical questions about COVID-19, please contact the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 Hotline (open 24/7) by phone at 1 (866) 779-6121 or by email COVID-19@flhealth.gov. For the latest information and recommendations from the CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

CITY CLOSURES/CANCELLATIONS:

  • Youth Athletic Programs- Suspended until the end of March. The City will reevaluate future programming at that time. For more information, please visit the City’s website: https://www.wpb.org/ or call the City of West Palm Beach Department of Parks and Recreation at (561) 804-4900  (TTY 800-955-8771).
  • Mandel Public Library Programs, Workshops, and Meetings - Postponed through Tuesday, March 31, 2020.  The library will remain open for use during its regular scheduled hours.
  • After-School Programs – Suspended at the library and at recreational centers through Monday, March 30th, 2020.
  • City Events Cancelled through March: Clematis by Night, Screen on the Green, GreenMarket, and Sunday on the Waterfront. (For non-City events, please contact the producer for event status.)

 

DID YOU KNOW: A Lot of City Business Can Be Done Online

 

COVID-19 RESOURCES: Please visit:

 

COVID-19 UPDATE #8

City of West Palm Beach Youth Athletic Programs Suspended

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 16, 2020)The City of West Palm Beach announces that all youth athletic programs have been suspended until the end of March. The City will reevaluate future programming at that time. For more information, please visit the City’s website: https://www.wpb.org/ or call the City of West Palm Beach Department of Parks and Recreation at (561) 804-4900  (TTY 800-955-8771).

The City of West Palm Beach will provide regular updates, specific to COVID-19 and the City, on its website: https://www.wpb.org/. There, the City has created a resource page with links to information provided by the health department and the CDC, which can be found here: https://www.wpb.org/our-city/mayor-s-office/covid-19-updates-and-information/covid-19-helpful-links.

COVID-19 – UPDATE #7

Cancellations, Postponements, Programming Changes in the City of West Palm Beach (Updated: March 13, 2020, 5:00 p.m.)

City-produced Events/Programs

  • After-school Programs: The City of West Palm Beach is suspending its after-school programs at the library and at recreational centers effective Monday, March 16, 2020  – Monday, March 30th, 2020.

 

  • Clematis by Night (3/19 and 3/26) – CANCELED
  • Mandel Public Library’s programs, workshops and meetings booked March 14th through March 31st (library will remain open for use during its regular scheduled hours) – CANCELED
  • Origami Sculpture Unveiling (3/27)- CANCELED
  • Pleasant City Sign Unveiling (3/26)- CANCELED
  • Screen on the Green (3/13) – CANCELED
  • Sunday on the Waterfront (3/15) – CANCELED
  • Vision Zero Spring Break Bike Safety Fair (3/23) – CANCELED
  • West Palm Beach Bike to Work Week (3/16-3/20) – POSTPONED
  • West Palm Beach GreenMarket (3/14, 3/21, 3/28) – CANCELED
  • West Palm Beach Sustainability’s Wasted! The Story of Food Waste Film Screening (3/14) – POSTPONED
  • West Palm Beach Sustainability’s Our Earth, Our Home (3/25) – CANCELED
  • West Palm Beach Sustainability’s e4 Life: Green, Health & Wellness Expo (4/4) – POSTPONED

Privately-produced events in the City of West Palm Beach

(Please follow up with event organizers for scheduling updates and refunds.)

  • 500 Block Merchant Weekend Street Closure (3/13-3/15, 3/20-3/22) – CANCELED
  • Afternoons in the Village (3/21, 3/28) – CANCELED
  • Art Night Out (3/27) – CANCELED
  • Barrett-Jackson 2020 Palm Beach Auction (4/16-4/18)– POSTPONED
  • Brew at the Zoo (4/4) – POSTPONED
  • Downtown West Palm Beach Bike Valet (3/14, 3/21) – CANCELED
  • Downtown West Palm Beach Bike Valet at Currie Park (3/28) – CANCELED
  • Farmer’s Market at Currie Park (3/28) – CANCELED
  • Fiesta on Flagler (3/13) – CANCELED
  • Marlon Wayans at the Palm Beach Improv (3/13-3/15)– CANCELED
  • Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run (4/14-4/16) – POSTPONED
  • Norton Museum (3/13-3/31)– CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC
  • NFL annual meeting in Palm Beach – CANCELED
  • O’Sheas St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Party (3/17) – CANCELED
  • Palm Beach International Boat Show (3/19-4/4) – POSTPONED
  • Palm Beach Walk to Defeat ALS (3/14) – POSTPONED
  • Philanthropy Tank’s Live Event VIP reception with Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy (3/19) – CANCELED
  • Roxy’s Pub St. Patrick’s Day Block Party (3/17) – CANCELED
  • Spring Training at the FITTeam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach – SUSPENDED
  • SunFest (4/30-5/3) – POSTPONED
  • True Fast Outreach Ministries Health Fair (3/21) – POSTPONED
  • West Palm Beach Antique Flea & Craft Market (3/14, 3/21) – CANCELED
  • West Palm Beach Antique Flea & Craft Market at Currie Park (3/28) – CANCELED

COVID-19 UPDATE #6: 

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 13, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach announces the following programming changes:

  • MANDEL PUBLIC LIBRARY OF WEST PALM BEACH:
  • AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS:

 COVID-19 UPDATE #5

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 12, 2020) --  Following Governor Ron DeSantis’s recommendation to local municipalities to strongly consider limiting or postponing mass gatherings in the State of Florida, Mayor Keith A. James and the City of West Palm Beach have ordered the cancellation of the following city events through the end of March: Clematis by Night, Screen on the Green, GreenMarket, and Sunday on the Waterfront.

In partnership with the organizers, the City is in the process of reviewing the postponement of all large-scale events which include, but are not limited to, the Palm Beach International Boat Show and Sunfest.

Events and programming at Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach are currently being evaluated. 

Mayor Keith A. James and City of West Palm Beach Emergency Manager Chief Brent Bloomfield continue to monitor the recent emergence of COVID-19.

The City is in regular contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, and other federal and state partners. This week, members of City leadership participated in an informational conference call held by The White House. Last week, West Palm Beach Fire Rescue Chief Diana Matty and City Emergency Manager Brent Bloomfield participated in two round tables hosted by Palm Beach County and Members of Congress Representatives Lois Frankel (District 21) and Ted Deutch (District 22). 

The City of West Palm Beach will provide regular updates, specific to COVID-19 and the City, on its website: https://www.wpb.org/. There, the City has created a resource page with links to information provided by the health department and the CDC, which can be found here: https://www.wpb.org/our-city/mayor-s-office/covid-19-updates-and-information/covid-19-helpful-links.

To help raise awareness of COVID-19, the City is sharing the following information published by the health department and the CDC:

SYMPTOMS: Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever,
  • Cough, and
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • (Source: Florida Department of Health)

HOW DOES COVID-19 SPREAD?  The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

 

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • (Source: CDC)

 

HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I (OR SOMEONE IN MY FAMILY) MIGHT HAVE COVID-19?

  • Contact your county health department.
  • Consult a health-care provider as soon as possible. Call ahead, and tell them before you visit that you think you might have COVID-19, so they can take precautions to prevent exposing other people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • If you have a surgical mask, wear it during close contact with other people. A mask can reduce the number of droplets coughed into the air.
  • Remember, very few respiratory infections will be COVID-19.
  • Please review your signs, symptoms and travel history thoroughly with your physician.
  • (Source: Florida Department of Health)

COVID-19 UPDATE #4 

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 11, 2020) – West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James and West Palm Beach Emergency Manager Asst. Chief Brent Bloomfield continue to monitor the recent emergence of COVID-19. To date, there are NO reported positive cases of COVID-19 in Palm Beach County, according to the health department. 

The City of West Palm Beach will follow the guidelines and recommendations of the Florida Department of Health (health department) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for any potential closures of special events due to concerns about COVID-19. At this time, the health department and CDC have not recommended closures of public events in our city. 

Nevertheless, the City is working with producers of large-scale, public events to underscore the importance of prevention options such as handwashing stations, sanitizers, and additional cleaning crews. Additionally, the City’s Community Events Division will be deploying portable handwashing stations to City events including Clematis by Night, GreenMarket and Sunday on the Waterfront. Hand sanitizer stations will also be deployed at City events, subject to availability. Already, the City’s community centers and Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach have stepped up their cleaning efforts in common areas and are making available hand sanitizer for public usage, subject to availability.  

The City is in regular contact with the CDC, the health department, and other federal and state partners. Today, members of City leadership participated in an informational conference call held by The White House. On Friday, West Palm Beach Fire Rescue Chief Diana Matty and City Emergency Manager Brent Bloomfield participated in two round tables hosted by Palm Beach County and Members of Congress Representatives Lois Frankel (District 21) and Ted Deutch (District 22).  

“We remain vigilant about COVID-19 and are taking steps to keep our residents safe,” said Mayor Keith A. James. “One of the ways each of us can help mitigate COVID-19 is through regular handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds at a time.” 

“According to the federal government, the threat to the public is low,” continued Mayor James. “However, while data shows that the young and healthy may develop mild cases or be asymptomatic of COVID-19, the elderly and those over the age of 65, as well as those with compromised immune systems or chronic disease, can develop severe cases of COVID-19. We will continue to work with our partners at the state and federal levels and share information from the CDC and the health department about prevention, symptoms, and what to do when sick.” 

The City has created a resource page with links to information provided by the health department and the CDC, which can be found here.

To help raise awareness of COVID-19, the City is sharing the following information published by the health department and the CDC:

SYMPTOMS: Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection may develop mild or severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever,
  • Cough, and
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • (Source: Florida Department of Health)

HOW DOES COVID-19 SPREAD?  The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

 Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • (Source: CDC)

 HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?

 WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I (OR SOMEONE IN MY FAMILY) MIGHT HAVE COVID-19?

  • Contact your county health department.
  • Consult a health-care provider as soon as possible. Call ahead, and tell them before you visit that you think you might have COVID-19, so they can take precautions to prevent exposing other people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • If you have a surgical mask, wear it during close contact with other people. A mask can reduce the number of droplets coughed into the air.
  • Remember, very few respiratory infections will be COVID-19.
  • Please review your signs, symptoms and travel history thoroughly with your physician.
  • (Source: Florida Department of Health)

 

COVID-19 UPDATE #3

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 3, 2020, 4:00 p.m.) – West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James, West Palm Beach Emergency Manager Assistant Chief Brent Bloomfield, and the West Palm Beach Police and Fire Departments continue to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. To date, there are NO reported positive cases in Palm Beach County, according to the Florida Department of Health (health department) in Palm Beach County. The City is currently following the guidelines and recommendations from the health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The City’s emergency response teams have taken all the necessary steps to prepare and are ready to respond should COVID-19 directly impact our city,” said Mayor James. “We are in regular contact with our partners at the CDC and the Florida Department of Health and are providing additional training and resources to our first responders. We are committed to working with the health department to ensure our residents have the facts, information and resources they need to protect themselves and their families.” 

“Your first responders are working diligently to prepare for impacts of COVID-19,” said West Palm Beach Fire Chief Diana Matty. “Each part of the 911 chain from Dispatch to Police and Fire to area hospitals are involved to ensure a community-wide approach. Residents are encouraged to review information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health.”

The City of West Palm Beach will provide regular updates, specific to COVID-19 and the City, on this page.

A selection of useful links and educational videos can be found here.

To help raise awareness of COVID-19, the City is sharing the following information published by the health department and the CDC.

SYMPTOMS: Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever,
  • Cough, and
  • Difficulty breathing.
    (Source: Florida Department of Health)

HOW DOES COVID-19 SPREAD?  The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person: 

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
    (Source: CDC)

 

HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I (OR SOMEONE IN MY FAMILY) MIGHT HAVE COVID-19?

  • Contact your county health department.
  • Consult a health-care provider as soon as possible. Call ahead, and tell them before you visit that you think you might have COVID-19, so they can take precautions to prevent exposing other people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • If you have a surgical mask, wear it during close contact with other people. A mask can reduce the number of droplets coughed into the air.
  • Remember, very few respiratory infections will be COVID-19.
  • Please review your signs, symptoms and travel history thoroughly with your physician.
    (Source: Florida Department of Health)