~Advises wearing masks in public, encourages elderly and vulnerable populations to limit interactions outside of the home, and urges all individuals to refrain from participating in gatherings of more than 50 people~
The Florida Department of Health (Department) issued an additional Public Health Advisory in response to COVID-19, providing recommendations to protect Floridians and visitors from this virus. This advisory is in addition to steps that the Department has taken to increase mitigation measures, including the purchase of 20 million cloth masks, which are actively being distributed statewide. Today, Governor DeSantis also directed the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to increase inspections to ensure that businesses are adhering to applicable Phase 1 and Phase 2 guidance.
The Public Health Advisory provides the following recommendations:
This is a reinforcement of the previously issued advisory as well as direction that has been provided in the task force report for a Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery.
Currently, 64 counties are in Phase 2, which dictates:
Restaurants, bars and other vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, excluding nightclubs:
Phase 2 continued emphasis on preventative measures outlined by the CDC and OSHA:
The three counties with the highest number of cases (Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties) are still in Phase 1, which dictates:
Restaurants and food establishments:
About the Florida Department of Health
The Florida Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.
Property Identification Cards Permit Non-Residential Nassau County Property Owners to Drive on Beaches
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the County temporarily closed Nassau County beaches due to concerns related to spread of the virus. On May 1, 2020, the beaches were reopened for most normal activities, with the exception of beach driving and camping. On May 14, 2020, the County issued Executive Order No. 7 to reintroduce vehicles to County beaches to allow for greater utilization of beach areas. Beach driving has been limited to Nassau County residents with a valid drivers license or State ID with a Nassau County address. The restriction is based upon limited driving and parking areas on the beach.
There are many individuals who own property in Nassau County but reside elsewhere. These individuals have not been able to drive onto the beach due to their identification not reflecting a Nassau County address. The County Manager and Tax Collector have been working together to create a property owner card to resolve this issue. Beginning Tuesday, June 23, 2020, the Tax Collector’s Office located at 86130 License Road in Fernandina Beach, will begin issuing these cards BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. To schedule an appointment, please call (904) 491-7400.
Each property owner will need to download and complete an affidavit outlining each licensed driver over the age of 16 that will require a card to drive on the beach. The affidavit will be provided to the Tax Collector’s Office during your scheduled appointment.
The affidavit can also be located on the County’s website at:
If you drove south on Estrada Street in Old Town in the 1990’s you would have been stopped by an ugly old fence that stretched across Estrada Street and totally fenced off the paper mill land. For years former resident Joan Altman had insisted that the closed street was a city street and that the then mill had no right to close it. The mill disputed that saying it was their property.
New residents took up the challenge of reopening the street and were excited that the General Manager of the new mill, RockTenn, agreed with them. The gate was removed in 2014 and moreover, he offered additional land on each side of the street so that the area could become a pocket park. He was intrigued by the history of that area, called South Point on old maps. Then the mill changed ownership again.
Hats off to WestRock and their Public Relations Manager Eric Schmidt. They have been generous in working with residents to create a pleasant place for visitors to South Point in Old Town, and have paid for two benches and two informational signs.
Thanks to the city for installing the signs so that visitors can read about the old Boardwalk, called Seton Bridge, built in 1870 with $600 raised by the women of Old Town who needed a fast route across the marsh to visit friends in new Fernandina. They can also learn about the Pogy delivered by barge from the Pogy plants across Egan’s Creek to the warehouse at South Point and then onto boxcars at the rail spur.
Thanks to the two most recent mills and city staff Historic Old Town is made more ‘whole’ and reveals more of her amazing history.
The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury, will promptly issue rules and guidance, a modified borrower application form, and a modified loan forgiveness application implementing these legislative amendments to the PPP. These modifications will implement the following important changes:
Extend the covered period for loan forgiveness from eight weeks after the date of loan disbursement to 24 weeks after the date of loan disbursement, providing substantially greater flexibility for borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness. Borrowers who have already received PPP loans retain the option to use an eight-week covered period.
EIDL Portal is Open
The Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program Reopened to All Eligible Small Businesses and Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic.
SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance
In 2018, the Board of County Commissioners expressed a desire to establish a conservation land acquisition and management program. The Board subsequently entered into an agreement with the Trust for Public Land to conduct a feasibility analysis to consider funding options for the program. The results of the feasibility study were presented to the Board in August 2019.
At a Workshop held on October 16, 2019, the Board approved a Resolution to place a referendum on the ballot of the 2020 Election for the Electors to grant the County the ability to issue up to $30 million in general obligation bonds to implement the program. Due to the impact COVID-19 has had on families and businesses and the challenges residents have faced, the Board approved a Resolution on Wednesday, June 18, 2020, to remove the referendum from the 2020 Ballot.
The Board will proceed with creation of the conservation land acquisition and management program, with the intent of adding the referendum to the 2022 Ballot.
If you have any questions, please contact the County Manager’s Office at (904) 530-6010.
The ARC Nassau has broken ground on an exciting addition to its Nassau County campus with the addition of an Outdoor Experience Center (OEC) that will benefit more than 100 members of The ARC Nassau community with the inclusion of a ¼ mile exercise walkway path and Basket Ball Court in its first of several phases. The ARC Nassau community of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the entire ARC Nassau staff is excited about the expansion of the campus, providing a safe environment for exercise, opportunities for social engagement and advancement of developmental skills!
Paul Bussell, the Executive Director of the ARC Nassau stated, “What is also so great about this expansion project…. is the positive input, support and donations already being provided in an overwhelming ‘win-win’ scenario by Nassau County and area businesses, companies, organizations and the people of our areas of support for the individuals that we serve so diligently!”
The ARC Nassau is a charitable State of Florida and Federal Non-Profit organization providing charitable learning programs, job skills development and employment, and transportation services to our adults with many development disabilities, to maximize their independence at home as well as in our communities for more than 45 years.
To learn more about this outstanding multi-phase project, and how “YOU” can be a part of it, please call The ARC Nassau at 904-225-9355, or online at www.TheArcNassau.org, or on Facebook.
Community Hospice & Palliative Care will be offering a new grief webinar called Understanding and Navigating Through Grief that is being held this Thursday, June 18th then Monday, June 22nd then again twice in early July. Please click the link on the flyer below to register.
Community Hospice & Palliative Care will also continue to offer the Coffee and Conversation video group for anyone grieving the death of a loved one. This is a weekly video session that starts with a brief presentation about an aspect of grief by a bereavement counselor and a discussion with all involved. This is mutual support and education. Please call (904) 407-6464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to register. Community Hospice & Palliative Care will send you easy to follow instructions on how to connect to the meeting through video chat or phone. Participants can also call in with a cell phone or land line.
The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida's fourth installment of the 2020 Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ Moments Recognition is dedicated to The Arc Nassau. The Arc Nassau created an innovative component to their Job-a-Palooza event that matches employers with future employees who have disabilities. The student participants in this event were selected through a partnership with the Nassau County School District.
The 11 local and regional employers who participated in Job-a-Palooza provided performance task demonstrations of essential job functions, and the student participants were then invited to demonstrate their skills by completing the same job task. This event was the first of its kind in Nassau county and is designed to address some of the communication barriers that individuals with disabilities might face in a traditional job interview or job fair environment by providing skills-focused interactions and peer mentors for the student participants.
The Arc Nassau
The Arc Nassau plans to expand this program next year and they have already received inquiries from new business partners who are interested in hiring people with disabilities. In addition to expanding the program next year, The Arc Nassau is developing a partnership with the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce and Nassau County School District to connect students pursuing work opportunities directly to employers.
“By using student peer mentors as guides during the Job-a-Palooza event and a performance-based job fair rather than a networking-based job fair, our goal is to reduce some of the barriers students with disabilities might face when seeking employment. Job-a-Palooza allowed us to break down some preconceived notions of abilities with local employers. This new annual event will continue to provide a creative way to open more employment opportunities for the individuals we serve.” Paul Bussell, Executive Director, The Arc Nassau.
About the 2020 Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ Moments Recognition Program. This post is the fourth in our 2020 Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ series. Through this program, The Nonprofit Center will recognize a total of seven local nonprofit organizations for their programs and services that have created a lasting impact in our community.
Check out previous winner announcements here:
Week 1 – Youth Crisis Center, COVID-19 Innovation
Week 2 – Feeding Northeast Florida, COVID-19 Collaboration
Week 3 – Ability Housing, Social Innovation
In 2011, the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, partnered to create the the Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ initiative to help nonprofits connect with the community and each other. The initiative includes marketing materials for nonprofits to use as well as the signature awards program to highlight the achievements of nonprofits in the Northeast Florida area.
In 2020, due to the unique circumstances created by COVID-19, The Nonprofit Center expanded the program to recognize five Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ moments in addition to two Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ awards in the categories of Collective Power and Social Innovation. Each of the five organizations recognized with the 2020 Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ Moments received a $750 cash award, sponsored by Jessie Ball duPont Reflective Practice Endowment Fund at The Community Foundation For Northeast Florida. The Collective Power and Social Innovation award winners each received a $1,250 cash prize, sponsored by Florida Blue, a documentary film donated by WJCT, and an additional cash prize of $1000 to create and deliver a Learning Lab, sponsored by Community First Credit Union.
Governor Ron DeSantis Announces State of Florida to Begin Disbursement of CARES Act Funds to Counties
Funding will be disbursed to counties with populations below 500,000
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the State of Florida’s plan to disburse up to $1.275 billion in CARES Act funds to counties with a population below 500,000. The United States Treasury previously disbursed over $2.472 billion in funding to all counties whose populations exceed 500,000 in Florida. Using a phased approach, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) will distribute funds to the remaining counties, beginning with an initial disbursement of 25% of each county’s allocation.
“Starting in March when we initiated our response to COVID-19, we knew that the only way to keep Floridians safe was to work closely with our partners at the local level,” said Governor DeSantis. “As we have reopened in a safe, smart, step-by-step way, we have had local support at every juncture. I’m proud that today, we are able to provide funding back to these counties, so that they can really begin their recovery from this virus. We thank President Trump and our federal partners for providing this relief to Florida.”
“From the beginning of this administration, we have shown our commitment to cutting red tape and getting funding out the door, as demonstrated by paying out more than $2.4 billion in hurricane recovery funding since January 2019, and more than $450 million since March 15,” said FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz. “Throughout our COVID-19 response, we have once again used every available resource to keep Floridians safe and support our local partners. We are ready to hit the ground running on this CARES Act funding, which we know will be a critical resource to Florida’s recovery.”
To receive the disbursement, county governments must sign a funding agreement with the Division of Emergency Management stating:
Counties should contact the Division of Emergency Management to enter into the funding agreement to receive the disbursement of funds. Counties may also submit a request to FDEM for additional funds in excess of their 25% initial disbursement on a reimbursement basis for expenditures eligible under the CARES Act.
All counties, including counties that already received direct payment from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, should provide funds to municipalities located within their jurisdiction on a reimbursement basis for expenditures eligible under the CARES Act and related guidance.
For more information on the CARES Act, including guidance and frequently asked questions issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, see HERE.
As the major safety net organization for Nassau County residents in need, Barnabas Center is on the front line of helping residents in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Services offered to Nassau County residents with low to moderate incomes include food assistance, financial assistance and urgent medical and dental care.
Food Assistance: A short-term supply of food is provided that may include produce, dairy, meat and nonperishable items, depending on availability:
Mobile Food Distribution:
Medical and Dental Care: We provide medical and dental care to adults who are uninsured and do not have a primary care doctor. Please contact us to discuss. For more information about our health services, visit www.barnabasnassau.org/get-help/health-services.
For information about available assistance and eligibility, contact Barnabas at (904) 261-7000, visit www.BarnabasNassau.org, or follow our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/BarnabasNassau. For your safety and others during the pandemic, please call Barnabas for a telephone pre-screening for financial assistance, food stamp and/or Medicaid applications before visiting the office.
Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Blog
Chamber Member Updates, Events and News