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The State of Florida issues COVID-19 and Hurricane Isaias updates


Governor DeSantis received a briefing from the Florida Division of Emergency Management and issued Executive Order 20-181, declaring a state of emergency in counties along Florida’s East Coast, in anticipation of Hurricane Isaias.

From the State of Florida

The State of Florida is responding to COVID-19 and Hurricane Isaias. As the state continues to respond to both events, updates on the state’s actions will be issued as necessary.

Governor Ron DeSantis is in constant communication with Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz and State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees as the State of Florida continues to monitor and respond to the threat of COVID-19 and Hurricane Isaias.

Today, Governor DeSantis provided a briefing of the state’s response to Hurricane Isaias at the State Emergency Operations Center. Governor DeSantis received a briefing from the Florida Division of Emergency Management and issued Executive Order 20-181, declaring a state of emergency in counties along Florida’s East Coast, in anticipation of Hurricane Isaias.

On Thursday, July 30, Governor DeSantis delivered an address regarding Isaias and COVID-19 and announced the One Goal One Florida initiative to unite Floridians and urge them to work together in the fight against COVID-19. The address is available here.

This week, Governor DeSantis also issued Executive Order 20-180 (Limited Extension of Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief) and Executive Order 20-179 (Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Local Government Public Meetings).

Recent actions the state has taken to respond to COVID-19

  • This week, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) has updated the Florida COVID-19 Response page to include a map with state-supported and county health department supported COVID-19 Testing Location Sites. This map will be updated once a week.
  • DOH issued a revised Public Health Advisory recommending the following:

    • All individuals in Florida should wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible.

    • All individuals should refrain from participation in social or recreational gatherings of more than 10 people.

    • All individuals over the age of 65 and all individuals of any age with high-risk health conditions should limit personal interactions outside of the home.

  • The State Emergency Operations Center continues to be activated at a Level 1 as the State Emergency Response Team responds to Hurricane Isaias and COVID-19.
  • In anticipation of impacts from Hurricane Isaias, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has closed state-supported testing sites in the following counties until Wednesday, August 4: Brevard, Broward, Clay, Duval, Lake, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Orange, Palm Beach, Seminole, St. Lucie and Volusia. Updates on the status of the state-supported testing sites will be provided via social media on the Division’s Twitter and Facebook.
  • The Division is hosting twice daily calls with County Emergency Management Directors to deliver updates regarding Hurricane Isaias and provide assistance to County’s as they prepare to respond to the storm.
  • FDEM has created a PPE reserve for hurricane season. Currently, the Division has:

    • 20 million masks
    • 22 million gloves
    • 10 million gowns
    • 1.6 million face shields
    • 270,000 coveralls
    • 20,000 thermometers

  • The Division has prepared shelter PPE kits to distribute to shelters that may open in response to Hurricane Isaias. The kits contain hand sanitizer, masks and gloves, with equipment for kids, adults and shelter staff.
  • Florida Highway Patrol is closely monitoring Hurricane Isaias and stands ready to assist.
  • All Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facilities and centers are on alert, monitoring weather advisories and completing pre-storm preparations for Hurricane Isaias.
  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has established the Emergency Support Function 16 operation to support the COVID-19 and Hurricane Isaias response. FDLE is monitoring the hurricane and is ready to respond.
  • Approximately 1,480 Florida National Guardsmen (FLNG) are mobilized to support Florida’s response to COVID-19.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) has activated its emergency response team in response to Hurricane Isaias. The team is meeting daily to monitor and prepare for the storm’s possible impacts.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is currently monitoring Hurricane Isaias and will shore up construction sites and monitor drainage in and around the state’s roadways to help ensure the safety of the traveling public.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner (FWC) has Special Operations Group (SOG) members on standby to move into Hurricane Isaias impacted areas and support Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams as needed.
  • FWC SOG teams possess four-wheel drive vehicles, all-terrain vehicles and shallow draft vessels that will increase recon and USAR capabilities in impacted areas. Due to the track of the storm, all other FWC sworn units will shelter-in-place and be ready to respond to assigned areas as weather conditions allow.
  • VISIT FLORIDA's three official Florida Welcome Centers, located at major access points into the state, transitioned into emergency information centers offering the latest details on Hurricane Isaias. The welcome centers are operating with sanitization and social distancing measures recommended by public health officials. Nearly a half-million face masks have been provided by DOH and FDEM and are being made available to visitors.
  • As Hurricane Isaias approaches Florida’s coast, Volunteer Florida is working with partners and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) to prepare resources and potential response efforts. The agency is also preparing to assist with coordinating volunteer opportunities through Volunteer Connect, Florida’s official volunteer opportunities platform.


  • The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) staff have begun working to make necessary preparations for inmates housed in facilities located in the path of Hurricane Isaias. Decisions to evacuate facilities will be made on a case-by-case basis and on what is in the best interest of the public, staff and inmate safety.
  • Offenders on community supervision will be given specific instructions from their probation officers in the event evacuations are deemed necessary or if their probation office closes during normal reporting hours.
  • In the event of an institution evacuation, announcements will be made upon completion. Inmate locations will be posted on the website approximately 24-hours after relocation, per standard protocol.
  • Individuals are encouraged to visit the FDC website or social media channels prior to contacting individual institutions. Frequent updates regarding visitation and office closures will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and www.dc.state.fl.us.


  • On Friday, the Florida Department of Education activated its hurricane response page at fldoe.org/em-response in anticipation of Hurricane Isaias. This page will share any campus and state office closures or updates regarding the storm.
  • The Florida Department of Education has activated its buddy system for staff to keep in contact with school districts, colleges and early learning coalitions to provide assistance with any issues they may be experiencing due to Hurricane Isaias.
  • As of July 31, the Florida Department of Education has approved 23 school district re-opening plans.
  • On June 11, the Florida Department of Education announced the full-reopening of Florida’s schools and CARES Act plan, visit here.
  • Florida Education Commissioner Corcoran issued Emergency Order 2020-06 - Further Guidance for Closing Achievement Gaps and Creating Safe Spaces for Learning that:

    • Ensures that Florida schools are open for in-person learning and in compliance with the many educationally important state and federal laws that ensure an equitable education for all types of learners, including our many at-risk students.
    • Gave districts and schools flexibility to craft their own locally conceived plans, a request from districts, charters and private schools.
    • Gave districts and schools guidance and flexibility on how to compassionately maintain education for medically vulnerable students and families.
    • Guided that state and federally required services for at-risk students must meet the same high bars of quality set forth in law.
    • Created additional pathways for districts and schools to comply with state laws that numerous districts, charter schools and private schools asked for guidance on.
    • Provided districts, charters, privates and the many professionals that run schools the financial certainty that they will be supported as they support our students.

  • Find more information on DOE’s response to COVID-19 here.

COVID-19, Hurricane Isaias, State of Florida, Updates


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