By JULIE B. MAGLIO
On May 12, 2020 the Hernando BOCC and county staff members discussed developments in the COVID-19 situation since the May 7, 2020 Special Meeting.
County Administrator Jeff Rogers began by stating that there have been no positive cases found in workers at Assisted Living Facilities within the county. Rogers gave credit to the staff of the facilities who are “taking the personal precautions everyday to minimize their interactions in the community...” He also acknowledged jail personnel who are also working hard to minimize the spread of the disease.
Cecilia Patella remarked to the BOCC that since the Thursday May 7 special meeting:
- The governor has extended the statewide state of emergency for 60 days
- The city of Brooksville extended their local state of emergency until May 15.
- EOC is continuing to hear that there is still a need for food distribution throughout the community and they are working with local agencies to determine where the need is and provide the resources.
- No known cases of COVID-19 in any long term care facilities.
- DOH says that COVID-19 figures have been stable in the county since Thursday May 7.
- Expanded testing begins on May 13 by appointment only at the DOH Spring Hill Office and they will be expanding to community sites in the near future.
- They continue to work with the school district on hurricane sheltering modifications in light of COVID-19. “Residents can expect that some things will change such as having to be screened at the entry points of all of the shelters,” Patella said. She added that residents will be encouraged to bring masks with them to the shelter.
Chairman Mitten pointed out that Gov. Ron DeSantis recently remarked that in phase I counties, the positive test rate is at 1.4%. “These are the people that are convinced they have it. They want to make sure they don’t have it because they are sick of something- so only 1.4% that’s really good news for those phase 1 counties of course Hernando of which is a part.”
Vice Chairman Allocco stated that it’s important for the number of COVID-19 infected persons ‘cleared’ to be made readily available to the community. He said that one might think that there are currently 100 active cases in the community, but that is not the case as the majority have been ‘cleared’ of the disease.
Another discussion which occurred was on starting quasi-judicial hearings and Planning and Zoning meetings. Rogers stated that he is considering a June 8 date for a Planning and Zoning meeting and the quasi judicial hearings would go before the BOCC on June 9. Ron Pianta explained that they do have a quorum for the Planning and Zoning commission and 16 cases are ready to move forward. He said they would most likely have a morning and afternoon session so they can limit the number of people in the chamber at once. Commissioners were in agreement to move forward with quasi judicial hearings while following health and safety guidelines.