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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2020 3 months ago

'This crisis involves all of us': Volusia urges citizens to follow prevention measures to stop COVID-19 spread

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Emergency Management Director Jim Judge said citizens may need to change their daily habits.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

As coronavirus cases total 9 in Volusia County — and 216 in the state — local officials continue to implore residents to follow personal prevention measures, including avoiding crowds, staying home if sick and practicing social distancing.

The county held a press conference on Tuesday, March 17, to repeat these warnings, hours after the county decided on keeping its 47 miles of public beaches open and Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order shutting down bars and nightclubs for the next 30 days. 

“The health and welfare of Volusia County Beach Safety personnel as well as the residents and visitors of Volusia County remain a top priority," Interim Community Information Director Kevin Captain said. "That’s why safeguards have been put in place to protect both our staff and our beachgoers.”

Volusia County Council Chair Ed Kelley said the public should continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people and washing your hands often.

If this was a hurricane, we wouldn't be able to change its path, Kelley said. 

“While we can’t change it, we can change the path of the coronavirus and as a community, we can lessen the impact and flatten the curve," Kelley said.

Emergency Management Director Jim Judge said citizens may need to change their daily habits, such as avoiding shopping at peak hours or taking advantage of delivery and pickup services.

“This crisis involves all of us — involves all of us in our community and everyone in the state of Florida," Judge said. "We’re doing everything we can, but we’re relying on you also to help us get through this situation.”

Volusia County Florida Department of Health Administrator Patricia Boswell said the department is focusing on identifying, testing and isolating people who are at risk for COVID-19. 

“These are containment measures," Boswell said. "The actions that have been taken today by our Volusia County government are mitigation measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect those vulnerable members of our community.”

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