Jacksonville-area coronavirus updates: Nassau, Putnam counties share details about new COVID-19 cases

More than 438,749 people worldwide – including more than 55,243 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia as schools, businesses and public events are closed or canceled.

Action News Jax has the very latest information on Florida cases of the coronavirus LIVE on FOX30 and CBS47. Click here to watch.

Nassau, Putnam counties share details about new COVID-19 cases

March 25, 7:30 p.m.: Nassau and Putnam counties are reporting new coronavirus cases and are sharing details about the demographics of those cases.

From Nassau County emergency management:

"As of 6 pm, Wednesday March 25, 2020, FDOH Nassau has received three new confirmed positive COVID test results for three Nassau County residents (50 year old male, 67 year old female, 58 year old female). The Health Department is completing the investigation and contact tracing. At the present time, it appears the three new cases were either travel related or had close contact with a confirmed case. All three cases will remain in isolation until released by public health.

“This brings the total case count in Nassau County to four including the case previously reported March 10, 2020. More information about Florida cases and testing are available at the FDOH COVID website: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/

From the Putnam County Board of County Commissioners:

“Putnam County has its 5th case of COVID-19, this time in a 23-year old female. Epidemiologists continue to follow-up on any suspected cases that meet criteria for COVID-19 to arrange for testing as needed and are monitoring contacts to our confirmed cases. Remember, wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing, avoid groups of ten or more, work remotely if at all possible, and for persons over 65 years of age and those with serious underlying health conditions, stay home and away from others. To receive the latest updates, please monitor the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard: http://ow.ly/bwkn50yVVFr

Duval County courthouse closes to the general public

March 25, 3:50 p.m.: In response to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, Chief Judge Mark Mahon has issued Administrative Order 2020-09 restricting access to the Duval County Courthouse until April 10. No member of the general public will be able to enter the Courthouse except under the limited circumstances outlined in Chief Judge Mahon’s order.

Those who meet the exceptions will be screened prior to entering the building.

President Trump approves Florida’s disaster declaration

March 25, 3:20 p.m.: President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Florida and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020, and continuing, according to a release from the White House.

The President’s action makes Federal funding available for Crisis Counseling for affected individuals in all areas in the State of Florida.

Federal funding is also available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for all areas in the State of Florida impacted by COVID-19.

Pete Gaynor, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Gracia B. Szczech as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further assessments.

Confirmed case of COVID-19 tested at Naval Hospital Jacksonville

March 25, 1:34 p.m.: According to NAS Jax spokesperson, a military retiree’s spouse was tested for COVID-19 at Naval Hospital Jacksonville at NAS Jax, which was later confirmed.

This is the hospital’s first confirmed case. The patient is at home and quarantined.

Latest numbers from the Department of Health

March 25, 12:15 p.m.: As of Wednesday at noon, there are 1,583 confirmed cases in Florida residents, and 1,247 confirmed coronavirus cases in Georgia residents. There have been 22 Florida deaths and 40 Georgia deaths.

DCMS offers public benefits application assistance

March 25, 12 p.m.: The Duval County Medical Society is offering free one-on-one help for anyone who needs to apply for public benedits. Anyone who needs assistance should call (904) 202-9355.

Jacksonville mayor gives update on COVID-19

City cataloging complaints on businesses not allowing employees to work from home

March 25, 11 a.m.: Mayor Lenny Curry said the following during an update regarding the coronavirus.

  • If you have a complaint regarding an employer who said you cannot work from home, you can let the city know by calling 904-630-CITY. Curry said they will be cataloging all complaints regarding businesses and will look into them.
  • Jacksonville-area hospitals are in good shape and have not reached capacity.
  • City officials said 25 Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office staff members, as well as 28 staff members of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department are self-quarantined.
  • He asked Jacksonville residents to help support our area’s small businesses by buying gift cards or ordering takeout.
  • He urged the community to continue practicing social distancing and only leave your home for essentials like food.
  • He asked the community to pick up the phone and call someone at 7 p.m. and have a conversation that is not COVID-19 related, for your mental health.

St. Augustine events, festivals canceled through May 8

March 25, 9:12 a.m.: The City of St. Augustine announced it has executed Administrative Order 2020-06, to extend current restrictions and guidelines through May 8.

That means the following will remain canceled through May 8 in St. Johns County:

  • All permitted events, festivals and large gatherings
  • All on-site consumption of food or alcohol by vendors and licensed establishments
  • All public meetings, including City Commission, Code Enforcement Adjustments and Appeals Board, Historic Architectural Review Board, and Planning and Zoning Board. The only exception is for emergency meetings.
  • All non-essential meetings that do not address the immediate operations and function of municipal business

The following areas will also remain closed or suspended through May 8:

  • The Visitor Information Center is closed and all city-managed on-street and off-street parking is suspended
  • All parking meters, payment kiosks, and mobile parking app (ParkStAug) will not accept payments
  • Termination of water service for non-payment will be suspended
  • City Hall offices are closed to the public. (Convenience fees for payment will be waived.)

Jacksonville hospitals collaborating as COVID-19 spreads

March 25, 8 a.m.: Ascension St. Vincent’s, Baptist Health, Mayo Clinic, Orange Park Medical Center, UF Health and Memorial Hospital are teaming up to take care of the Jacksonville-area community as the coronavirus spreads.

What this collaboration means:

  • A master command center they’re developing will help facilities across the Northeast Florida area track supplies that are hard to come by using a virtual tool.
  • Hospitals will be working together with the city’s Emergency Operations Center.
  • Leaders said they’re using advanced models to plan for the worst when it comes to COVID-19 and working together to come up with the best response to take care of the Jacksonville-area community.