Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said Friday he is not yet willing to order a shelter-in-place mandate for the city, as other states across the nation have done to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Where we've seen these orders in other states, even in other countries, some of the behaviors are detrimental or opposite of what the stay at home order is intended to happen,” Curry said. “You see people in New York, you saw people get on airplanes, leaving. In California last weekend, you saw overcrowded beaches.”
Curry said in states where stay-at-home orders have been issued, people have been interacting with each other when they normally wouldn’t.
“That's how you spread this virus,” Curry said. “You've also seen in other counties where they've implemented these orders, they've had to amend the orders because businesses have argued that they're essential.”
Jacksonville Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Tops 2,000
As of Friday morning, more than 2,000 people had been tested at the three drive-thru COVID-19 assessment sites in Jacksonville. With positive COVID-19 cases in the county rising, Curry said it’s important to remember that the number of positive cases compared to the number of people taking the test are not representative of the full population.
“This is self-selected, based on those that we can test based on the criteria we've been given by the providers, which is to be symptomatic with respiratory issues and a 99.6 degree temperature,” Curry said.
With a 250-test-per-day limit at the Lot J testing site, Curry said the restriction is necessary to conserve the limited available supplies and prevent the labs receiving the tests from being overwhelmed.
Protocols Change For First Responders
First responders are changing their approach to handling calls for help across the city. Based on the call they get, they have three different levels of personal protective equipment they wear.
If it’s considered level three, first responders will wear a mask, a face shield, gloves, and a disposable gown. They’ll only send one responder in that protective gear to conserve equipment.
Jacksonville’s Emergency Operations Center is working alongside hospitals and long-term care facilities to get them personal protective equipment, and as of Friday, officials said they have delivered over 54,000 pieces of equipment to facilities in need.
City officials said people struggling financially due to the effects of coronavirus should visit the city’s website to find information on unemployment, small business loans, bartender emergency assistance and more.