Updated at 2:57 p.m.
The Escambia County Joint Information Center is distributing updates around 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday to streamline communication from our partner agencies regarding COVID-19. As this dynamic situation unfolds, the frequency of these updates may change if there is breaking news. Individual organizations will continue to send news releases. This list of information is what has been provided to the JIC from our partners.
Health Information Provided by the Florida Department of Health
Currently, there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Escambia County.
The COVID-19 test is not designed to be a screening tool for asymptomatic people. If you meet the screening criteria for COVID-19 (experiencing symptoms, have a travel history, or exposure to a COVID-19 patient), contact your healthcare provider. Call, do not visit, your health care provider and tell them about your symptoms and your travel history or exposure to a COVID-19 patient. They will determine if you meet the criteria for testing.
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The Department recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health;
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue;
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing;
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty; and
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- The Department of Health updates Florida’s COVID-19 information page daily. Please visit www.flhealth.gov/covid-19 for the latest information.
- For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-(866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVIDemail@example.com.
City of Pensacola
- Escambia County and the City of Pensacola are canceling all publicly-permitted events with 500 or more people starting Monday, March 16 in an abundance of caution related to COVID-19
- Escambia County is taking additional preventative action to ensure public facilities such as community centers, libraries and public buildings are sanitized.
- Staff and contractors are increasing the disinfecting of restrooms, customer service areas, exterior entrances, door knobs, hard surfaces and other high-traffic areas.
- Escambia County staff continue to follow the general cleaning and precautionary guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health organizations. The contracted custodial provider has been informed of CDC recommendations and ensures their process is in line with those recommendations. Commercial hospital-grade disinfectant is being used with each cleaning following the manufacturers recommendation for dwell time.
- Sanitizer dispensers have been placed throughout various high-traffic buildings such as the M.C. Blanchard Judicial Building.
- Additional sanitizer dispensers have been ordered for high-volume buildings like community centers and the ECAT facility. CDC signage has been placed in bathrooms in county facilities.
- The library will continue to offer hand sanitizer at all help desks and Lysol wipes to wipe down computers. Library staff will continue to use Lysol wipes on all computers before the library opens each day, and they have increased wiping down work surfaces throughout the day. Library staff sprays door knobs with Lysol multiple times per day as an additional precaution.
- ECAT’s fleet maintenance team is constantly working to make sure vehicles and facilities are continuously sanitized. All revenue service vehicles are disinfected daily. Commercial grade disinfectant is currently being used every night by ECAT bus cleaners, which was added as part of the enhanced comprehensive bus cleaning process. The county has communicated with the contracted paratransit provider to relay CDC information and has ensured the steps they are taking are sufficient.
- Escambia County has established a Joint Information Center to streamline distribution of public information regarding COVID-19. The JIC is located in the Escambia County Public Safety Building, 6575 N. "W" St. The Emergency Operations Center is not currently activated. Escambia County will disseminate coordinated releases around 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, consisting of any updates from all partner agencies related to COVID-19 preventative actions, cancellations, or preparedness activities. Individual organizations will continue to send their own news releases.
Pensacola International Airport
- The city has increased the frequency at which public facilities are cleaned.
- Public access at City Hall has been limited to the automatic doors on the east side of the building. The front entrance has been locked in order to limit public contact with door handles.
- City departments have continuity of operations plans in place to ensure essential services will be maintained if the city’s workforce is impacted.
- Based on guidance from the state, Pensacola Fire Department and the Pensacola Police Department have temporarily stopped fire station and police station tours in an effort to protect first responders and maintain critical public safety infrastructure.
- The Pensacola Police Department Citizens Academy has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.
- Home smoke alarm installations are still available for city residents by calling PFD at 436-5200.
- Below is a listing of city-permitted events that are canceled due to the Escambia County and the City of Pensacola’s decision to cancel all publicly-permitted events with 500 or more people starting Monday, March 16. The action was taken in an abundance of caution and in response to a recommendation from Gov. Ron DeSantis that municipalities consider limiting or postponing mass gatherings in the state of Florida.
- Battle of the Badges - March 22
- Blues on the Bay - March 29
- Ciclovia - March 28
- Deluna Du Youth Duathlon - March 29
- East Hill Neighborhood Association Fish Fry - March 21
- Gallery Night - March 20
- Gulf Coast Science Festival - March 27-29
- Palafox Market - Saturdays through the end of March (including Saturday, March 14)
- Pensacola VegFest - March 28
- Smokin' in the Square - March 20-22
- Walk the Talk for Epilepsy - May 2
- Please note that some events on this list were canceled at the discretion of event organizers.
- Escambia County and City of Pensacola officials will reassess the situation after two weeks (Monday, March 30) and determine whether to continue or lift the cancellation of publicly-permitted events.
- Pensacola International Airport continues to monitor coronavirus (COVID-19) and stay in regular contact with state and local partners to ensure a coordinated approach for any necessary response.
- At this time, the airport is open and fully operational. Airport staff will continue to work to provide a safe and easy travel experience for passengers and will update as directives come from the Florida Department of Health.
- Travelers who are not feeling well are encouraged to please stay home and reschedule travel plans. Some airlines are waiving cancellation fees due to the public health concerns in regard to COVID-19. Please check with your airline to confirm if this is an option for your flight.
- The airport has increased the frequency at which public touch points are cleaned, such as elevator buttons, escalator handrails, chair armrests, counter tops and other high-traffic public areas. Hand sanitizer stations are also located throughout the terminal for the public's use.
Escambia County School Board
Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas announced on March 12 that in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Escambia County School District will take the following measures to restrict students and employees traveling within and outside of our district, and specifically, out-of-state:
- Effective immediately, all out-of-state school-related travel for both students and staff members is suspended for the remainder of the school year.
- All student and staff school-related in-state travel is suspended for the next thirty (30) days, at which time, requests may be re-evaluated to determine feasibility of travel within the state of Florida.
- All student field trips will be suspended for a period of 30 days, and future requests will be evaluated after that time.
- Outdoor sporting events will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Events involving teams traveling here from other counties will be canceled if that county has had any incidents of COVID-19. Example: The Aggie Classic has been cancelled.
- Based on current guidelines from the Department of Health: Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who travels to any foreign country, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return. Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who goes on a cruise, anywhere, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
University of West Florida
Pensacola State College
- University of West Florida students resume classes Monday, March 16 with instruction from faculty delivered remotely. Last Wednesday, the State University System of Florida mandated all universities transition to remote instruction. Face-to-face instruction at UWF is currently set to resume on March 30.
- All university-sponsored events scheduled from March 16 until March 30 taking place on campus, at other UWF instructional sites or off-campus must be postponed, canceled or virtually conducted.
- Faculty and staff business meetings will continue as scheduled unless notified otherwise. Faculty and staff should consider hosting meetings virtually, when possible.
- UWF Athletics: The Gulf South Conference has suspended all athletic competition, countable athletic-related activities, and off-campus recruiting for an indefinite period. This decision was made after thorough collaboration between the conference office, university presidents and chancellors, and the league’s athletic directors.
- All university-sponsored domestic and international travel (business-related travel, study abroad, exchange, faculty-led programs) is prohibited until further notice unless approved by a University vice president. Only travel deemed essential by a vice president will be approved.
- Additional information and Frequently Asked Questions are available at uwf.edu/coronavirus.
- The health and well-being of Pensacola State College students, faculty, staff, and the community are always the most important priority of the PSC administration. PSC is in constant communication with local county health officials as well as state agencies regarding the COVID-19 virus, and we are continually monitoring the situation.
- As of today, we will resume operations and classes following the spring break on Monday, March 23. Should the situation change during the spring break (scheduled for March 16-March 22) by order of the Governor or a decision by the PSC Board of Trustees, we will alert faculty, staff, and students through the PSC Alert system, email, text messages, social media, and the local media. The College administration recognizes that consideration should be given to individuals with special health circumstances and will address these situations on a case-by-case basis.
- We are asking any employees, faculty and staff who return from travel to China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea or any other areas affected by COVID-19 to self-isolate and not return to campus for 14 days after their return.
- Additionally, the College is not approving college-sponsored out-of-state travel until further notice.
- Effective immediately, the NJCAA, which is our national athletic association, has suspended all athletic competition until April 4.
- Other college events will be assessed on a case-by-case basis for the next several weeks.
- We are asking that PSC students, faculty and staff check their emails and other information sources during spring break to get updates from the College administration that may change the decision to open on Monday, March 23.
- Escambia County and the City of Pensacola are canceling all publicly-permitted events with 500 or more people starting Monday, March 16 in an abundance of caution related to COVID-19.
- ECUA is closely monitoring this dynamic situation and following guidance from public health officials and government agencies, most specifically the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health.
- There is no effect on the water system due to the coronavirus, regardless the chlorination process ECUA utilizes in its water system is effective in inactivating the coronaviruses therefore, we are confident that the potable water supply is unaffected by COVID-19.
- In addition to our regular cleaning procedures, ECUA has implemented increased sanitizing measures at all office locations, with extra attention to customer service and high traffic areas in our corporate office.
- ECUA’s professional employees are critical to our ability to serve the community. For their sake and that of our customers’, we have directed our staff to limit face-to-face meetings in favor of communication via email or conference calls, encouraged diligent attention to proper hand washing and hygiene, and to stay home if they are not feeling well. We intend to continue to focus on prevention and do everything in our power to maintain quality services with little or no interruption.
- Visit Pensacola, Inc. is closely monitoring statements from the Florida Department of Health, MyEscambia, Visit Florida, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Travel, and the World Health Organization regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are committed to keeping our partners and stakeholders informed of the latest updates and to following the guidelines from these agencies and local departments.
- While the risk remains low, we encourage our area tourism partners, residents, and visitors to take any appropriate preventative measures. The federal government has not recommended limiting domestic travel but has encouraged those with underlying health issues to avoid non-essential travel.
- Showcase Pensacola, Visit Pensacola’s marketing agency is redirecting current marketing dollars to target travel-intenders in our standard drive markets and emphasize the areas wide-open beaches and spaces, including outdoor activities and things to do. These marketing tactics will include standard digital, paid social media, native, and email.
Additional Links and Resources
- The visitor centers within Escambia County remain open and continue to be provided with the latest COVID-19 information and resources to help keep the traveling public informed. We ask that all Visit Pensacola stakeholders and partners, please report cancellations of activities, events, and accommodations so we can better track and report the impact to our area.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 General Information
Florida Department of Health COVID-19 General Information
CDC COVID-19 Information for Travel
Resources for K-12 Schools and Childcare Programs
FAQs for School Administrators
Interim Guidance for Administrators of Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at this link
For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the FDOH's dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-866-779-6121 or emailing COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For updates and additional health information, visit Florida Department of Health in Escambia County.