Escambia County continues to stay in daily contact with health officials at the Florida Department of Health and local hospitals in regard to public health concerns related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
"We want to remind the public that it is extremely important to continue to social distance, avoid close contact with people and it is recommended to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible as there has been a rise in cases in Escambia County as well as younger people testing positive," said Escambia County Emergency Manager Eric Gilmore. "Through conversations with the Florida Department of Health, we have learned that COVID-19 is likely to spread from an infected individual when in close contact with someone, like riding in vehicles together. While our hospital systems are in good shape right now in terms of available beds and ventilators, we need to ensure we are all social distancing to keep it this way. Please continue to wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, social distance, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as well as it is recommended to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible."
The best source for up-to-date information regarding confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Florida is the Florida Department of Health website and the associated Data and Surveillance Dashboard and Daily Report. The site is currently updated once daily, at around 3 p.m. ET. For more information, please visit the dedicated COVID-19 webpage. The Florida Department of Health (the Department) releases a list of long-term care facilities in Florida associated with COVID-19 cases with active cases and number of deaths in each facility in order to provide real-time data. The list of long-term care facilities with active COVID-19 cases is available here. The Department is providing a report detailing surveillance data for every Florida county. Previously, this information was only available for select communities. The surveillance data report is available here. To view demographics of cases in Escambia County, visit the COVID-19 dashboard and select Escambia County. The following case data will appear: age, gender, race, and ethnicity. Use the COVID 19 testing self-checker to determine if you need to call your healthcare provider to be tested.
Need extra support dealing with stress and coping during this time? Find a list of available resources at Escambiahealth.com.
Printable resources for restaurants and businesses can be found on the resources page of the FDOH COVID-19 website and on the Escambia County web page for economic recovery.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Wash your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
Cover coughs and sneezes
- If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectantsexternal icon will work.
Monitor Your Health
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
- Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
- Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact the FDOH Call Center (866-779-6121) or FDOH-Escambia’s number (850-595-6500) prior to traveling to any physician’s office, emergency department, hospital, or urgent care center, to ensure proper protective measures are taken to prevent further risk of spread to others. If possible, also review your signs, symptoms and travel history with your physician over the phone. Your physician will evaluate you for other possible causes of respiratory illness and also contact the county health department to access COVID-19 testing. If you are without health insurance or a health care provider, please contact your county health department so the health department can coordinate your medical evaluation and testing.
Most people with confirmed COVID-19 infection reportedly have mild to moderate respiratory illness and can be managed at home in coordination with their health care provider and local health department. Persons with severe illness may be hospitalized.
For updates and additional information, visit Florida Department of Health in Escambia County.
The Escambia County Joint Information Center provides daily updates Monday through Friday via news releases which are then posted to our social media channels @BeReadyEscambia on Twitter and Escambia County Emergency Management on Facebook. Please visit the Escambia County COVID-19 web page at https://myescambia.com/covid-19 for additional information.