CORONAVIRUS:

 What You Need To Know

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  • Leaders in Seminole County announced the sudden closure of all boat ramps due to “irresponsible boaters,” indefinite and effective immediately. On Twitter, the Seminole County government published an image taken that Saturday in Geneva of a group, enumerating at least twenty people, who had gathered on boats in the Saint Johns River in violation of CDC guidelines now respected by every community in the union: Mobile users, see tweet here. In Orange County, all 11 public boat ramps were similarly closed late last month on March 22. Twitters users responded to Seminole County’s message Saturday with a mix of reactions, a few ambivalent to the dangers of social gatherings during the pandemic, but most aggravated at how the actions of some can impact the community as a whole: Mobile users, see tweet here. Mobile users, see tweet here. Mobile users, see tweet here. Seminole County has not issued a re-opening date for their boat ramps. More information can be found by visiting PrepareSeminole.org, or by calling 407-665-0000 from 8am to 5pm.
  • Many Floridians are still expected to commute during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, so it’s always beneficial to know which ramps and roads on and around I-4 will be out of order, and when. Here’s the latest. :: Ramps- Westbound off ramp to John Young Pkwy., closed from 8pm to 5am until after April 8. Eastbound off ramp to Amelia St., closed until further notice. Click or tap here for more details on the Florida Department of Transportation’s website (this link opens a PDF file). Westbound off ramp to Anderson St., closed from 8pm to 5am until after April 11. Westbound on ramp from Fairbanks Ave., closed Sunday to Friday from 8pm to 6am until after April 9. Westbound off ramp to Princeton St., closed from 9pm to 6am until after April 9.    Eastbound on ramp from Princeton St., closed from 9am to 3pm until after April 7. :: Roads- Both directions of Amelia St. under I-4, closed until further notice. Click or tap here for more details on the Florida Department of Transportation’s website (this link opens a PDF file). Westbound Central Blvd., closed from 8pm to 6am until after April 6. Both directions of Division Ave. from Gore St. to Anderson St., closed from 8pm to 6am until after April 7. Both directions of Wymore Rd. from Riddle Dr. to Fairbanks Ave., closed until further notice. :: Lanes- Two right lanes in both directions of SR-434 under I-4, closed from 8pm to 6am until after April 9. I-4 Westbound lanes- Two right lanes from Colonial Dr. to Sand Lake Rd., closed from 8pm to 8am until after April 18. Two left lanes from Maitland Blvd. to Kirkman Rd., closed from 8pm to 8am until after April 18. Two right lanes from SR-434 to Orange Blossom Trail, closed from 8pm to 8am until after May 1. One right lane on the off ramp to Lee Rd., closed from 9am to 3pm until after April 10. One right lane from Fairbanks Ave. to Par St., closed from 10am to 3pm until after April 11. One right lane on the on ramp from Princeton St., closed from 9am to 3pm until after April 10. One left lane on the off ramp to Princeton St., closed from 9am to 3pm until after April 8. Two right lanes from E. E. Williamson Rd. to Ivanhoe Blvd., closed from 8pm to 8am until after May 1. One right lane on the off ramp to SR-436, closed from 8am to 4:30pm until after April 8. One right lane from Hope Rd. to Maitland Summit Blvd., closed from 9am to 3pm until after April 10. I-4 Eastbound lanes- Two left lanes from Sand Lake Rd. to Colonial Dr., closed from 8pm to 8am until after April 18. Two left lanes from Kirkman Rd. to Maitland Blvd., closed from 8pm to 8am until after April 18. Two right lanes from Orange Blossom Trail to SR-434, closed from 8pm to 8am until after May 1. Two right lanes from Ivanhoe Blvd. to E. E. Williamson Rd., closed from 8pm to 8am until May 1. :: Details and detour maps provided by the Florida Department of Transportation, District 5.
  • A local physicians group plans to begin testing thousands for coronavirus in Brevard County. Omni Heathcare in Melbourne managed to get supplies to test 10,000 individuals for COVID-19. “We’ve managed to identify suppliers who can provide to us, the individual components and we have essentially manufactured our own supply kits,” said Craig Deligdish, the chief medical officer at Omni Healthcare. Deligdish hopes their creative hunt for supplies and quick turnaround will help get more Brevard County residents tested. The county lags well behind other Central Florida counties in testing per capita, testing about a third to a half the rate of other counties, according to Saturday morning’s state data. “Our goal is to test as many people as possible and to identify people who have been infected who may be carriers,” Deligdish said. Deligdish said they will test first responders, health care workers, Public and Winn Dixie employees, those over 45 with a chronic illness, people 60 and older and anyone with a cough and fever. In order to be tested, individuals must call ahead and schedule an appointment to be seen. If there is enough demand, Omni plans to expand testing to all four of its sites in Brevard County.
  • With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, many people are stocking up on cleaning supplies to stop the spread of the virus. Bleach is a common household cleaner that is used to disinfect a number of surfaces and kill germs. Here are nine things to know about the cleaning product: Read: Coronavirus checklist: 100-plus disinfectants that may kill coronavirus on surfaces According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information and the World Health Organization, bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant. Its active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, is effective in killing bacteria, fungi and viruses, including influenza viruses. Do not use bleach with other household detergents. Mixing bleach with other detergents reduces its effectiveness and can cause dangerous chemical reactions. Bleach has an expiration date and loses efficacy fairly quickly if it is not stored properly. Officials said bleach expires one year after production. Diluted household bleach can disinfect within 10 to 60 minutes. Bleach can corrode metals and damage painted surfaces. Clorox said during World War I, the lives of wounded soldiers were saved by the antibacterial properties of bleach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said to prepare a bleach solution, mix five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water or four teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. When disinfecting, mix bleach with cold water. The NCBI said hot water decomposes the sodium hypochlorite and renders it ineffective. Always use bleach with caution. Improper use of bleach may reduce its effectiveness for disinfection and can injure health care workers, the NCBI said.
  • Many people have complained about the trouble they have had filing for unemployment benefits on the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website. Some say the site kept crashing on them, or if they tried to use the phones, they would spend hours on it to no avail. In response to this, DEO director Ken Lawson has issued an apology during a virtual town hall meeting this week and has said they will now use paper applications to help work through the backlog. However, one thing they stress on the website is that if you do choose to use the paper application process, it could take even longer to process than the online application.  You can access the paper application in three different languages, along with the mailing address here.