At the Sept. 1, 2020, Board of County Commissioners meeting, the board took the following action:
COVID-19 — received a report from Dr. Alina Alonso, director of the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County ,and Emergency Management Director Bill Johnson on local COVID-19 mitigation efforts. To date, Palm Beach County has reported a total of 41,965 confirmed cases and 1,136 fatalities. The county’s overall positivity rate is 12.98%. The daily positivity rate stands at 3.49% and the positivity rate per 100,000 cases is 2.9%. Dr. Alonso said these numbers are very good, but “there is still a long road ahead of us. We are nowhere near to having herd immunity.”
Phase 2 — reviewed staff recommendations for an incremental Phase 2 reopening of certain entertainment venues, schools and other businesses in Palm Beach County after Labor Day. Following several hours of discussion and public comment, board members agreed to send a letter to the governor requesting approval of an incremental Phase 2 plan. Mandatory face coverings, physical distancing and enhanced sanitation practices will continue to be enforced.
Rebel Recovery — approved a contract with Rebel Recovery Florida Inc. for needle exchange program (NEP) services for the period Sept. 1, 2020, through Aug. 31, 2025. This action authorizes a needle exchange program to legally operate within Palm Beach County as part of the Infectious Disease Elimination Program. By the end of the contract period, the program will provide services to a projected 200 unduplicated participants and exchange an estimated 210,000 needles/syringes.
EMS — agreed with a staff finding of extraordinary circumstances and extended the current secondary service provider Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (COPCN) for American Medical Response and Medic Ambulance Service to provide ALS transport and BLS inter-facility transfer services for an initial period of six months to June 30, 2021, with an option to extend the two COPCN renewals for one additional six-month period, if necessary by the BCC.
Advisory Board — received an annual report presentation of the 15-member Advisory Commission on Women (ACW). The ACW sent surveys to 24 agencies/providers and eight topics were identified as main challenges and/or concerns. Following the receipt of the surveys, the ACW held listening sessions in six locations throughout the county. One recommendation will be to organize a job-matching event that reflects feedback received at the listening sessions.
Beaches — announced that all county-owned beaches and beach parks will be open Labor Day weekend. They include Coral Cove Park, Tequesta; Carlin Park, Jupiter; DuBois Park, Jupiter; Jupiter Beach Park, Jupiter; Loggerhead Park, Juno Beach; Ocean Cay Park, Jupiter; Juno Beach Park, Juno Beach; Ocean Reef Park, Riviera Beach; Phil Foster Park, Riviera Beach; R. G. Kreusler Park, Palm Beach; Ocean Inlet Park, Ocean Ridge; Ocean Ridge Hammock Park, Ocean Ridge; Gulfstream Park, Gulfstream; and South Inlet Park, Boca Raton.
FAC Scholarship — recognized A’Niyah Miller of Belle Glade as the recipient of the 2020 FAC Presidential Scholarship from Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who is president of the Florida Association of Counties (FAC).