COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

This website is updated daily by noon and 8 p.m. and also several other times throughout the day.

THE KEYS ARE CLOSED TO VISITORS

ALL THOSE ENTERING THE KEYS SHOULD CARRY BACKUP IDENTIFICATION OR DOCUMENTS PROVING HOMEOWNERSHIP OR RESIDENCY.

"Safer At Home"

Gov. DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-91, which places the entire state of Florida under the “Safer at Home” initiative. This order, which has been implemented in Monroe, Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties since Monday, March 30, states that all persons within the state of Florida shall limit the time spent outside their home to only essential activities. 

This order still allows people to take care of pets and engage in outdoor recreational activities, as long as social distancing is observed. Senior citizens and individuals with a significant underlying medical condition shall stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Any business capable of providing delivery, or curbside service is encouraged to do so.

Monroe County Additional Protective Measures for Essential Businesses and Customers

Monroe County mandates all essential businesses deploy strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The mandates include limiting capacity to 50 percent of maximum occupancy and providing hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes for use by customers and employees. All employees and customers of grocery stores, pharmacies, food distribution points, hardware stores and other essential businesses where 10 or more people may be present shall be required to wear a form of covering over their nose and mouth at all times. Delivery service workers are required to wear face coverings as well.

Medical and surgical face masks, such as “N95” masks, are in short supply and should be reserved for health care personnel and other first responders with the greatest need for such personal protective equipment. Covering over the nose and mouth may include a face mask, homemade mask, or other cloth covering, such as a scarf, bandana, handkerchief or other similar cloth covering.

The CDC suggests cloth face coverings should:
• Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
• Be secured with ties or ear loops
• Include multiple layers of fabric
• Allow for breathing without restriction
• Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

For more information from the CDC about cloth face coverings, sewn / non-sewn instructions, and shareable PDF versions, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html 

Florida Keys Coronavirus Cases

The latest update from the State Health Office regarding COVID-19. Monroe County is reporting 53 total cases -- 47 are residents, 6 are non-residents. 

Among the 53, 21 are travel related, 20 are community acquired, and 12 are currently being investigated.

Of the 47 residents, 25 are from Key West, 10 Key Largo, 4 Tavernier, 3 Marathon, and one from Islamorada, Summerland Key, and Key Colony Beach. Two cases are unknown.

7 Hospitalized, 3 deaths (reported by the State)

As of April 9, 2020 at 5 p.m. 668 have been tested, of which 103 are awaiting results.

Current case information can be found at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov. It is updated twice daily (morning and evening) On the dashboard, look under “See the Report” for detailed information by county, including testing numbers and geographic locations or “See dashboard” for summaries by county.

The Health Department will officially confirm any other cases.

Checkpoints continue for visitors in the Florida Keys

Monroe County, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and the municipalities have partnered to continue to operate the 24-hour southbound traffic checkpoints at mile marker 112.5 on the 18-Mile Stretch (U.S. 1), and on Card Sound Road (905) to reinforce Monroe County’s closure to visitors and non-residents. Due to heightened concerns of COVID-19, only residents, property owners, and those actively involved in work in the Florida Keys will be admitted, including fuel tankers, delivery and grocery trucks.

According to Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, 788 cars were turned around in the first 48 hours, and an estimated 2,000 people. Before the checkpoint started on Friday morning, the Florida Department of Transportation traffic counters were about 47-49 percent of average traffic flow for this time of year. Since the checkpoint was enacted, the traffic counters are at 23-26 percent of the average traffic flow for this time of year.

  • Proof of residency can be demonstrated with local identification, or a hard copy of the utility bill, deed, lease, or tax bill with a matching ID
  • Those actively engaged in work in the Florida Keys, such as construction workers, will need to show a hard copy of a letter from their employer, employee identification, a paystub, or current construction contract in the Keys.
  • First responders, healthcare workers, and military actively engaged in work in the Keys will need proper IDs. 

Long delays are possible at checkpoints. DO NOT call 911 with non-emergency questions about U.S. 1.

DONATIONS

We live in an amazing community! Many residents are showing up at the checkpoint with food and drink donations. The officers and others working the checkpoint are being well taken care of through Emergency Management, so there is no need to provide that kind of support. If you feel like you need to do something to help, checkpoint staff suggests donating non-perishable items to the local food banks or pet food to the local animal shelter, both of which are running short of supplies.

Non-Compliance of Vacation Rentals

The Emergency Directive 20-02 (Tourist Ban) Enforcement Protocol was collaboratively developed by Monroe County and the five municipalities with input from the Tax Collector, the Sheriff, and the State Attorney. Law enforcement officers are not prevented from taking steps to enforce Emergency Directive 20-02 if, in the officer’s discretion, immediate action is warranted.

  • Complaints: call 1-855-422-4540, the Tax Collector’s hotline.
  • Tax Collector will reach out to account holders and warn against renting during this State of Emergency and will warn those without accounts of consequences of renting without an account.
  • Tax Collector staff will refer complaints, as they come in, to the Code Compliance department within the jurisdiction for the property’s location.
  • The local Code Compliance Department will reach out to complainants to investigate. Code will advise owners, managers, and/or renters of the ban and consequences of non-compliance.
  • If Code Compliance does not obtain voluntarily compliance, Code will refer case to primary law enforcement agency for their jurisdiction. The State Attorney’s Office investigative division will also help with law enforcement responses.
  • Law enforcement will take code’s investigative information and initiate contact with violator(s) (owner, manager, and/or renter). If probable cause to believe there is a violation of Emergency Directive 20-02, law enforcement officer will issue a notice to appear (NTA) for violating an emergency directive issued during a state of emergency in violation of F.S. 252.50, a misdemeanor.
  • The State Attorney’s Office will prosecute violations in County Court.

Remember, the ban does not include rentals for military, first responders, health care workers, and construction workers actively engaged in projects in Monroe County. 

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