By Hank McCoy
A special commission meeting was called on Wednesday to discuss the current state of the city with COVID-19 surging to 156 new cases in one week. The meeting included healthcare administrators and doctors from Broward Health Coral Springs.
“We are prepared, we have [the] capacity, we have ICU capacity, we have medical surge capacity, and as we’ve done before, we have prepared for any potential surges to come our way,” said Jared Smith, CEO of Broward Health Coral Springs.
Smith explained how the enhancement in clinical protocols and the outcomes for patients have been positive, which differs from the first surge of coronavirus in April.
He assured the commission that they’ve plenty of PPE on hand and have freed up ICU beds as well as following strict protocols, testing every patient emitted to the hospital for COVID-19, and limiting their visitor policy to one visitor per day.
The airflow in the rooms for COVID patients doesn’t circulate either, meaning there isn’t a concern about catching the virus just from being in the building.
The commission said the city would comply with the county order requiring all citizens to use facial coverings when out for essential services. They also advised residents to make sure their mask covers their nose and mouth — a sentiment that was echoed by Mayor Brook at the meeting. Full county order here.
If a member of the public does not comply with the order, there will be fines and possible removal from the business. If they refuse to leave, they could be arrested for not leaving the location.
The commission on Wednesday emphasized the positive effect masks and social distancing have against fighting the virus. Vice Mayor Joy Carter explained that she was on a call with the Florida League of Cities, where a doctor spoke on the power of masks. According to Vice Mayor Carter, mask-wearing reduces the risk of infection by 80 percent.
In response to the effects of COVID on businesses in the city, they discussed the steps taken in collaboration with local businesses and working to help them reopen, whether it’s education through the cities Business Hotline, or providing reopening packages of masks, hand sanitizer, and instruction guide.
The Coral Springs Back In Business Grant Program is operating to help businesses with over three employees and less than 50, offering grants of $1,000 to help with supplies the business will need to reopen safely. They’ve issued 222 checks to companies with 12 pending.
The city has also helped businesses obtain about $1.3 million in business grants and loans as of July 1.
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