Following up on other state and local government agencies, including the school district, Palm Coast government Saturday afternoon announced that all city-run activities at city facilities are cancelled from Sunday, March 15, at least through Saturday, March 21. The city will reevaluate scheduled events on a weekly basis.
Cancellations include what the city terms “non-essential” government meetings, which next week were to include the city’s Planning Board and its Code Enforcement Board.
Notably, all non-emergency visits to fire stations will be restricted during this time period–“basically if folks wanted to come down to the fire station to do a fire tour and look at the fire trucks,” Palm Coast Fire Chief Jerry Forte said. That can’t happen for now. “We’re looking at trying to restrict access to people going on the calls because if the firefighters get sick, we’re going to run out of people to fight fires. We’re looking at restricting CPR classes as well, because that’s in a contained area.”
The Palm Coast Fire Department had three firefighters with the flu last week. They are due back at work Monday. “It’s not so much the predictable flu that causes me to a concern,” Forte said, “but rather the contact with people” who could potentially have been infected with coronavirus, “which would lead to an isolation of a firefighter.” That would put the firefighter out of action for several days. “We had one uncertain one that we took a caution with, but it was declared a negative within 24 hours.”
Forte has no illusions about the coming infections. He compares it not to a hurricane but to a slow but certainly rising tide that will get most people wet to some extent.
Large gatherings the city does not control, and with the potential for 250 people or more, are also strongly discouraged, though neither the city nor the Flagler County Health Department have issued any bans on such gatherings. Nevertheless, cultural and social events that would have resulted in such gatherings have been cancelled.
City-sponsored or events for this week include:
- Palm Coast Strawberry Festival – Sunday, March 15
- Food Truck Tuesday – Tuesday, March 17
- Palm Coast Parks & Recreation Spring Break Camp – March 16-20
- All Mayor’s 90/90 Challenge activities
- All Palm Coast Community Center activities
- All Palm Coast Tennis Center activities
- All Palm Harbor Golf Course activities
- All Senior activities
The Palm Coast Community Center on Palm Coast Parkway will be open only with reduced staffing for voting in the Presidential Preference Primary on Tuesday. The Community Center will be closed all other days this week. But City Hall will remain open for normal operations, as will the Palm Coast Tennis Center, Palm Harbor Golf Course (for existing tee times) and parks and trails.
Beginning Monday, palmcoastconnect.com will be the hub for the city’s response to COVID-19. The city strongly encourages residents to register now so individuals may track their issues and receive push notifications during the emergency, with palmcoastconnect.com providing updated information and notifications on any city updates.