The City of New Smyrna Beach is actively monitoring and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in partnership with our county, state, and federal public health partners. On Mar. 17, the City Commission adopted an emergency declaration to allow for work without adherence to regular procedures and invoke emergency related mutual aid assistance. On Mar. 24, the declaration was set to run concurrently with the Volusia County Council’s emergency declaration.
For the latest updates, please contact the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center at (866) 779-6121 or COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org
State-run COVID-19 testing extended through Jan. 31
COVID-19 grant application deadlines approaching
With federal authorization expiring soon, the deadlines to apply to Volusia County for COVID-19 financial assistance are rapidly approaching. The county urges small businesses and individuals who believe they qualify for Volusia CARES grants to make application soon, as these programs are coming to an end in December. The deadlines to apply are Dec. 11 for small business and home-based business grants as well as grants for nonprofit organizations, while the deadline to apply for rent and mortgage assistance is Dec. 30.
In April, the county received coronavirus relief funds from the federal government as part of the CARES Act. The County Council has allocated more than $60 million of the money for various community relief efforts and grant programs for local residents, businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the pandemic. Pursuant to federal guidelines, the coronavirus relief funds cover approved expenses through Dec. 30. With the deadline looming, the County Council agreed Tuesday that the county will continue to take grant applications from businesses and nonprofit agencies through Dec. 11 to give staff sufficient time to process the requests. While the county already has provided $8.8 million in grants to small businesses and home-based businesses, the number of applications has significantly declined.
“We will make a concerted effort to get the word out into the community that the program will be coming to a close in December,” Deputy County Manager Suzanne Konchan told council members Tuesday.
The council also had allocated $22.5 million for rent and mortgage assistance to local residents struggling to make housing payments due to a loss or reduction in income caused by the pandemic. For approved applicants, the money is paid to their landlord or mortgage holder. On Tuesday, council members were told that with $17.3 million in rent and mortgage assistance already paid out and another $4.4 million approved or in the pipeline, the fund only had about $900,000 left. And new applications still are coming in at a rate of about 53 per day. On Tuesday, the council pumped another $5 million into the program, bringing the total to $27.5 million, and agreed to continue accepting applications until the very last day – Dec. 30.
Information about the county’s COVID-19 grant programs can be found here:
- Rental Assistance: www.volusia.org/c19ra
- Mortgage Assistance: www.volusia.org/c19ma
- Small Business/Home-Based Business: https://www.volusiabusinessresources.com/#homeSection348662
- Grants for nonprofit organizations: https://www.unitedwayvfc.org/
COVID-19 Community Brief for July 16, 2020
- Mayor Russ Owen, City of New Smyrna Beach
- Communications Manager & Government Liaison Holly Smith, Florida Department of Health in Volusia County
- CEO Dr. Dennis Hernandez, AdventHealth New Smyrna Beach
- Chief Shawn VanDemark, City of New Smyrna Beach Fire Department
Correction: During her presentation, Holly states the virus’ incubation period is up to 17 days. She later clarified it is up to 14 days.
City Commission adopts mask mandate during July 1 special meeting
At their July 1 special meeting, the City Commission voted 3-2 to adopt Resolution No. 23-20 mandating the wearing of face coverings in public. Of note, the resolution will not be enforced by police nor carry any penalties for non-compliance.
The resolution also encourages businesses to prohibit entry of any persons not wearing a face covering except for those:
- under the age of two years
- observing social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines
- for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition
- working in a business or profession who do not have interactions with others, maintain social distancing from others, or where use of a face covering would prevent them from performing the duties of the business or profession
- exercising while maintaining social distancing
- eating or drinking
- hearing impaired who needs to see the mouth of someone wearing a face covering to communicate
Public safety, fire, and other life safety and health care personnel will be governed by the personal protective equipment requirements of their respective agencies.
First suggested during the commission’s June 23 regular meeting, discussion on a citywide resolution addressing face coverings in public continued at a June 30 special meeting until there was agreement among the elected representatives to set an additional special meeting on July 1 to adopt one.
The resolution takes effect immediately and shall automatically expire upon termination of the city’s emergency declaration, adopted on Mar. 17, 2020.
In its original form, the resolution’s language “encouraged” the use of face coverings but then changed to “mandate” at the request of commissioners to emphasize how important they feel the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic is to New Smyrna Beach residents and visitors.
As of noon on July 1, confirmed cases in Florida numbered 156,288 with 6,563 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. To date, there have been 45 Florida resident deaths related to COVID-19.
In other action, Mayor Russ Owen reported sending an e-mail on behalf of the City Commission to the Volusia County Council requesting the closure of beaches ahead of the 4th of July holiday weekend to slow community spread in New Smyrna Beach. The request was not approved, citing preventative measures already implemented by county government to promote adequate social distancing.
Watch video replay of the meeting below and read the full text of Resolution No. 23-20 here.
To assist local restaurants get back to work in compliance with the Governor’s plan to reopen Florida, the City of New Smyrna Beach is providing the following process to temporarily expand outdoor seating options.
- Develop an outdoor seating plan to include layout, total number of added seats, temporary fencing or barricades, and handicapped access. It can be as simple as a sketch, and no fees or forms are required.
- E-mail the plan to email@example.com.
- Staff will review the plan for fire code and other safety concerns.
- Receive temporary outdoor seating permit via e-mail upon approval.
- A building inspector or city planner will review final setup onsite.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (386) 410-2835 for further details.
External Information Resources
Other Government Agencies
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Florida Department of Health
- Volusia County Health Department
- Volusia County Emergency Management Public Information Network
- Utilities Commission New Smyrna Beach
- Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Global Cases Desktop version | Mobile version
- Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard