COVID-19 Updates & Resources

Latest Updates 4/07/2020:

Dr. Jeff Barnes, “Mental Health in Times of Crisis” Joins us For Wednesday’s Virtual Town Hall.

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Jeff Barnes to our Virtual Town Hall Meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, 4/8) to talk about mental health during times of crisis.

Dr. Barnes is a Counseling Pastor and Elder at Real Life Christian Church in Clermont, as well as the Counseling Director for Hope Center, also in Clermont. Dr. Barnes directs, trains and oversee all counseling with an average of 400 appointments per month. He has 40 Years of counseling experience and has trained over 400 Care Counselors. Dr. Barnes has served as a Military Chaplain, Fire Chaplain, and Police Chaplain. Dr. Barnes studied EMT at Valencia, and was an
Intelligence Liaison Officer with Central Florida Intelligence Exchange.

Dr. Barnes specializes in Critical Incident Stress Management, Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD, Marriage Counseling, Family Counseling, Blended Families, Grief Recovery, Anger Management
Crisis Counseling, Recovery from Trauma, Suicide Prevention, Suicide Counseling, and Forgiveness Therapy.

Dr. Barnes published “Real Forgiveness” in 2009 and “Marriage Re:Designed” in 2020.

Join us every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm through the end of April. Can’t make the live meeting, but have questions? Email Diane Edwards your questions and she will ask them in the meeting for you; just watch the recording for your answers!

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 412-419-544
Password: 407462

Alternately, call in using (415) 762-9988 or (646) 568-7788. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform

Past Updates & Resources

4/06/2020

Virtual Town Hall #12 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Listen to the recording here.

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page: Recaps can be found here on the website. Scroll down to see past days’ updates/recaps.

Here’s a recap:

Mayor O’Brien reported that statewide, there are 13,394 cases of COVID-19, with 1,592 hospitalizations, and 236 deaths. In Orange County, there are 744 cases of COVID-19 (28 in the 34786 zip code/4 within Town limits), with 89 hospitalizations, and 8 deaths. The good news is we saw a lower number of positive cases than yesterday! Per the COVID-19 tracker dashboard (view it here), the anticipated peak for Florida has moved up from May 3rd to April 21. Please continue to wash your hands, stay home as much as possible, reduce errands, wear masks, and practice social distancing.

Town Manager Smith reported that the University of Central Florida began testing this morning. Unlike the Orange County Convention Center, UCF’s testing site is by appointment only; your medical care provider will provide a recommendation if needed.

The Town’s government is still functioning; Windermere PD are still working 24/7, Public Works is working 7-11am focusing on roads, stormwater, and keeping parks/public areas free of trash and debris, and Admin staff are working from home and making only necessary trips to the office. As a reminder, Windermere Police Department Officers are wearing masks; this does not mean they are sick, but rather they are leading by example in following CDC-recommended guidelines. Branded masks are on their way, courtesy of the Windermere Police Department Foundation, Inc.

Town Manager Smith reminded residents that Virtual Town Hall meetings have switched from daily to a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule. We will continue to post daily updates with any pertinent information. Wednesday, we are happy to have Dr. Jeff Barnes speak to us about staying mentally healthy during quarantine and times of crisis. Be on the lookout for a social media post you can share with your neighbors!

Lastly, Town Manager Smith indicated the Town would likely be moving the April 14th Town Council Meeting to Tuesday, April 28th. Again, details will be posted once they are available.

Chief Ogden updated residents on the number of collection kits and masks ordered and received by the state (5,000 collection kits received, 100,000 masks received of 2,000,000 requested). The Florida Surgeon General is currently reviewing new rapid testing kits. Locally, everything is still good.

Chief Ogden reminded residents about Saturday’s Easter Parade. The Windermere Police Department, Windermere Public Works, along with Mayor O’Brien and the Easter Bunny will be driving through Town between 10am – 12pm on Saturday, April 11, delivering Easter eggs to our kids. Parents, please make sure your family is staying at the end of your driveway or front lawn. If you’re unable to make it outside, please tie a ribbon to your mailbox so the Easter bunny knows to leave you eggs! We are currently testing the most efficient route. We will post the route along with time frames for each area on Wednesday.

Once again, a huge thank you to Sarah Reiner and Chris McCannell of Gray Robinson for their time and expertise speaking about the recently passed CARES Act. A lot of really good and detailed information was shared. See below to download the prepared Power Point presentations, which cover what was discussed today. Several websites were also mentioned that are great resources, they can be found below as well. If you wish to follow along with the discussion while reviewing the Power Points, please refer to the timestamps next to the links.

CARES Act Power Point I – Info for Small Business Owners – 17:19 – 34:19
-Small Business Assistance – 18:48
-Paycheck Protection – 20:34
-Loan Forgiveness – 26:05
-Immediate SBA Help – 26:22
-Current SBA Loan Recipients – 29:14

CARES Act Power Point II – Info for Individuals, Including Eligibility and Unemployment  – 36:46 – 01:07
-Economic Impact Payments – Who is Eligible? – 37:24
-Economic Impact Payments – Status – 40:52
-Special Rules for Use of Retirement Funds – 45:41
-Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – 50:30
-Emergency Increase in Unemployment Compensation – 52:36
-Temporary Full Federal Funding of the First Week of Compensable Regular Unemployment – 58:13
-Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation – 58:55
-Temporary Financing of Short-Time Compensation Payments in States with Programs in Law – 01:01
-Employee Retention Credit – 01:04
-Payroll Tax Deferral – 01:06

Department of the Treasury

Small Business Administration

Gray Robinson COVID-19 Task Force

We had some great questions today. Some of these refer to specific parts of the Power Point presentations; again, please listen to the recording for a complete explanation and context (timestamps included where relevant):

Q. In reference to Power Point I, is the $10,000 funding bridge for small business owners referenced at 26:22 something that could assist those working in the Gig Economy?
A. Potentially, however application for this loan may be more complicated and approval is not guaranteed. It would be easier and make more sense for gig workers to apply for the enhanced unemployment benefits mentioned in Power Point II.

Q. In reference to Power Point II, is there any guidance on reimbursable employers on what they will need to reimburse of the $275 or $600 over the Florida weeks or the extended Federal weeks? (58:55)
A. We are still awaiting guidance on this. As of now, it has not been stated that employers will have relief regarding their unemployment accounts. (answer at 01:10)

Q. If you have a 19 year old child who is in college, will they be eligible for the $1,200 cash benefit? (37:24)
A. This depends. If they filed a tax return, then possibly. We are not sure if there is an age cap for dependents in regard to the CARES Act, so we can’t say if they will receive the $500 either. (answer at 01:12)

Q. Is there any way that a household can stop the automatic payment and say “no thank you, please use the money to help others?”
A. We have not seen anything to indicate this is an option. However, you are able to donate your money after you’ve received it, and use that as a deduction on your 2020 taxes.

Q. Orange County EO 2020-04 (as amended by 2020-05), Section 1, orders people to stay at home and limit going out to obtaining essential services. The scope of this is clearly superseded by Florida EO 20-91 (as amended by 20-92). However, Orange County EO 2020-04 (as amended by 2020-05), Section 2, orders the closure of non-essential businesses. Florida EO 20-91 (as amended by 20-92) is silent on the closing of any businesses. So, are Orange County non-essential businesses still ordered closed? And if so, is the list of what is or is not an essential business controlled by the March 28, 2020 CISA guidelines and the Miami Dade Order 07-20, in accordance with Florida EO 20-91 (as amended by 20-92)?
A. Governor DeSantis’ order requires everyone to stay home unless they are an essential employee or are on an essential errand. Those 65 over and/or who are high risk must stay home unless they are also essential employees. The Orange County curfew is still in place (11pm – 5am). Emergency Orders from Governor DeSantis supersede orders given by county and municipal-level officials. Here are the FAQs regarding what is considered essential per Governor DeSantis’ Order. (answer at 01:13)

Join us every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm through the end of April. Can’t make the live meeting, but have questions? Email Diane Edwards your questions and she will ask them in the meeting for you; just watch the recording for your answers!

Join meetings here.

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 412-419-544
Password: 407462

Alternately, call in using (415) 762-9988 or (646) 568-7788. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

4/05/2020

Updated Virtual Town Hall Schedule

Beginning Monday, April 6, the Town will hold Virtual Town Hall meetings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm rather than daily meetings. The Town will continue to post updates/pertinent information on Tuesdays and Thursdays on our website and across our social media. Meetings will continue at least through the end of April.

Can’t make the live meeting, but have questions? Email Diane Edwards your questions and she will ask them in the meeting for  you; just watch the recording for your answers!

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 412-419-544
Password: 407462

Alternately, call in using Alternately, call in using (415) 762-9988 or (646) 568-7788. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

 

Virtual Town Hall #11 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Listen to the recording here. Here’s a recap:

Statewide, there are 12,151 cases of COVID-19 with 1,490 hospitalizations (rate of 12%). There are 647 cases in Orange County with 27 of those within the 34786 zip code (4 within Town limits). Orange County has 79 hospitalizations (also a 12% rate) and has had 8 deaths.

Mayor O’Brien encouraged residents to continue doing their best to stay inside, and stressed the importance of following CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, masks, and personal hygiene. Mayor O’Brien reminded us we are all in this together and that it’s important now more than ever to look out for each other. There are a lot of residents who have been impacted financially by COVID-19; please encourage your neighbors to tune into tomorrow’s Virtual Town Hall meeting for important info regarding the CARES Act passed by Congress.

Wednesday, we will have Dr. Jeff Barnes join us to talk about mental health during quarantine and times of crisis. More details about Dr. Barnes as well as a post for you to share/spread the word coming later today!

Town Manager Smith announced that we will be switching from daily meetings to meetings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday beginning tomorrow. Website and social media changes will be made to reflect this change. We will continue to provide updates via the website and social media on Tuesdays and Thursdays as they come in so you can stay informed.

The Orange County Convention Center continues to test individuals showing the symptoms listed on their website on a first come, first served basis. They are no longer giving priority to first responders. The University of Central Florida will begin testing individuals via appointment tomorrow (Monday). More information can be found here. The University of Central Florida, in partnership with AdventHealth, is working on setting up a field hospital at UCF’s basketball area for non-COVID patients to help limit exposure and free up beds.

The Town continues to stay in communication with County, State, and Federal officials daily. Town Staff are still working (WPD is full time, Public Works part time with emphasis on streets, stormwater, and keeping public areas and parks free of trash and debris, and Admin are working from home with limited office hours only as necessary).

Chief Ogden reported that the Windermere Police Department Foundation, Inc. has ordered branded masks for officers, which are expected to arrive later this week. We will distribute any extras to those in Town who have a need. Chief Ogden also reminded residents not to be alarmed if they see WPD officers wearing masks; they are not sick, but are leading by example by following CDC guidelines on masks. Read more about the CDC’s mask guidelines here.

Chief Ogden also let residents know to expect a number of vehicles parked on the sides of Park Avenue Wednesday – Friday as crews work on the Lake Crescent subdivision. WPD is aware and has sanctioned the work/parking.

As promised, the Town will have an Easter surprise for our kids! Following CDC recommended and government-mandated limits on gatherings, we will not be hosting our annual Easter Egg-Stravaganza. Instead, the Windermere Police Department, with assistance from Public Works, Admin Staff, and the Windermere Safety Watch will be bagging eggs for families in Town and distributing this Saturday, 4/11, during a small parade, between 10am – 12pm. Yes, the Easter Bunny will be making an appearance! We are currently working on the route. We will post the parade route and time windows on Wednesday. Families, please stay at the end of your driveway or front yard, we will toss the bags to you! If you are unable to come outside, please tie a ribbon to your mailbox, and we’ll leave a bag in your driveway. Look for more social media posts to come regarding this event.

Join us every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm through the end of April. Can’t make the live meeting, but have questions? Email Diane Edwards your questions and she will ask them in the meeting for  you; just watch the recording for your answers!

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 412-419-544
Password: 407462

Alternately, call in using Alternately, call in using (415) 762-9988 or (646) 568-7788. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

 

CARES Act PowerPoint for Review Prior to Monday’s Virtual Town Hall

We are pleased to welcome special guests Sarah Reiner and Chris McCannell of Gray Robinson to Monday’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting!

Sarah and Chris will are here to answer your questions about the recently passed CARES Act. Please take a moment to review This CARES Act Powerpoint prepared by Gray Robinson and this one, too, prior to the meeting to get an idea of some of the topics we’ll be discussing.

Please send CARES Act related questions to Diane Edwards by 12:00pm on Monday. She will forward on to Sarah and Chris to ensure there is time to review. Don’t worry – if you forget or don’t think of a question until the meeting, you’ll still have the opportunity to ask! You can also email Diane your general questions if you’re unable to watch the live meeting; just watch the recording for your answers.

Join us daily at 2:30pm. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Thursday, April 30. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 412-419-544
Password: 407462

Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

4/04/2020

Virtual Town Hall #10 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Listen to the recorded meeting here. Here’s a recap:

There are now 11,111 cases of COVID-19 in Florida. We are seeing approximately 1,300 new cases a day. There have been 191 deaths, and 1,386 hospitalizations statewide.

In Orange County, there are 590 cases (26 in the 34786 zip code/3 in Town), 75 hospitalizations, and 8 deaths. Approximately 60-65% of ICU beds in Orange County are occupied.

The CDC now recommends everyone wear masks when leaving home, regardless of if they are symptomatic, to help prevent the spread of the virus. Surgical, cloth, and 3M masks will not prevent the wearer from contracting COVID-19, but will prevent them from touching their faces and spreading it to others.

Mayor O’Brien thanked residents for taking the Safer at Home Order seriously, and for following all CDC-recommended guidelines on social distancing. Mayor O’Brien reminded residents that the majority of our parks remain open for responsible recreation, but emphasized the need to exercise care and good hygiene as gates, railings, and exercise/playground equipment all have the potential to harbor the virus.

Mayor O’Brien reminded residents to be mindful of each other. We likely all know at least one person in Town who has been furloughed or lost their job due to COVID-19. Additionally, please be on the lookout for ways to help your elderly, disabled, or otherwise vulnerable neighbors. If you know of anyone who may need some extra assistance, please contact the Windermere Police Department at 407-876-3757.

Also mentioned, the link and login info for future Virtual Town Hall Meetings has been updated. Updated login info is attached to all social media and website postings from 4/2/2020 onward. Thank you to everyone who has been sharing these meetings; please make sure you’re sharing the updated link.

Monday, we are excited to welcome Sarah Reiner and Chris McCannell of Gray Robinson, who will speak about the recently passed CARES Act, what it means for individuals and businesses, and the proposed 2nd stimulus package. Please send CARES Act related questions to Diane Edwards by 12:00pm on Monday. She will forward on to Sarah and Chris to ensure there is time to review. Don’t worry – if you forget or don’t think of a question until the meeting, you’ll still have the opportunity to ask! You can also email Diane your general questions if you’re unable to watch the live meeting; just watch the recording for your answers.

Manager Smith emphasized that local government is still functioning, and that the Town continues to stay in daily contact with County, State, and Federal officials to ensure that we are able to pass on the most accurate, relevant, and up-to-date information on to our residents. Smaller projects are ongoing, while larger projects requiring Council and public input have been put on hold. Town Staff will be having a virtual projects meeting next week and will update the status on various projects at that time.

Monday, a new COVID-19 testing site is set to open at the University of Central Florida. Testing will be by appointment only. Read more about it here.

Chief Ogden reported that the Windermere Police Department, in an effort to lead by example, will begin wearing masks while on duty. In partnership with the Windermere Police Department Foundation, Inc, we are in the process of ordering mask covers for our officers.

Chief Ogden also clarified some questions regarding boating on the lakes. Recreational boating is permitted. Vessels must stay 50′ away from each other, and there is a limit of 10 people per vessel. All ramps in Town are, and will remain, closed, however, you can still launch from home if your property has lake access.

Some questions from today:
Q. Is there a plan to address players on the basketball courts?
A. The basketball courts are still open for use. As it is difficult to keep 6′ of distance while playing, we encourage players to exercise good judgement when selecting game companions. There should not be more than 10 people congregated at any given time on the courts. If large or irresponsible gatherings on the courts becomes an issue, we will take action at that time. Keep in mind, as a small municipality we have to be mindful about what calls we’re sending our officers out on.

Q. Are there any recommendations on where to purchase masks?
A. This is dependent on the mask. It is unlikely you’ll be able to find any N95 masks. However, surgical and 3M masks work fine for what the CDC is recommending. 3M masks can be found at home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s . Surgical masks can be purchased from medical supply stores. It’s also a good idea to network with your neighbors – they may be part of a group making masks!

Join us tomorrow at 2:30pm. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Thursday, April 30. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 412-419-544
Password: 407462

Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

 

Special Guests Sarah Reiner & Chris McCannell of Gray Robinson on Monday’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. “Understanding the CARES Act”

We are pleased to welcome special guests Sarah Reiner and Chris McCannell of Gray Robinson to Monday’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting!

Sarah and Chris will are here to answer your questions about the recently passed CARES Act.

Please send CARES Act related questions to Diane Edwards by 12:00pm on Monday. She will forward on to Sarah and Chris to ensure there is time to review. Don’t worry – if you forget or don’t think of a question until the meeting, you’ll still have the opportunity to ask! You can also email Diane your general questions if you’re unable to watch the live meeting; just watch the recording for your answers.

Sarah practices in the areas of Employment Law and Commercial Litigation. Her employment practice centers on the defense of employment-related actions at the agency, state and federal levels. She is well-versed in the handling of employment contract and noncompetition disputes and sexual harassment, whistleblower, discrimination and retaliation claims, as well as actions arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act (wage and hour claims), the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and various other federal, state and local employment laws. Sarah also assists her clients with the handling of those day-to-day issues that arise in the employment and business contexts including: the development and drafting of employment policies and procedures; the drafting of employment agreements and restrictive covenant (noncompete, nonsolicit and nondisclosure) agreements; the investigation of employee complaints; the evaluation and management of complex employee relations, employee performance, and separation and severance issues; and DOL audits. Sarah’s employment practice also involves counseling employers on issues related to the impact of cannabis in the workplace, and the evolving cannabis industry.

Sarah is a long-time resident of the Orlando area who began her law practice in the areas of corporate and business law (and later, employment law) after graduating from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 2001. While in law school, Sarah participated in UF’s Gator TeamChild Clinic, representing children in dependency and delinquency cases, and following her return to Orlando, she served as a Guardian ad Litem. After years of continuing involvement in a local non-profit organization providing services to children and their families, Sarah recently obtained a Certificate in Special Education Advocacy from The William & Mary Law Institute. Sarah also now serves the children and families of the Central Florida community as a foster parent.

Areas of Practice
*Cannabis Industry
*Employment & Labor
*Litigation
*Trade Secret, Noncompete and Unfair Competition
*COVID-19 Task Force
*Special Needs Law & Advocacy

Chris McCannell brings over 20 years of Washington experience and insight to GrayRobinson. He focuses his efforts on financial services, early stage startups, tax and retirement security, judiciary, transportation and infrastructure. His clients include Angel Capital Association, Prudential Plc., Center for American Entrepreneurship, U.S. Travel, Asian American Hotel Owners Association, Etihad Airways, United Postmasters and Managers of America, Child Rescue Coalition and the Manufactured Housing Institute. Prior to joining the firm, Chris led the Washington, DC financial services practice for a worldwide public affairs firm. Prior to that, he was a director at a bi-partisan government relations firm in Washington, DC. For the past four years he has been a partner at Eris Group, a boutique government consulting firm acquired by GrayRobinson in 2019. Chris brings deep relationships to his clients from his involvement with the moderate House New Democrat Coalition. Prior to advocacy, he served as chief of staff to Rep. Michael E. McMahon, a member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Earlier in his career, he served as chief of staff and floor assistant to Rep. Joseph Crowley, who served in the House Democratic Leadership. As Congressman Crowley’s chief, Chris was part of a three-member team that re-organized the New Democrats into the powerful voting bloc they are today. Chris began his career as press secretary to Rep. Steny H. Hoyer and special assistant to United States Senators George J. Mitchell and Frank R. Lautenberg.

Areas of Practice
*Government Affairs & Lobbying
*Government

Join Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden today AND tomorrow at 2:30pm for local updates.

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 412-419-544
Password: 407462

Alternately, call in using 301-715-8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

 

 

Governor DeSantis Executive Order 20-91 FAQs

Download the PDF here

GENERAL QUESTIONS

When did the Governor’s Executive Order take effect? How long does it last?

  • The Governor’s Executive Order took effect Friday, April 3, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. It lasts until Thursday, April 30, 2020, unless extended.

Is the Governor’s Executive Order consistent with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on 30 Days to Slow the Spread?

May senior citizens and individuals with significant medical conditions leave their homes to go to the grocery store or pharmacy, or go for a walk, or go to work at an essential service?

  • Yes – they may leave their homes when necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.


ESSENTIAL SERVICES & ACTIVITIES; TELEWORKING

How do I know what qualifies as an essential service?

How do I know what qualifies as an essential activity?

  • The Governor’s Executive Order lists the following:
    • Attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship; and
    • Participating in recreational activities (consistent with social distancing guidelines) such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, or swimming; and
    • Taking care of pets; and

If my business is not an essential service, must I close the physical location to customers?

  • Yes.

Am I allowed to continue my business from home or remotely?

  • Yes – the Governor’s Executive Order encourages individuals to work from home.

May my business and its employees operate remotely and provide delivery of our product?

  • Yes – all businesses are encouraged to provide delivery or pickup and to take orders online or by telephone.

Does my business need a permit or other documentation to remain open?

  • No.

Are restaurants, or other sellers of food and beverage, permitted to continue takeout and delivery services?

May churches, synagogues, or other houses of worship hold services?

May childcare centers remain open?

  • Yes – for employees working at businesses or operations that are essential services, to the extent those childcare centers adhere to social distancing.

May gun stores remain open?

  • Yes.


ACTIVITIES & TRAVEL

May I exercise outside or participate in recreational activities?

  • Yes – if consistent with social distancing guidelines as published by the CDC.

Can I visit or travel to a family member?

  • Yes – if caring for or otherwise assisting a loved one or friend.


LOCAL GOVERNANCE & ENFORCEMENT

Are local authorities allowed to adopt requirements directly on businesses, operations or venues, including buildings, beaches and parks, that may be stricter than the Governor’s Executive Order?

  • Yes.

How is the Governor’s Executive Order enforced?

  • By law enforcement. Violation of the Governor’s Executive Order is a second-degree misdemeanor.

Where can I report a business that violates the Governor’s Executive Order?

  • Local law enforcement.

Do I need a special permit to leave my house if I am going to an essential service or essential activity? 

  • No.  Some businesses may wish to provide a letter to employees to clarify that their business is indeed an essential service.


RESOURCES

If I need counseling, can I receive it?

  • Yes. For specific information on COVID-19 counseling, contact the Florida Department of Health at 1-866-779-6121 or email COVID-19@flhealth.gov

4/03/2020

Virtual Town Hall #9 – RECAP

Thanks to everyone who joined in today for our Virtual Town Hall Meeting with Dr. Gary Visser – we had a record 50 people! Listen to the recording here. Here’s a recap:

There are currently 9,585 cases of COVID-19 (increase of approximately 1,300 from yesterday). In Orange County, there are 589 cases, 81 hospitalizations, and 6 deaths. Numbers continue to rise, but this can be attributed to the increased amount of testing and relaxed testing requirements. For information regarding testing requirements, please visit the Orange County website.

Mayor O’Brien reminded everyone to do their best to stay home and only go out when necessary. Orange County is experiencing a higher hospitalization rate than other areas of Florida, so it’s important to slow the spread of the virus to prevent hospitals from running out of beds and ventilators.

Governor DeSantis issued an updated executive order (Executive Order 20-92) amending and clarifying the previous Safer At Home Order (20-91). The biggest clarification is regarding religious services. Per EO 20-92, religious gatherings are permitted.

Town Manager Smith reported that Town government is still functioning. Smaller projects are moving forward while traffic is low, such as trimming the tree canopy ahead of hurricane season. Projects that will require public comment will wait until we can begin holding physical meetings again.

The Federal Government is working on a second stimulus package to help shore up issues with the CARES Act and also provide money for infrastructure projects to help get people back to work. Monday, we will be joined by two members of legal firm, Gray-Robinson, who will discuss the CARES Act and answer any questions you may have.

The Town is in daily contact with County, State, and Federal officials. One of the main questions the Town has been asking is how many supplies the state is receiving. Due to shortages everywhere and high demand for materials worldwide, most states are only receiving 10% or less of the original amount of supplies they requested. We are also trying to see what, if any, vendors are available to local municipalities so we can ensure our citizens are taken care of. The Town is currently stocked and prepared with PPEs, and Mayor O’Brien has been working with Apopka to try and get some testing kits.

Orange County is still working on a solution for the homeless population who test positive, as it is too hot for tents. The county is also working on the logistics of feeding the homeless, not just those who have tested positive, as well as enhancing the Meals on Wheels program.

Orange County is also working to providing daycare services for first responders at the YMCA. Once the logistics are hammered out, we can provide the details.

Manager Smith reminded residents that the boat ramps at Lake Bessie, Fernwood Park, and on 6th Avenue/Conroy-Windermere are closed, however the majority of parks in Town remain open, including the tennis courts at the Windermere Rec Center and Main Street. Manager Smith also reminded residents to keep gatherings at the parks to less than 10 people and maintain at least 6′ of distance. The Windermere Police Department is not looking to arrest anyone, but they will advise people who are not following social distancing guidelines.

The Town will be participating in the Get the Word Out program – encouraging residents to stay home via banners and message boards. Expect to see banners up in Town next week. Town Staff will be meeting to work out the logistics for Easter; we will announce details soon.

Lastly, Manager Smith encouraged residents to stay vigilant regarding scams. Please report any scams related to COVID-19 (regarding PPE, tests, the CARES Act, etc.) to the office of the Attorney General.

Chief Ogden reminded residents that the curfew enacted by Mayor Demings is still in effect. Those who are not working, should be home between 11pm – 5am.

Orlando International Airport has seen a reduction of 90% in travel.

The Orange County Clerk of Court is now utilizing an online payment system. If you need to pay a ticket, fine, etc. please visit their website.

While the majority of Town parks remain open, the Lake Street Park at the end of E 5th Avenue is closed to foot traffic and kayak launching. If you wish to use your kayak or paddle boat, you can still launch at Fernwood Park, Lake Bessie, and the Windermere Rec Center.

The Windermere Police Department is still taking care of their CARE residents and is fully stocked on supplies. Thank you to everyone who has checked in to make sure!

We were joined today by fellow Windermere resident, Dr. Gary Visser. Please be sure to take a listen to the recording – Dr. Visser had a lot of really great, detailed information regarding the virus, symptoms, and projections for the future. Here are some highlights:

*Self isolation and staying inside is very important to limiting the spread of COVID-19. Up to 80% of those who contract COVID-19, including children, will be either asymptomatic or will have very mild symptoms. Just because you feel fine doesn’t mean you’re not a carrier! Even asymptomatic carriers are contagious for 5-10 (up to 14) days.

*While anyone can contract COVID-19, people over 60, those with diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or other organ diseases are especially vulnerable.

*When going places like the grocery store, it’s a good idea to wear a mask. Masks other than N95 masks won’t necessarily protect you from contracting COVID-19, but they will help you from spreading it if you are a carrier. Masks prevent you from touching your face and unknowingly spreading the virus. Cloth and surgical masks work fine in this capacity.

*Drugs such as Hydroxychloroquine and Zithromax are currently being tested for effectiveness treating patients with COVID-19. Additionally, antibodies in blood plasma are being used to help develop a vaccine and antivirals.

*The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Elderly patients may experience confusion. If the virus migrates into the GI tract, some people may experience abdominal pain and diarrhea. 30-60% of individuals also reported a loss of smell.

*If your symptoms are mild, stay home and treat the symptoms. Dr. Visser noted that a low grade fever (101) can actually help fight the virus. Be cautious with ibuprofen and NSAIDs, as they may worsen the virus. Stick to Tylenol for fevers and stay hydrated. Contact your primary care physician if your fever is above 103, or if your symptoms worsen and do not go away after 3-5 days.

*Dr. Visser noted that Vitamin C (up to 2,000mg) and Zinc may will boost your body’s immune system. This will not prevent you from contracting COVID-19, but may enhance  your body’s ability to fight the virus.

*The World Health Organization categorizes the contagiousness of a disease using the R-Naught scale; the higher the number, the more contagious. COVID-19 is currently a 2.5 on the scale. For reference, the common flu is 1.5 and chicken pox is 10.

We had some questions for Dr. Visser as well:

Q. If my doctor orders a test, where should I go?
A. Most doctors are referring testing to Advent Health. They will contact you with instructions and testing locations. Usually, they contact the patient within an hour of the doctor requesting a test. Test results take 5-6 days to come back.

Q. Will the virus be cyclical?
A. Most likely. We will probably see COVID-19 again next year, but there will most likely be a vaccine by then. The virus may continue to mutate, so we may not e able to eradicate it, but we can manage it similar to how we manage the flu.

Q. Is self isolation and staying home really the best way to slow the virus’s spread?
A. Yes. The virus spreads fastest in densely populated areas. The biggest threat are hospitals running out of ICU beds and supplies such as ventilators. Right now, 5% of patients are being sent to the ICU. Short, high spikes in cases result in resource shortages. Longer, flatter curves help medical professionals preserve and replenish resources.

 

Join us tomorrow at 2:30pm for our next meeting. Meetings are held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Thursday, April 30. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!

Have questions, but can’t make it to a meeting? Send your question in ahead of time. Please email Diane Edwards by 1:30pm to have your questions answered in the meeting. Check the daily recaps and recordings for the answer.

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 412-419-544
Password: 407462

Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

4/02/2020

 

 Friday, 4/3/2020 Virtual Town Hall Special Guest

As promised, we are super excited to announce our special guest, fellow Winderemere resident, Dr. Gary Visser!

Dr. Visser will join Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden on tomorrow’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting to discuss the medical aspect of COVID-19 and how to stay healthy.

Gary Visser, MD, FAAFP

Board Certified Family Physician; American Board of Family Medicine
Fellowship trained in Sports Medicine; USF-Morton Plant Mease Family Medicine Residency

Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe
Education: Bachelors in Exercise Physiology; Doctor of Medicine, Florida State University College of Medicine.

After growing up in the Dr. Phillips area, Gary received his undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology at Florida State University, where he also competed on the track and field team in the decathlon. He graduated from FSU’s College of Medicine’s third class, and completed his residency training in Family Medicine at the USF-Morton Plant Mease program. Dr. Visser’s passion for athletics inspired him to pursue a fellowship in Sports Medicine. There, he worked closely with the Philadelphia Phillies MLB team, USF athletics, and the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships. Dr. Visser believes in hearing your personal story to customize recommendations for your unique situation, helping you discover and reach your goals. His professional philosophies integrate nutrition and fitness, preventative medicine with proactive education, and encouraging a balanced life. Gary cherishes time with his family and friends, as well as training for triathlons.

Join us tomorrow at 2:30pm. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Thursday, April 30. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 412-419-544
Password: 407462

Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

 

 

Virtual Town Hall #8 – RECAP

Thank you to everyone who joined Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, Chief Ogden, and our special guest, David Brinckerhoff, Senior Vice President of The Brinckerhoff Financial Group of Raymond James, for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. We had a great turnout – please continue to spread the word about these meetings with your friends and neighbors. Please listen to the recording here for full details.

Statewide, there are 8,010 cases of COVID-19. There have been 1,058 hospitalizations and 128 deaths. In Orange County the number of cases rose to 502, including 3 cases within Town limits. This is likely due, in part, to the relaxed testing requirements announced earlier this week. Read more about the testing requirement changes here. There have been 72 hospitalizations and 5 deaths.

As announced yesterday, Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order_20-91 “Safer at Home” order will go into effect overnight. Specifics regarding this order, please visit this website. Mayor O’Brien encouraged all residents to continue checking in on their neighbors and looking out for each other. Make sure you’re making the most of your errands, and wash your hands! Most people who are becoming infected are picking up COVID-19 in their communities; not from travel. Please keep that in mind when you do go out for essential errands or to work. Assume everyone you come into contact with is asymptomatic and take all reasonable precautions to stay safe. For COVID-19 related FAQs, or more information regarding what is an essential job, what you can do during isolation, symptoms, etc. please visit this site and this site.

While Windermere PD and other municipalities are not using the Safer at Home Order to penalize or stop citizens, it is a good idea for those with essential jobs to carry their work ID and/or business cards with them while commuting

Town Manager Smith reported that Town government is still running. Windermere Police are working full time (closed lobby), Public Works is working reduced hours focusing on streets, stormwater, and keeping parks/public areas free of trash and debris, and Admin staff are working from home/staggering office visits. Both tennis courts in Town remain open, as well as most parks. All three boat ramps (Town ramps at Lake Bessie and Fernwood Park as well as the Orange County ramp on 6th/Conroy Windermere) will remain closed.

May 3rd is still the projected peak for COVID-19 deaths in Florida. Manager Smith reminded residents that it is up to us to make sure we keep the peak low.

As always, the Town is in daily contact with County, State, and Federal officials to ensure we have the most accurate information to pass on to you. Florida is requesting millions of supplies (PPE, respirators, masks, booties, etc.). Each state has been receiving approximately 10% of their total requested amounts. This is because the 49 other states and the rest of the world are all vying for the same resources. The best way to ensure we don’t run out of resources and supplies is to stay home to avoid becoming infected or infecting others, wash hands, avoid touching the face, and maintaining at least 6′ of distance between other people.

Chief Ogden noted that Orange County Public Schools will be providing food for the weekend. While pickup sites will be closed Saturday and Sunday, Friday they will provide extra meals to take home for the weekend. For pickup locations, times, and more information, please visit the OCPS website.

David Brinckerhoff, Senior Vice President of The Brinckerhoff Financial Group of Raymond James, joined us today to give some insight into the markets, the economy, and retirement planning in the time of Corona. Be sure to listen to the recording, David gave a lot of really great information. Some highlights:

*Congress passed the CARE act last week, a $2 trillion stimulus package. Singles earning less than $75,000 and couples earning less than $150,000 based on their 2019 tax information, can expect a check for $1,200 in the next few weeks. This is intended to help individuals and small businesses. The CARES Act also changes how employees can take withdrawals or distributions from their retirement plans (401K/IRA). For more information, please click here.

*It is likely that the economy will go into a recession (two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth). Recovery is dependent upon when the COVID-19 virus peaks, but may be as early as the 3rd or 4th quarter this year. David is predicting a strong recovery, as we have all been cooped up for a very long time!

*Last week, a record number of Americans filed for unemployment (3.3 million). We may see above 10% unemployment before this is over. After the virus peaks, that number should drop quickly as businesses open back up and need employees.

*The stock market is down, and has been falling since February 19th. Anytime there is uncertainty, the markets become volatile, and there is certainly a lot of uncertainty related to COVID-19. Expect a lot of volatility for the near future.

*Talk to your financial advisor. Everyone’s situation is unique. Your advisor can help you find the best options for your particular needs, and their advice may differ from David’s below. If you’ve ridden the market down this far, David recommends to stay invested; recovery can begin at any time. Go through your portfolio; consider rebalancing stocks vs bonds. If you have cash to invest, now is a great time; stocks are up to 30% cheaper than this time last month! Also consider temporarily increasing your 401K/IRA retirement contributions to buy more shares while the market is low.

Join us tomorrow at 2:30pm for our next meeting. We’ll be featuring special guest and Windermere resident, Dr. Gary Visser, who will talk about the medical aspect of COVID-19 and how to stay healthy. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Thursday, April 30. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 412-419-544
Password: 407462

Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

4/01/2020

Governor DeSantis Issues Executive Order 20-91; State-wide Safer at Home Order
Read the order here

Governor DeSantis has issued Executive Order 20-91; a state-wide Safer at Home Order. The order will be in effect from Friday, April 3, 2020 at 12:01am until Thursday, April 30, 2020.

Here’s an informative news article about the order.

 

 

Virtual Town Hall #7 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall meeting! Read the recap below, and listen to the recording here.

Statewide, there are 6,954 cases of COVID-19, 890 hospitalizations, and 87 deaths. There are 938 new cases since yesterday. In Orange County, there are 392 positive cases, with those affected ranging in age from 0(infant) to 91. There have been 64 hospitalization, and 4 deaths. There are now 3 positive cases within Town limits. State-wide, testing is at 12%. The Orange County Convention Center has updated their testing requirements. Read more about those updates here.

Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-91, a statewide stay at home order. The executive order will begin tomorrow at midnight. Expect to see messages statewide, throughout the county, and even within the Town encouraging people to stay home and stay safe. We will update everyone tomorrow regarding what this executive order means for the planned Easter event.

Here is a great data model for tracking COVID-19; with moderate resource usage, the projected peak in Florida is anticipated to be the beginning of May. How high the peak reaches, and as a result, how long it takes to get back to normal, depends on people staying home, keeping minimal contact with others, and following CDC and government recommended guidelines.

Manger Smith stated that due to all other states vying for equipment and supplies from vendors, the State is looking to receive less than 10% of what has been requested; 5,000,000 masks were requested, and about 500,000 were received. This makes it imperative for people to stay home and self-isolate in order to not burn through resources.

Manager Smith reiterated that local government is still up and running, despite staff working from home/split schedules on-site. Staying healthy is the only way for staff to continue to keep government functioning. Please use email to contact staff. The staff directory can be found here.

Lastly, we are excited to begin having special guest speakers beginning tomorrow! So far we have speakers lined up from Orange County Public Schools, financial planning, and our legal team, GrayRobinson. Tomorrow, we’re pleased to welcome David Brinckerhoff, CFP, who will bring his expertise to help educate residents about personal finances, the market, and retirement planning in the time of Corona. David is the Senior Vice President of The Brinckerhoff Financial Group of Raymond James. Read more about tomorrow’s guest here.

Can’t join us for the meeting? In addition to posting a recap, we will begin posting recordings of the meetings so more residents who may still be working can stay abreast of the latest updates. Have questions and can’t make it to the meetings? Email them to Diane Edwards by 2:00pm and she will  include them in the meetings. Check the recap and recordings for your answers.

Join us tomorrow at 2:30pm for our next meeting. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Thursday, April 30. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 330 790 277
Password: 303857

Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

 

Special Guest on Tomorrow’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting!

Beginning tomorrow, April 2, 2020, the Town will be incorporating special guest speakers during our daily Virtual Town Hall meetings. Tomorrow, we’re pleased to welcome David Brinckerhoff, CFP, who will bring his expertise to help educate residents about personal finances, the market, and retirement planning in the time of Corona.
David is the Senior Vice President of The Brinckerhoff Financial Group of Raymond James.

David learned early in his career that having a long-term financial plan and a highly diversified portfolio was the best path to success for his clients.   He has always operated under the philosophy that honesty, trust, and proactive communication are the cornerstones to building a successful long-term relationship with his clients, and their families. Although highly proficient in many areas, David’s focus within the team is centered on financial planning to help his clients achieve a work optional or retirement lifestyle, and the often more difficult task of planning to transition into retirement by creating tax-efficient and sustainable retirement income plans.   Within the team and behind the scenes, David is also responsible for mutual fund research and managed accounts research.

In 2000, he began his career in the financial services industry as an advisor with A.G. Edwards, and in 2008, earned the professional certification of Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In becoming certified by the CFP Board, David has taken the extra step to demonstrate his professionalism by voluntarily submitting to the rigorous CFP® certification process that includes highly demanding education, examination, experience and ethical requirements. 

Prior to his financial services career, David served as a sales representative for Miami Elevator Co., and graduated cum laude from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He has been an active member of his community, volunteering and serving in various board positions with the Rotary Club of Lake Buena Vista and the American Lung Association.  David also spent many years coaching his son’s baseball teams at Windermere Little League.

David was born in Dallas, where he lived until age 12, when the family relocated to Orlando. He remains a loyal fan of the Dallas Cowboys, as well as all Florida State Seminoles sports.  Today, David resides in Windermere with his wife, Cari, and children, Ella and Austin.  Outside of the office David enjoys exercising, softball, and golf. 

Can’t join us for the meeting? In addition to posting a recap, we will begin posting recordings of the meetings so more residents who may still be working can stay abreast of the latest updates. Have questions and can’t make it to the meetings? Email them to Diane Edwards by 2:00pm and she will  include them in the meetings. Check the recap and recordings for your answers.

Join us tomorrow at 2:30pm for our next meeting. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Thursday, April 30. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 330 790 277
Password: 303857

Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

3/31/2020

Updates to Orange County Convention Center Testing Criteria for COVID-19

The Orange County Convention Center Regional Temporary Drive-Through Testing Site will change its criteria effective tomorrow – no longer having an age requirement. However, there is a requirement for: Fever 99.6 or higher AND respiratory symptoms OR pre-existing conditions.* In addition, healthcare workers and first responders can get tested, regardless of symptoms. Please note that the testing site is for residents throughout the region – not just Orange County.

 

Pre-existing conditions are:

–          Cardiovascular disease

–          Diabetes

–          Hypertension

–          Chronic lung disease

–          Cancer

–          Chronic kidney disease

 

Virtual Town Hall #6 – RECAP

Thank you once again for joining Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Here’s a recap:

Statewide, there are 6,338 positive cases of COVID-19. There have been 77 deaths, and 772 hospitalizations (hospitalization rate of 12%). Per reliable data models, the projected “peak” for Florida cases is April 30. This is in flux, and is dependent on individuals continuing to self-isolate and follow CDC guidelines.

In Orange County, there are 363 positive cases of COVID-19, which is expected to rise to 375 by the end of the day. There have been 4 confirmed deaths, and 56 hospitalizations (hospitalization rate of 15%). There are now 15 cases in the 34786 zip code.

Per the National Guard, Orange County will be extending testing indefinitely as supplies allow. We will provide information regarding testing requirements as soon as it becomes available. In the mean time, please refer to the Orange County website for testing locations and information.

Mayor O’Brien encouraged neighbors to check in with each other via phone, text, social media, etc., and emphasized the importance of staying active.

If you are looking for COVID-19 information, symptoms, management, or are in need of supplies/food, please utilize the Orange County 311 hotline.

Additionally, if you are experiencing stress related to self-isolation, employment, health concerns, finances, or just need someone to talk to, please utilize the Orange County Crisis Hotline at 311. Additionally, you can use their website to chat if you are more comfortable doing so.

Mayor O’Brien also indicated we would look into including medical professionals on future Virtual Town Hall Meetings if there were resident support, and that we will be extending these Virtual Town Hall Meetings through the end of April.

Town Manager Smith reported that Town Staff, while working reduced, remote, or split schedules are still keeping the Town and local government running. The Town’s staff is very small; in order to keep everything running, everyone needs to stay healthy. If you need to contact Administrative Staff, please email. Internal virtual meetings are ongoing, and Town Leadership continue to attend daily calls from 8am – 8pm with County, State, and Federal officials.

Manager Smith advised residents to be wary of email and phone scams going around regarding overnighting PPE (personal protective equipment). Do not give out your Social Security or Bank Information over the phone, or over email. Make sure all websites are verified. Chief Ogden encouraged residents to reach out to the Windermere Police Department if they need anything, in order to avoid falling victim to scammers. The WPD Office number is 407-876-3757 and the number for the on-duty officer is 321-299-2414.

Lastly, Manager Smith advised that there have been reports of tennis coaching taking place on Windermere courts. While the courts are open for residents to use responsibly, coaching is not an essential job per the Orange County Stay At Home Order. The WPD will be monitoring the courts to ensure there are no issues. As of now, the OC Stay At Home Order expires on 4/9/2020, however that is likely to be extended.

Chief Ogden thanked residents for their assistance dropping off packages, groceries, and supplies to residents on the CARE list. In addition to Lynx and SunRail, the Orlando International Airport has also limited their service. The Town has cancelled all events through the end of April, including the annual Easter Egg-Stravaganza. However, we are planning a very special Easter Saturday for Town residents. Details will be announced tomorrow, so please tune in.

Some questions from today:

Q. Does the Town have proper PPE?
A. Yes. Please contact the WPD if you are in need. The WPD Office number is 407-876-3757 and the number for the on-duty officer is 321-299-2414.

Q. Are there any groups in Town sewing masks for seniors?
A. We believe so. If you’d like to get the information out that you are sewing masks for seniors, medical professionals, etc., please email Diane Edwards and she will forward the information.

Q. Of the 15 positive COVID-19 cases in the 34786 zip code, how many are in Town?
A. 2. We cannot release specific information, however we will update residents if that number increases.

Q. How is Orange County handling the homeless situation?
A. Orange County is working on locating appropriate areas for the homeless. Right now, the biggest challenge is the heat.

Join us tomorrow at 2:30pm for our next meeting. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Thursday, April 30. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 330 790 277
Password: 303857

Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

3/30/2020

Virtual Town Hall #5 – RECAP

 

We had a great turn out today! Thank you joining Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Here’s a recap:

There are currently 293 positive COVID-19 cases in Orange County. This includes 13 in the 34786 zip code (2 within Town limits, the rest in un-incorporated Orange County). There have been 4 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 51 hospitalizations. Those who tested positive range in age from infant to 90+, with a median age of 45 (down from 47 a few days ago). Statewide, there are 5,276 positive cases of COVID-19.

We are hoping to be able to begin getting back to normal by the end of April; this is a projected goal, and is in constant flux. As always, we will be keeping everyone up-to-date with the latest news and information. Town officials have a Florida Department of Emergency Management conference call tomorrow evening, and will provide all pertinent updates. The best way to help is to stay home! Use delivery apps, combine shopping trips, shop alone where possible, and only leave the house when necessary. Assume anyone you come into contact with is contagious and asymptomatic, and use all applicable precautions. As a reminder, we also want to keep the roads as clear as possible so stores and vendors can continue to receive timely shipments of goods, medical supplies, groceries, and household necessities.

Solid Waste pickup has not been interrupted. Town Admin Staff are working from home. If you require assistance, please email. A staff directory can be found on the Town website. Public Works are working a split/reduced schedule in Town; focusing on roads, storm water, and keeping trash/debris from public parks and other areas. Windermere Police Officers are still patrolling. Officers contacted those on the CARE list to ensure they knew about and were able to access the daily Virtual Town Hall meetings.

Permitting services can be accessed online, here. Town projects are on-going as our engineers are working from home.

An additional note regarding the Windermere Police Department, please make sure any calls put in are appropriate. The WPD cannot assist with evictions (Orange County has stayed evictions), nor are they screening those driving through Town. Florida Highway Patrol and the National Guard are screening at the northern OC border and at Orlando International Airport.

To clarify, both boat ramps in Town (Lake Bessie and Fernwood Park) as well as the Orange County ramp on 6th Avenue are CLOSED to both residents and visitors. As was the case in Lake County, crowds will descend upon any boat ramp that is open during this time. This not only puts residents at risk, but also our first responders. As we have an active PD of 14, we can’t afford any of our officers to get sick.

Lynx and SunRail have limited their service for Orange County.

3/29/2020

Virtual Town Hall #4 – RECAP

We had a great turn out today! Thank you for inviting your neighbors to join Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Here’s a recap:

There are currently 229 positive COVID-19 cases in Orange County. This includes 11 in the 34786 zip code. There are also cases in Ocoee, Winter Garden, and Oakland. Please keep this in mind when leaving home: every potential trip outside is an opportunity for exposure. Statewide, there are 4,077 positive cases of COVID-19. Orange County has had 5 hospitalizations. Town leadership is in communication with County, State, and Federal officials to get the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding resources. No shortages have been reported yet, and the best way to ensure that remains the case is to continue to self-isolate. Town leadership has also been in contact with federal officials regarding the stimulus package that was signed. We are working on getting more information to pass along regarding how to access funds.

Orange County has enough tests left for 5 days. We are awaiting clarification on if/when more tests will arrive. Testing is limited to 250 a day with priority given to first responders and those 65+. While the virus is having a large impact on the 65+ population, no one is immune, and young adults/children can also become infected.

Solid Waste pickup has not been interrupted. Town Admin Staff are working from home. If you require assistance, please email. A staff directory can be found on the Town website. Public Works are working a split/reduced schedule in Town; focusing on roads, storm water, and keeping trash/debris from public parks and other areas. Windermere Police Officers are still patrolling. Chief Ogden noted there was a complaint about boats on Lake Butler; this was forwarded to Orange County. Officers contacted those on the CARE list to ensure they knew about and were able to access the daily Virtual Town Hall meetings.

Town Manager Smith stated Orange County Public Schools would be starting remote learning Monday (3/30/2020). Please check out the OCPS website and/or the school’s site for all pertinent details. Individual schools may have technology accommodations for students in need. Manager Smith also reiterated the importance of making sure you are getting accurate information. Please encourage your friends, family, and neighbors in Town to listen to Town leadership and official Town accounts on social media. There is a lot of misinformation floating around. We invite anyone with questions to please reach out to Town leadership directly either via email or during a Virtual Town Hall Meeting.

Lastly, Mayor O’Brien mentioned that during times of crisis, stress levels increase. If you are struggling with stress from isolation, finances, employment, etc. and need someone to talk to, please call the Crisis hotline at 211 or visit their website for help.

Some of the questions from today:
Q. Can I still launch my paddle boat at Fernwood Park.
A. Yes. The ramps are closed for any vessels that would require the gates opened. Keep in mind, Governor DeSantis’ executive order regarding boating still applies to paddle boats, kayaks, etc. (maintain 50′ between boats, no more than 10 per boat).

Q. Do the positive cases from Windermere include the entire 34786 zip code?
A. Yes. There are 11 cases in the 34786 zip code, 2 of which are within the 2-square miles of the incorporated Town limits.

Join us tomorrow at 2:30pm for our next meeting. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Wednesday, April 1. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 330 790 277
Password: 303857

Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

3/28/2020

Virtual Town Hall #3 – RECAP

Thank you to everyone who joined Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s virtual Town Hall meeting. Here’s a recap:

There are now 206 positive cases of COVID-19 in Orange County, 11 of which are in the 34786 zip code. 4 people in Orange County have passed away, and there is a 20% hospitalization rate. There are 3,763 total cases in the entire state, with 54 deaths, and a 14% hospitalization rate. Orange County is testing at a rate of 250 per day, with priority given to first responders and seniors 65+. We expect the positive cases to increase as more people are tested. More than ever, it’s important to continue to self-isolate as much as possible; assume whenever you leave the house that you’re risking exposure.

Mayor O’Brien reminded residents to do their best to be responsible, supportive, and mindful of others during this time; not just those who have gotten sick, but those who may have lost jobs or are experiencing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19. We all know someone who has been affected one way or another!

Here are two great resources for tracking and understanding COVID-19:

Florida Department of Health

Worldometer

Town Manager Smith spoke about the latest executive order from Governor Ron DeSantis regarding recreational boating. Boats are now required to stay a minimum of 50′ apart, and passengers should be limited to no more than 10 individuals. Violation of the order may result in a 2nd degree misdemeanor charge. Read more about executive order 20-09 on the Florida Wildlife Commission website. As a reminder, the Butler Chain is under the jurisdiction of Orange County and the FWC. If you wish to report inappropriate behavior, please contact either one of those authorities.

OCSO – 407) 836-4357
FWC – (850) 488-4676

Town Manager Smith also announced a very special Easter plan is in the works for residents involving the Windermere Police Department, the Windermere Police Department Foundation, Inc., and the Windermere Safety Watch, which will give the children in our community something fun to look forward to while still complying with social distancing and other CDC-recommended practices. More details to come, be on the look out!

Chief Ogden reminded residents that first responders, including our own Windermere Police Department are at higher risk due to the nature of their job. WPD officers are having internal, virtual meetings to ensure they’ve got the most up-to-date information and are best able to continue serving the community. Chief Ogden reiterated that while there has been an increase in positive cases, expected, there is no need to panic. We all need to remain diligent in self-isolating, social distancing, washing our hands, etc.

Some of the questions from today’s meeting:

Q. Are the tennis courts still open?
A. Yes. Please be responsible and limit the number of congregants per court and remember to stay at least 6′ apart.

Q. Is the Town planning on closing Central Park?
A. No. We want to keep Central Park open as a place for both children and adults to recreate responsibly. The new exercise equipment at Central Park is still available for use, please just thoroughly wipe down before and after each use.

Join us tomorrow at 2:30pm for our next meeting. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Wednesday, April 1. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!

Join meetings here. Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 330 790 277
Password: 303857
Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

Read recaps of the meetings by visiting our COVID-19 Updates & Resources page

**UPDATE** If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

3/27/2020

Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order: Recreational Boating
 
Because COVID-19 continues to impact Florida, a new Executive Order has been enacted to reflect direction from Governor DeSantis, the DOH and the CDC.
 
Effective immediately, all recreational boats must be at least 50 feet apart. Each recreational vessel must not have more than 10 people on board.
 
 



Virtual Town Hall #2 – RECAP

Once again, thank you to everyone who joined Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall meeting. Here’s a recap:

Orange County’s amended Executive Order regarding Mayor Demings’ “Stay at Home” order was enacted last night. The amended order clarified some questions regarding what is an essential business. Both executive orders as well as an FAQ can be found on the county website, here.

There are now 156 total cases in Orange County. This number will likely increase as more individuals are tested. There have been 35 hospitalizations in Orange County, and 3* people have passed away. Those affected in Orange County range in age from 9 – 90, with an average age of 47. It’s important to realize that COVID-19 is not just affecting the elderly. Staying home and practicing social distancing while out are critical to stemming the spread of COVID-19 and preserving resources in our community.

Today was Orange County’s first full day of the official two-week quarantine. There have been no major issues in Town. Mayor O’Brien noted it was wonderful to see people spending time with their families and enjoying our parks while maintaining appropriate social distancing measures.

Windermere PD is staying visible, but trying to limit any unnecessary contact. Chief Ogden reiterated that WPD are ambassadors of the “Stay at Home” order, and are not using the order as a reason to pull people over or make arrests. WPD officers are still involved with the CARE program; elderly, immobile, or other at-risk residents are being visited once a week, and officers are calling to check in 2-3 times per week. If you’re interested in the CARE program or know of a resident who should be included, please reach out to the Windermere Police Department by calling 407-876-3757.

Per resident request, the Town has included information on and the link to these virtual meetings on the front page of the website.

Join us tomorrow at 2:30pm for our next Virtual Town Hall meeting. Meetings are held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Wednesday, April 1. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!

Join meetings here. Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 330 790 277
Password: 303857
Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

**UPDATE** If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

*Mayor Demings noted 4 people had passed away in his latest press conference.

3/26/2020: 

Orange County Amended Stay at Home Order

To further combat the spread of COVID-19 in our community, the Town of Windermere has joined Orange County Mayor, Jerry L. Demings, in supporting a “Stay at Home” order for all residents, and closing all non-essential businesses starting Thursday, March 26, at 11:00pm through April 9, 2020.
 
Mayor Demings issued Executive Order 2020-05 this evening which amends and clarifies the previous Executive Order, 2020-04. Additionally, updated FAQs have been provided to ensure clarity and an informed community.
 
You can view both Executive Orders and the FAQs here:
Emergency Executive Order No. 2020-04
Emergency Executive Order No. 2020-05
 
And on the county site here


Virtual Town Hall #1 – RECAP

Thank you to everyone who joined Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s virtual town hall meeting regarding COVID-19 updates and Q&As.
 
Here’s a recap:
 
There are currently 110 cases in Orange County. We expect that number to increase as more tests become available. After consulting with medical professionals and the State, Orange County leadership initiated the “Stay at Home”/shelter in place order issued by Orange County Mayor, Jerry Demings. The order can be read here.
 
In order to remain consistent with the rest of Orange County, Windermere is following suit. While the Town offices are closed to foot traffic, Town Staff are still working to keep our government running. Admin Staff are working from home, so email is the best way to contact them until we can forward calls. Here’s a staff directory. If you don’t know who you should contact, email Diane Edwards and she’ll get you where you need to be.
 
Public Works are focused on roads, storm water, and keeping the streets clear of trash/debris.
 
The Police Department lobby is closed to visitors, but officers are still patrolling. If you have an emergency, please dial 911. For non-emergencies, please dial 407-905-6333. For the Police Administration Office, please dial 407-876-3757. And for the on-duty patrol officer, please dial 321-299-2414.
 
Per Chief Ogden, the Windermere Police Department will not be using the Stay at Home order as a mechanism to make arrests or stop individuals. The goal of the WPD is to be ambassadors of this order. As a small agency, even one officer getting sick can greatly affect our ability to do our jobs.
 
WPD will continue its CARE program for at-risk residents (elderly, immobile, etc.) with a goal of house checks once a weeks and phone calls 1-2 times a week. If you know of a resident who should be placed on the WPD CARE list, please contact the office at 407-876-3757.
 
Due to the drastically reduced traffic through Town, our tree trimming contractor, Enviro, will be working on canopy improvements though Town.
 
All events, food trucks, farmers markets, and meetings have been cancelled for March and April. The April 14th Town Council Meeting will be a virtual meeting in order to allow essential Town Business to proceed and to allow public comment from residents. Town staff are working with the Florida League of Cities and Tallahassee to ensure we’re in compliance with Sunshine Laws. Details will be posted as soon as they become available.
 
As of now, garbage, recycling, and yard waste will proceed as normal. If you have any questions regarding waste removal, please contact Waste Pro directly at 407-774-0800.
 
Mayor Demings’ “Stay At Home” order will go into effect tonight at 11:00pm; this coincides with the curfew put in place by Orange County. The Stay at Home order is the best way to help “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 and not overwhelm medical providers or exhaust limited resources. The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner we can get back to normal.
 
Some of the questions that were asked:
 
Q. What type of identifiers do we need to have in our cars so offices know we work at essential job?
A. A work badge is sufficient. We will be relying on the honor-system and trusting that people out-and-about are traveling due to necessity and taking all reasonable precautions. This is not an avenue for officers to pull people over.
 
Q. Are lakes closed to lakefront residents?
A. No. Recreational activities are still permitted, including boating. Please use common sense and safe operational practices whilst on the lakes, including boating during daylight hours. Every time a first responder has to report to an emergency that could have been avoided puts them at risk.
 
Our two boat ramps, along with the Orange County ramp on 6th/Conroy-Windermere are closed to due to large gatherings and spring breakers. Our parks are still open, however please limit gatherings and maintain safe distances from others. Our WPD officers will advise if there is an issue.
 
Please keep in mind that the lakes are under the jurisdiction of Orange County and Florida Fish & Wildlife. If you are aware of inappropriate activity on the Butler Chain or Bird Island, please reach out to those agencies.
 
OCSO: 407-836-4357
FWC: 850-488-4676
 
We will not be opening our ramps unless there is a safety concern. If we were to open, we’d be the only ones in Orange County; the large gatherings this would draw would put the entire community at risk.
 
Q. Are preschools considered essential?
A. Yes Please reach out to your preschool to ensure they’re open and not restricting access.
 
Q. Can restaurants have dining rooms open if they operate at reduced capacity?
A. No. Restaurants are curbside only.
 
Q. When will you post the Orange County order?

A. We will post tonight at 5:00pm, after Mayor Demings’ press conference.

The next meeting will take place tomorrow, 3/27/2020 at 2:30pm.
Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Wednesday, April 1. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!Join meetings here. Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 330 790 277
Password: 303857
Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

**UPDATE** If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

3/25/2020:

Virtual Town Hall Meeting for COVID-19 Updates & Q&A

Part of staying safe is being informed. Please join us for a “Virtual Town Hall” meeting regarding COVID-19, Town updates related to Corona Virus, and Q&As.

Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm beginning Thursday, March 26 and concluding on Wednesday, April 1. Yes, Saturday and Sunday, too!

Join meetings here. Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 330 790 277
Password: 303857
Alternately, call in using 301 715 8592. The meeting ID is the same as above.

**UPDATE** If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

3/24/2020

Orange County “Stay At Home” Order Effective 3/26/2020

To further combat the spread of COVID-19 in our community, the Town of Windermere has joined Orange County Mayor, Jerry L. Demings, in supporting a “Stay at Home” order for all residents, and closing all non-essential businesses. This order will take effect on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 11:00pm until April 9, 2020.

Orange County, Florida Emergency Executive Order No. 2020-03

Read FAQs about the “Stay at Home” order here

3/22/2020:

Boat Ramps Closing 3/23/2020 at 5:00pm

Following Orange County’s lead, both boat ramps in Town will be closed to the public and secured tomorrow evening at 5:00pm.

3/21/2020

Fernwood Park & Lake Bessie Boat Ramp Updates

Beginning at 5:00pm on 3/21/2020, all parking at the Fernwood and Lake Bessie boat ramps will be prohibited until further notice. All cars will be ticketed and/or towed, regardless of if owners have purchased a Park Pass. Signs have been posted at the ramps.

Additionally, the Fernwood Park boardwalk is closed until further notice.

As of now, the boat ramps remain open to residents – however they should park offsite to comply with these new restrictions.

3/20/2020

Orange County Under Curfew per Mayor Demings Exec Order 2020-03

This afternoon Orange County Mayor Demings provided a COVID-19 update. Specifically, a curfew has been established for all of Orange County effective immediately. “All pedestrian and vehicular movement, standing and parking, except for individuals commuting to and from places of employment, the provision of fire, police, emergency and hospital services, medical patients, utility emergency repairs, local government employees providing emergency services, and emergency calls by physicians within the above curfew area, are prohibited during curfew hours. Curfew hours during which such movement is prohibited shall be each day from 11:00 P.M. until 5:00 A.M., commencing on Friday, March 20, 2020 until terminated by executive order.”

Those experiencing financial hardships with rent and/or utilities may contact the COVID-19 Crisis Hotline at 407-836-6500 between the hours of 8:30 A.M. and 3:00 P.M.

The Department of Health may be contacted at 1-866-779-6121 to answers questions about the Corona virus.

Orange County, Florida Emergency Executive Order No. 2020-03

 

Click here for an update from Duke Energy

A message from AdventHealth

As our community joins together to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, AdventHealth’s dedicated doctors, nurses and team members continue to work around the clock to prepare and we want to ensure you have the latest information.  We encourage you to visit our dedicated website (www.CoronavirusSignsAndSymptoms.com) that is continually updated, and will share pertinent information as it becomes available.

AdventHealth is testing patients who meet evaluation criteria for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Florida. The acquisition of three specialized testing devices allows AdventHealth to alleviate the testing burden from public agencies, while also providing patients and physicians expanded access to the test.  Importantly, because of limited supplies and resources, the test will only be facilitated with a physician’s order for patients who meet the evaluation criteria as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The following guidelines outline current testing protocols:

 

Q: Where do I go if I want to be tested?

If you are sick and exhibiting symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), you should seek treatment with your primary care physician or Centra Care. Physicians are stringently adhering to the testing criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if a patient qualifies for a COVID-19 test. A doctor will likely test you for other illnesses, such as the flu, before ordering a COVID-19 test.

Please note: Individuals cannot come to an AdventHealth hospital, physician practice or Centra Care and order their own COVID-19 test. 

 

Q: Should I go to the ER if I think I need a COVID-19 test?

Unless you are experiencing severe respiratory distress, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, you should not go to an ER for a COVID-19 test. Physicians at AHMG practices and Centra Care can take a collection sample from those patients who meet the testing criteria as set by CDC. The emergency department should be used only by those having a medical emergency, such as chest pain or shortness of breath.

 

Q: Are the results instantaneous?

No. Unlike a flu test, which can be administered on-site with quick results, the COVID-19 test takes up to seven days from the time of collection sample to results being shared with the patient. During that time, patients will be instructed to follow CDC guidelines and isolate themselves.

 

Q: I have questions about COVID-19 or AdventHealth’s testing capabilities. Whom can I call?

Call the AdventHealth Coronavirus Information Line at 877-VIRUSHQ or visit www.CoronavirusSignsAndSymptoms.com.

 

We are committed to providing our community with the most updated information available during this challenging time for our community, state and nation.  As always, please reach out if you have questions.  Thank you for your support and leadership.

3/18/2020

In order to make sure we are doing our part to keep our staff and community safe, we will be taking the following steps:

• Town Administration will be closed for non-personnel.

• Town Residents can email or call should they have a questions or concerns. The contact info is posted below

• All new building permits will be done through the PDCS online portal: https://pdcsllc.com/cities/windermere/

• We are placing a moratorium on the following permits/passes/etc:

o We will not issue any additional Tennis Keys or Boat Passes. This does not mean the facilities are not open but we are not issuing new passes at this time.

o We will not issue any garage sale permits

o All Town Hall rentals are on hold until further notice

o Open House Permit requirements are waived until further notice

Any further closing, schedule changes, etc. will be posted on the Town website and various social media sites.

For a listing of Town Staff phones and emails, please visit HERE.

If you’re unsure who to contact, please reach out to Diane Edwards.

We are experiencing a high volume of calls. Please leave a message and we will return your call ASAP. Alternately, please send an email!

3/17/2020

Reemployment Assistance

Governor DeSantis has reminded Floridians that if their employment has been negatively impacted because of mitigation efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, these Floridians may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance. Click here for more information.

http://floridajobs.org/job-seekers-community-services

 

Governor Ron DeSantis Activates Emergency Bridge Loan Program for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Tallahassee, Fla.  – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period opens tomorrow, March 17, 2020 and runs through May 8, 2020.

“As we mitigate against the spread of COVID-19, the health, safety and well-being of Floridians comes first,” said Governor DeSantis.  “I understand the harm mitigation strategies will have on small businesses throughout our state. By activating the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, we are providing the opportunity for Florida’s small businesses to receive cash immediately to ensure they can lessen the impacts felt as a result of COVID-19.”
 
DEO will administer the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation to provide cash flow to businesses economically impacted by COVID-19. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time the economic impact occurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. Up to $50 million has been allocated for the program.

“Governor DeSantis has been a true leader in the fight to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and has prioritized the safety of all Floridians,”  said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director, Ken Lawson. “The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan will help Florida’s small businesses get through this unsettling time. We appreciate the Governor’s efforts to keep Florida’s small businesses top of mind and our partners at the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation to help them recover.”

Small business owners with two to 100 employees located in Florida affected by COVID-19 can apply for short-term loans up to $50,000. These loans are interest-free for up to one year and are designed to bridge the gap to either federal SBA loans or commercially available loans. DEO will work with every borrower to ensure that repayment of the loan isn’t an overwhelming burden. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to March 9, 2020 and demonstrate economic impacts as a result of COVID-19.

“Mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in Florida must be our number one priority,” said Florida SBDC Network CEO, Mike Myhre . “The Florida SBDC Network stands ready to assist Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to help small businesses recover as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.”

“We are ready to assist the Governor and state of Florida to deliver this vital assistance to the small business community we serve, as we have 23 times since 1992,” said Florida First Capital Finance Corporation President and CEO, Todd Kocourek.

DEO is currently surveying businesses throughout the state of Florida who have been impacted by COVID-19. Businesses and non-profits can access the Business Damage Assessment survey at FloridaDisaster.BIZ  Select “COVID-19” from the drop-down menu on the survey page . Response to the Business Damage Assessment survey is not an application for assistance. Businesses interested in the bridge loan program must fill out a bridge loan application.

For more information on the program, visit  www.floridadisasterloan.org. For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232 or email  Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org. The phone line will be answered during regular business hours; all voice mails and emails will be responded to within 24 hours.

3/16/2020

Following the advice of experts, the Town is limiting large gatherings to help our residents stay healthy.

Until further notice, all board and committee meetings have been cancelled. This includes Town Council Workshops, Development Review Board, Food Truck / Farmers Market, Windermere Active Youth, Long Range Planning, Historic Preservation Board, Parks & Recreation, Windermere Tree Board, and the Windermere Tree Board.

We will announce when meetings resume.

Thank you for understanding!