COVID-19 Updates & Resources

Latest Updates 5/29/2020:

 

Virtual Town Hall #31 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Town Manager Smith and Chief Ogden for yesterday’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Access the recording here (Password: 9J.%+7j9)

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

 

Here’s a recap:

 

There are currently 53,285cases of COVID-19 statewide, with a 5.6% positive testing rate. There have been 2,364 deaths and over 8,500 hospitalizations across the state. In Orange County, there are 1,902 positive cases with a 2.8% positive testing rate, and 39 deaths. There are 40 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).

Town Manager Smith reminded residents that the Town Admin Office will officially reopen on June 1. We are working to make things as “streamlined” as possible, but there will be some changes with staff interaction. A screen has been erected around the Administrative Assistant’s desk, capacity in the Admin lobby is limited to 3 people (including staff), and masks will be required for all visitors and staff (if you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you). Manager Smith also encouraged residents to give Town Staff a heads up before coming making their way into the office. Some procedures are by appointment only, and there’s a good possibility we will be able to assist you remotely! These new procedures will remain in place until Florida and Orange County move through Phase II – III of reopening.

Town staff have also been working on the budget for FY 2020/2021. The Tentative Budget Hearing will take place on Wednesday, September 9th, while the Final Budget Hearing will take place on Monday, September 21.

The Windermere Farmers Market returns Friday, May 29! The Town has taken steps to help keep patrons and vendors healthy, including limiting and distancing vendors, ensuring adequate sanitization protocols, designating one entrance point along 6th Avenue, and requiring vendors and patrons to wear masks or other face coverings. We have also secured a new produce vendor, so you’ll be able to get your fresh fruits and veggies!

Food Truck Nights will not be returning until September at the earliest. These events draw 1,000-2,000 guests, so the Town has decided to err on the side of caution and keep our community healthy.

Town Hall rentals are on hold until further notice unless a renter can guarantee that their event will be less than 50 people and they will be able to adequately social-distance. (**Diane’s Note: We are also giving priority to renters who had to cancel their events with us due to COVID-19 to allow them first choice on a reschedule date through the end of June**).

Saturday is our 2020 Grad Parade to recognize our graduating seniors. The parade will begin at Town Hall at 11am, and should only last 1 to 1.5 hours. As a clarification, participants only need one ticket per vehicle, not per passenger. Read more details about the parade and register here.

There will be a Parks & Recreation Special Meeting on June 1st at 5pm to discuss some of the plans for Fernwood Park. Links to the meeting and agenda can be accessed here.

The Town has released a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices to help keep you connected to news, events, and important information. Read more about the app, including how to download it here. Be sure you are following the Town on Social Media, as we do post daily on our Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor (follow “Diane Edwards”) profiles.

There is a Sales Tax Holiday from May 29th – June 4th to help Floridians prepare for hurricane season. Read more about the holiday and which items are exempt here. The Town has begun making our own preparations for hurricane season by trimming up the tree canopy and inventorying equipment. Work with your family and neighbors to create your own hurricane plan: determine what supplies you will need, where you plan to shelter, and develop an evacuation plan. Town Staff met Thursday morning to go over our plan for hurricane season. In order to account for COVID-19, we are increasing our PPE burn rate from 30 days to 60 days.

Chief Ogden reported that there were no issues at the boat ramps over Memorial Day weekend. Saturday was a little busy, but the rain likely kept a lot of boaters home. Windermere PD has asked Orange County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol to continue their presence along the Butler Chain, as it is helping to reduce issues at sites like Bird Island.

Chief Ogden also made a statement regarding the George Floyd tragedy. We can still support Law Enforcement while calling out individuals whose actions are damaging. Chief Ogden’s remarks can be read in full, here.

We were grateful to be joined by Jason Burt from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”), who spoke to us regarding online scams and how to protect against them. Below you will find links to Jason’s presentation which you can download, along with timestamps from the recording if you’d like to follow along. Jason shared some really great information; please share his presentation with your neighbors, family, and friends. We’ve also included a copy of this presentation on our Cyber Security and Online Safety Page for your convenience.

CISA – Cyber Scams

Intro 00:20:11
Overview 00:20:36
CISA 00:21:06
CISA Mission and Vision 00:22:26
CSA Program 00:22:50
Protecting Critical Infrastructure 00:23:47
Targets of Opportunity 00:24:56
Email Scams 00:27:43
Phishing 00:28:21
Phishing Red Flags 00:31:45
What to Look For 00:33:08
Avoid Being a Victim 00:33:55

Some questions from today:

Q. Have you noticed any scams related to COVID-19?
A. (00:38:07) Phishing scams related to stimulus checks; “Click here to track or check the status of your check.”

Q. Have you seen any “gift card” scams; ex: “Claim your free Amazon gift card!”?
A. (00:39:00) Yes! If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is!

Q. Is there any written instruction on how to enable multi-factor authentication?
A. (00:39:52) Here’s a link Jason sent over

Q. Can you provide more information on Authy?
A. (00:42:31) It’s available for download for both iOS and Android devices and is the most user friendly app in Jason’s opinion.

Q. Do you suggest using a credit card vs a debit card online?
A. (00:43:15) Yes, it’s much easier to dispute a credit card charge than to try and get money back into your checking account. Also be sure to check for skimmers at gas station pumps by gently tugging on the card reader.

 

The Town will hold Virtual Town Hall meetings every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30pm, beginning on Tuesday, May 12.

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: 937 8443 6386
Password: 428839

Alternately, dial by your location. The meeting ID is the same as above.

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Don’t see your location? Find your local number here

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

5/27/2020

Orange County Info for Tenants

Please visit the Orange County website for FAQs regarding eviction protections and housing assistance.

Virtual Town Hall #30 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Town Manager Smith for yesterday’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Access the recording here (Password: 5j?*48%1)

 

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

 

Here’s a recap:

There are currently 52,255cases of COVID-19 statewide, with a 5.7% positive testing rate. There have been 2,259 deaths and over 8,500 hospitalizations across the state. In Orange County, there are 1,849positive cases with a 2.8% positive testing rate, and 39 deaths. There are 40 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).

Orange County is looking to open in-person court hearings as early as June 8th. Orange County Public Schools will have senior drive throughs on May 28th and May 29th. Summer meal distribution through OCPS will begin June 1st, from 9am – 1pm. Summer school virtual distance learning will also begin through OCPS on June 1st. Public broadcasting to enhance distance learning for grades 1-2, starts June 4th. For more information regarding Orange County Public Schools’ schedule and programs, please visit their website.

Town Manager Smith reminded residents that the Town Admin Office will officially reopen on June 1. We are working to make things as “streamlined” as possible, but there will be some changes with staff interaction. A screen has been erected around the Administrative Assistant’s desk, capacity in the Admin lobby is limited to 3 people (including staff), and masks will be required for all visitors and staff (if you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you). Manager Smith also encouraged residents to give Town Staff a heads up before coming making their way into the office. Some procedures are by appointment only, and there’s a good possibility we will be able to assist you remotely!

Town projects are still moving forward. Staff and contractors are working on both temporary and final facilities, the water master plan, the Ward Trail from Park Ave to North Drive (hoping to take that to a Council Workshop in July), and the Windermere Pavilion (DRB discussed in their last meeting, also planning to workshop soon).

There will be a Parks & Recreation Special Meeting on June 1st at 5pm to discuss some of the plans for Fernwood Park. Links to the meeting can be accessed here. The agenda will also be posted at that same link once it becomes available. It will also be advertised.

The Town has released a mobile app for both iOs and Android devices to help keep you connected to news, events, and important information. Read more about the app, including how to download it here. Be sure you are following the Town on Social Media, as we do post daily on our Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor (follow “Diane Edwards”) profiles.

There is a Sales Tax Holiday from May 29th – June 4th to help Floridians prepare for hurricane season. Read more about the holiday and which items are exempt here. The Town has begun making our own preparations for hurricane season by trimming up the tree canopy and inventorying equipment. Work with your family and neighbors to create your own hurricane plan: determine what supplies you will need, where you plan to shelter, and develop an evacuation plan.

Saturday is our 2020 Grad Parade to recognize our graduating seniors. The parade will begin at Town Hall at 11am, and should only last 1 to 1.5 hours. As a clarification, participants only need one ticket per vehicle, not per passenger. Read more details about the parade and register here.

We will have a special guest on Thursday’s Virtual Town Hall. Jason Burt from the Department of Homeland Security will be speaking to us about scams related to COVID-19 and how to avoid them. Read more here.

Town Staff are currently working on our COVID-19 after-action report. We welcome feedback from residents on what we’ve done right, or ways to improve our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please send your feedback to Town Manager Smith.

Lastly, we are very excited for the return of the Windermere Farmers Market this Friday! The Town has taken steps to help keep patrons and vendors healthy, including distancing vendors, ensuring adequate sanitization protocols, and designating one entrance and one exit point. We are currently looking for a new produce vendor. If you know of a produce vendor, please have them send us their information.

Some questions from today:
Q. What is the average time for test results?
A. It depends on the type of test. Blood tests usually come back within 20 minutes. Swabs can take up to 72 hours.

Q. Will committee meetings be virtual for the rest of May and June?
A.
Yes. If a board or committee decides to meet, it will be virtual. Please check the specific Board or Committee page on the website for agendas and links/logins to meetings. Agendas are posted 48 hours before a meeting. If you are checking for an agenda more than 48 hours in advance, it may not be available. Always refer to the actual committee/board page for meetings and agendas as that is the most up-to-date. If nothing is posted, assume no meeting is taking place.

The Town will hold Virtual Town Hall meetings every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30pm, beginning on Tuesday, May 12.

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: 937 8443 6386
Password: 428839

Alternately, dial by your location. The meeting ID is the same as above.

+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Don’t see your location? Find your local number here

One tap mobile is also available

+16465588656,,93784436386# US (New York)
+13017158592,,93784436386# US (Germantown)

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

5/26/2020

Special Guest on Thursday, 5/28/2020 Virtual Town Hall Meeting

 

Part of staying safe is being informed. Please join Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden during our “Virtual Town Hall” meetings regarding COVID-19, Town updates related to Corona Virus, and Q&As. Special guests and presentations on select dates.

We have a special guest planned for Thursday’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting! We will be joined by Jason Burt, a Cyber Security Advisor with the Department of Homeland Security. He will be speaking to residents about some of the scams surrounding COVID-19 and how to protect yourself from them.

Jason Burt is a Cyber Security Advisor (CSA) with the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) assigned to Federal Region IV. CISA is the Nation’s risk advisor. The Agency protects the Nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats by working with partners to defend against today’s threats and collaborating to build more secure and resilient infrastructure for the future.

CISA established ten regional offices across the country to improve the delivery of the department’s services to critical infrastructure owners and operators and state, local, tribal, and territorial partners (SLTT). CSAs are the front-facing cyber experts supporting regional operations capabilities. Mr. Burt serves as the liaison and focal point for communications, coordination, and outreach. He promotes cyber preparedness and resiliency, incident response, risk mitigation and situational awareness and manages major cyber engagements, championing cyber resilience to public and private sector partners. Region IV encompasses eight states, including Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

Mr. Burt has been with the Department for six years. Prior to becoming a CSA, he held positions as a Senior Watch Officer for CISA’s National Cyber Protection System (NCPS) Network Operation Center (NOC), as well as serving as a Network and Systems Administrator for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Additionally, Mr. Burt is also a Cyber Intelligence Officer in the United States Air Force Reserve. In this role, he provides direct support to multiple Air Force Cyber Protection Teams tasked with defending key Air Force assets and resources against cyber attack.

The Town will hold Virtual Town Hall meetings every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30pm, beginning on Tuesday, May 12.

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: 937 8443 6386
Password: 428839

Alternately, dial by your location. The meeting ID is the same as above.

+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Don’t see your location? Find your local number here

One tap mobile is also available

+16465588656,,93784436386# US (New York)
+13017158592,,93784436386# US (Germantown)

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

5/21/2020

Virtual Town Hall #29 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Access the recording here (Password: 9L.35815)

 

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

 

Here’s a recap:

 

There are currently 48,675 cases of COVID-19 statewide, including 1,200 new cases. There have been 2,144 deaths 8,500 hospitalizations across the state. In Orange County, there are 1,651 positive cases, including 21 new cases, with a 3.2% positive testing rate, and 38 deaths. There are 40 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).

Mayor O’Brien mentioned that the Town had placed “Class of 2020” graduation banners in the roundabouts (6th & Main and Maguire & Park), and thanked the volunteers and staff who helped make these banners possible!

Boat ramps will reopen tomorrow at 9am, in tandem with Orange County. Windermere PD will be patrolling Fernwood all weekend to ensure a smooth transition. The Orange County ramp along 6th Avenue/Conroy-Windermere on Lake Down will also be reopening tomorrow, however, as the County needs to remove some heavy equipment, this ramp may not be open right at 9:00am.

If you have purchased a key after October 1, 2019, you do not need a new one – they locks have not changed. Residents who have not purchased a key since October 2019, please email Diane Edwards with your name and address and she will give you a list of available times to come by the office and make the transaction. In order to streamline the transaction, if possible, please have the Park Pass form filled out prior to arrival at our offices (you can also scan it back to Diane). The Park Pass Form can be accessed here, or you can email Diane for it.

The cost for a ramp key is $35. We accept credit card (NO AmericanExpress) and money order/checks made out to the Town of Windermere. Please have your check filled out prior to arriving at the office. The Town is not accepting cash payments. If you wish to pay via credit card, you may also fill out our Credit Card Authorization Form and scan back to Diane to allow a contactless transaction. This form can also be accessed here. The same process applies to tennis keys. Downlad the tennis pass here, or email Diane.

We are anticipating the Farmers Market reopening NEXT week, on Friday, May 29. The Town and vendors are working on a plan to accommodate social distancing, sanitization stations, controlled access points, etc. We are very excited to have the market back!

 

As Florida, Orange County, and the Town reopen, don’t underestimate the importance continuing to follow CDC best practices! Just because things are starting to reopen doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. It’s still very important to wear masks and stay 6’ apart; if two people are wearing masks and are an appropriate distance apart while interacting, they are both very protected from potentially contracting the virus.

Town Manager Smith reminded residents that the Town Admin Office will officially reopen on June 1. We are working to make things as “streamlined” as possible, but there will be some changes with staff interaction. A screen has been erected around the Administrative Assistant’s desk, capacity in the Admin lobby is limited to 3 people (including staff), and masks will be required for all visitors and staff (if you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you). Manager Smith also encouraged residents to give Town Staff a heads up before coming making their way into the office. Some procedures are by appointment only, and there’s a good possibility we will be able to assist you remotely!

 

Board Committee meetings starting to resume, though meetings are being held remotely. We are working on scheduling a special Parks & Recreation meeting for later next week to address resident feedback surrounding the Fernwood Park project. Meeting links, login info, and the agenda will be posted once available.

 

As Mayor O’Brien stated, Manager Smith announced we are anticipating a return of the Farmers Market next Friday. Food trucks are anticipated to return in September with our annual National Night Out, honoring Law Enforcement and First Responders. Town Hall rentals for groups of more than 50 are still on hold. If you have a scheduled rental for June, Diane Edwards will be reaching out to you next week to reschedule or cancel. There are no reschedule or cancellation fees, and if you cancel your entire deposit and any paid balance will be refunded in full.

Chief Ogden advised residents that Windermere’s off duty shoreline patrols have started along Windermere’s lakefronts; primarily Fernwood Park and Lake Street Park, and anywhere else issues may arise. We are expecting a busy Memorial Day weekend, so there will be two officers patrolling, in addition to Orange County Marine Patrol. Per OSCO Marine Patrol Captain McMullin, there will be 3 patrol boats on the Butler Chain Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

 

Windermere Safety Watch shared some information regarding cyber security and scams related to Covid-19 and economic impact payments. No one is immune to scams and fraud. Windermere PD has worked with residents who were victims of fraud before and during the current pandemic. Read more about that here.

The Town has finalized details regarding the May 30th “Graduates Parade!” Details will be posted tomorrow morning to our website and social media.

Lastly, please be aware there is still a restriction on large gatherings when enjoying your upcoming 3 day weekend, and recreate responsibly. Looking to the near future, most municipalities are in agreement to cancel upcoming large gatherings, including 4th of July celebrations. Mayor O’Brien stated we will bring our 4th of July Pancake Breakfast to Council to discuss whether we should hold the event or consider other options.

 

Join meetings here

Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
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Password: 428839

Alternately, dial by your location. The meeting ID is the same as above.
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Don’t see your location? Find your local number here.

One tap mobile is also available:
+16465588656,,93784436386# US (New York)
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If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

5/19/2020

Virtual Town Hall #28 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Access the recording here (Password: 0m!9Kt9^)

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

Here’s a recap:

There are currently 46,944 cases of COVID-19 statewide, including 627 new cases. There have been 2,052 deaths 8,500 hospitalizations across the state. In Orange County, there are 1,700 positive cases, including 34 new cases, with a 3.2% positive testing rate, and 38 deaths. There are 40 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).

Boat ramps starting Friday, May 22, in tandem with Orange County. The Farmers Market is looking to reopen soon, which will include measures to allow social distancing, ample hand sanitizers, and controlled “traffic flow”/dedicated entrance and exit points. More information will be posted as the plan is finalized.

Town Manager Smith reiterated the Town Admin Office’s June 1 hard reopen date. We are trying to make things as “streamlined” as possible, but there will be some changes with staff interaction. A screen has been erected around the Administrative Assistant’s desk, capacity in the Admin lobby is limited to 3 people (including staff), and masks will be required for all visitors and staff (if you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you). Manager Smith also encouraged residents to give Town Staff a heads up before coming making their way into the office. Some procedures are by appointment only, and there’s a good possibility we will be able to assist you remotely!

As Mayor O’Brien mentioned, Windermere will be opening our boat ramps in tandem with Orange County this Friday (May 22). If you have purchased a key after October 1, 2019, you do not need a new one. If you have not purchased a key, please email Diane Edwards with your name and address and she will give you a list of available times to come by the office and make the transaction.

In order to streamline the transaction, if possible, please have the Park Pass form filled out prior to arrival at our offices (you can also scan it back to Diane). Download the Park Pass form here.

The cost for a ramp key is $35. We accept credit card (NO AmericanExpress) and money order/checks made out to the Town of Windermere. Please have your check filled out prior to arriving at the office. If you wish to pay via credit card, you may also fill out our Credit Card Authorization Form  and scan back to Diane to allow a contactless transaction. Download the Credit Card Authorization Form here. The same process applies to tennis keys; download the Tennis Pass form here.

In other Town Admin updates; the Town of Windermere is no longer accepting cash payments. We are still accepting credit card (except AmericanExpress) and check/money order. If you need a credit card authorization form to have your transaction processed remotely, please reach out to Diane Edwards or Download the Credit Card Authorization Form here.

Food trucks will not resume until September, and we’ll welcome everyone back with our annual National Night Out! Be on the lookout for more details closer to the date. Town Hall rentals are also on hold until July at the earliest. If you have a booked date for June, Diane will be contacting you later this week to reschedule (feel free to reach out directly). There is no fee for rescheduling, and if you decide to not reschedule, you will receive all of your deposit and any paid balance back.

Lastly, Parks and Recreation is in the process of scheduling a virtual meeting to discuss some of the proposed changes to be made at Fernwood Park, and to hear resident feedback. As always, once the meeting is scheduled and an agenda is available, we will advertise the details.

Chief Ogden advised residents that Windermere’s off duty shoreline patrols have started along Windermere’s lakefronts; primarily Fernwood Park and Lake Street Park, and anywhere else issues may arise. We are expecting a busy Memorial Day weekend, so there will be two officers patrolling, in addition to Orange County Marine Patrol.

Please be aware there is still a restriction on large gatherings when enjoying your upcoming 3 day weekend, and recreate responsibly.

Lastly, Windermere PD is working to finalize details for our graduates’ parade on May 30th! We are still working on a time and finalized route. Be on the lookout for more information so your graduate can be a part of this.

Join meetings here

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Meeting ID: 937 8443 6386
Password: 428839

Alternately, dial by your location. The meeting ID is the same as above.
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Don’t see your location? Find your local number here.

One tap mobile is also available:
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If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform.

5/18/2020

Windermere Boat Ramps Reopening

We know you’ve all been anxiously waiting for Windermere boat ramps to reopen!

In accordance with Orange County, Windermere will be reopening our ramps on Friday, May 22nd.

If you need to purchase a key to the ramps, you may do so by appointment beginning Wednesday, May 20th. In order to reduce traffic and crowding in our offices, we are asking residents to please contact Diane Edwards to schedule a time for pickup. In order to streamline the transaction, if possible, please have the Park Pass form filled out prior to arrival at our offices (you can also scan it back to Diane).

The cost for a ramp key is $35. We accept credit card (NO AmericanExpress), checks made out to the Town of Windermere, or exact cash. If you wish to pay via credit card, you may also fill out our Credit Card Authorization Form and scan back to Diane to allow a contactless transaction.

As a reminder, all visitors to the Town Administration Offices will be required to wear masks. If you do not wish to wear a mask, please relate this to Diane Edwards, and we will make alternate arrangements that do not involve entry to Town Admin.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time!

5/14/2020

Virtual Town Hall #27 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Town Manager Smith and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Access the recording here (Password: 6W^t%m@2)

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

Here’s a recap:

There are currently 42,210 cases of COVID-19 statewide, including 875 new cases, with a 7.1% positive testing rate, and 1,875 deaths. In Orange County there are 1,577 positive cases, with a 4% positive testing rate, and 36 deaths. There are 37 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently). Numbers appear to be slowly dropping, but there may be another spike due to reopening. To help mitigate this risk, please continue social distancing and adhering to CDC best practices.

Town Manager Smith reported on Tuesday’s Town Council Meeting. If you were unable to attend the Zoom meeting, here’s the link to the recording (Password: 6L*+5T6T). Council discussed the Windermere Water Master Plan, temporary amendments to land development codes to allow local small businesses to slowly reopen, and changes to boat ramp and tennis key passes.

Town Admin Offices are planning for a hard open on June 1. Manager Smith sent distributed the reopening plan to Town staff this morning, and staff are currently reviewing. The Town is working to ensure Town residents will be able to have their needs met, while still ensuring the safety and health of residents and staff; for example, visitors to the Town Admin building will be required to wear a mask. If one cannot or does not wish to wear a mask, Town staff will either conduct business with the visitor remotely or determine another no-contact solution. Full policy and procedures will be shared with residents prior to June 1.

The Town has received our order of PPEs, and we expect to be resupplied again by June 1.

Chief Ogden shared with residents that it is National Police Week, and that tomorrow is National Peace Officers Memorial Day. Please remember law enforcement officers, and the families of those we have lost, including Windermere Officer Robbie German, in your thoughts and prayers this week.

Chief Ogden also reported that Windermere had made a recommendation to Orange County regarding boat ramps reopening on May 22nd. Windermere will support the county’s decision regarding an official reopen date for ramps, which should be announced during tonight’s press conference.

This weekend, WPD will begin their off duty patrol of Windermere shorelines and lake access points to help prepare for reopening, and also to combat some of the recent issues over at Bird Island. Additionally, there will be an additional off-duty officer in place for Memorial Day proactively avoid any issues.

Some questions from today:

Q. Where can I find links to Zoom Meetings for Boards and Committees?
A. Right now, other than Town Council, the Development Review Board is the only Town board/committee with a planned virtual meeting. The login information can be found on the calendar, as well as on the board page (agenda is also here). This meeting with Zoom and agenda links has also been advertised on social media.

Q. Any word on when the Farmers Market will reopen?
A. Not yet. Town leadership are meeting this evening to discuss a potential reopening date, and once a date has been determined, we will announce it.

 
Join us Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30pm. 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!
 
Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 937 8443 6386
Password: 428839
 
Alternately, dial by your location. The meeting ID is the same as above.
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Don’t see your location? Find your local number here
 
One tap mobile is also available:
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5/12/2020

Virtual Town Hall #26 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. ***AUDIO RECORDING WILL BE POSTED ONCE AVAILABLE!!**
 
As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.
 
Here’s a recap:
 
There are currently 41,923 cases of COVID-19 statewide, with a 7.2% positive testing rate, and 1,779 deaths. In Orange County there are 1,537 positive cases, with a 4% positive testing rate, and 36 deaths. There are 37 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).
 
Town Manager Smith reminded listeners about new testing sites across Orange County, including a new (appointment-based) site at Olympia High School. Please visit the Orange County website for details and requirements for various testing sites.
 
Orange County is continuing to hand out PPEs to small business owners. Since Monday, 150,000 masks and 41,000 hand sanitizers have been handed out. For more details on how to obtain PPEs for small businesses, please visit this website.
 
Town Admin Offices are planning for a hard open on June 1. All staff will be tested prior to reopening, and Town Manager Smith is working on our reopening plan and policies.
 
Both Manager Smith and Chief Ogden are working on after action reports RE COVID-19: this report will detail how the Town handled COVID-19 and identify areas of strength and areas to improve. The Town welcomes resident feedback, please feel free to share your thoughts with Town Manager Smith.
 
As a reminder, Town boat ramps are still closed, and will not reopen until Orange County opens their ramps. The Town will remain consistent with County leadership. As soon as we have an anticipated date for boat ramp reopening, we will share it with residents.
 
Be sure to tune into tonight’s Town Council Meeting at 6:00pm. This meeting will be held through Zoom. Login information as well as links to the agenda can be found here (scroll down the page). Similar to last month, there are just a few items on the agenda, namely:
 
• Town of Windermere Water Master Plan presentation (presented by WadeTrim)
• Temporary Use Permit program for certain Temporary Signs, Outdoor Retail Sales & Restaurant Seating and Small Tents
• Boat Ramp & Tennis Key Policy Amendments
 
As always, if you wish to make a public comment during the Town Council Meeting, please email your full name and street address to either Diane Edwards or Robert Smith prior to the meeting date. Alternately, you may provide that information before the meeting is called to order by typing it into the Zoom chat box.
 
Lastly, Town Manager Smith announced updated renderings for the new Town facilities are available. Please reach out to Diane Edwards or Robert Smith if you would like to see them.
 
Chief Ogden reported regarding several complaints regarding Bird Island and the lakes. Windermere PD is working to extend the current off duty patrol from 4pm to 6pm, and eventually 8pm. Windermere PD anticipates starting our own shoreline protection once the boat ramps open up, which we anticipate will reduce shoreline issues. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to WPD if you see an issue along the lakes or anywhere else in Town.
 
Join us Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30pm. 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!
 
Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 937 8443 6386
Password: 428839
 
Alternately, dial by your location. The meeting ID is the same as above.
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Don’t see your location? Find your local number here
 
One tap mobile is also available:
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5/11/2020

Orange County Offering Personal Protective Equipment to Small Businesses to Assist in Economic Recovery
One Million Face Masks and 200K Hand Sanitizers Available at No Cost

Orange County, Fla. (May 8, 2020) – PPE for Small Biz in Orange County, an Orange County Government COVID-19 initiative through the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, will provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to small businesses in Orange County to assist in reopening or sustaining them – all at no cost.

During this distribution, one million face masks and 200,000 travel-size (2-oz.) hand sanitizer bottles will be distributed in kits to up to 20,000 businesses at drive-thru pick-up sites throughout the County.

In order for small businesses in Orange County to qualify and pick-up PPEs, they must register by completing an Interest Form at www.ocfl.net/PPE. Small businesses must have an appointment to visit one of the pick-up sites.

In order to be eligible, small businesses can be either for-profit or non-profit, they must be incorporated with majority operations located in Orange County; and must employ more than three but less than 40 individuals, regardless of full-time or part-time status.

Distribution will begin on Monday, May 11, 2020 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will remain open at the same operating hours until Friday, May 15, 2020, or until supplies run out.

“We understand there are many new expenses and new rules small businesses are going to have to follow in order to reopen,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “We want to ease their financial burden by providing PPE free of charge to invest in the future of our small businesses.”

There are six pick-up sites conveniently located across the County – one in each District within Orange County. For a list of pick-up locations and information to complete an Interest Form based on a location closest to your business, visit www.ocfl.net/PPE.

Small business owners must register by completing an Interest Form as soon as possible, as the form will be inaccessible once supplies run out. Orange County businesses eligible to receive PPE kits must submit the form with all needed business information and preferred pick-up location and time.

Priority will be given to small businesses that recently reopened or are eligible to open in Phase 1 of Florida State’s Guidelines, as well as those that indicate they have been unable to obtain PPE for their employees due to financial hardship and/or supply-chain scarcities.

For more information about the PPE for Small Biz in Orange County initiative, please email EconomicRecovery@ocfl.net, or visit www.ocfl.net/EconomicRecovery.

Betsy VanderLey
District 1 Commissioner, Orange County
201 S. Rosalind Ave., 5th Floor
Orlando, FL 32801
Office: 407-836-7350
district1@ocfl.net

5/8/2020

Virtual Town Hall #25 – 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 (Access Password: 4K.hX31V).

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

Here’s a recap:

 

There are currently 39,199 cases of COVID-19 statewide. Across the state there have been to date 6,929 hospitalizations and 1,669 deaths. In Orange County there are 1,488 positive cases, 266 hospitalizations, and 36 deaths. There are 37 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).

 

Mayor O’Brien encouraged residents to continue wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing as we move closer to Phase 2 of reopening.

 

Town Manager Smith announced that beginning Tuesday, May 12, Virtual Town Hall Meetings will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The new link for these meetings is included at the bottom of this recap. The new links have been added across the website, and will be used on Social Media from today forward.

Town Manager Smith also reminded residents about the upcoming Town Hall Meeting on May 12. This meeting will be held through Zoom. Login information as well as links to the agenda can be found here (scroll down the page). Similar to last month, there are just a few items on the agenda, namely:

  • Town of Windermere Water Master Plan presentation (presented by WadeTrim)
  • Temporary Use Permit program for certain Temporary Signs, Outdoor Retail Sales & Restaurant Seating and Small Tents
  • Boat Ramp & Tennis Key Policy Amendments

 

As always, if you wish to make a public comment during the Town Council Meeting, please email your full name and street address to either Diane Edwards or Robert Smith prior to the meeting date. Alternately, you may provide that information before the meeting is called to order by typing it into the Zoom chat box.

 

Town Admin Offices are planning for a hard open on June 1, however, this may occur sooner. Town Admin staff are attending seminars on reopening and working together on a plan that adheres to federal guidelines and best practices to keep staff, residents and families safe and healthy. The Town anticipates Farmers Markets and Food Trucks Night returning as early as June, however we will follow Orange County’s lead. As always, we will announce before any events take place.

Chief Ogden reported that the Orange County curfew ends Monday morning at 5:01am. Orange County has received an allotment of PPEs to distribute to local businesses at the Orange County Convention Center beginning Monday. Please visit Orange County’s website for eligibility requirements, registration, and further details.

 

Windermere PD Officers will be handing out flyers regarding the Town’s 2020 Graduation project. If you know of someone in Town limits with a graduating senior that we may not know about (homeschool, private school, etc.), please pass along their info to the PD so that they can be featured as well. As schools are closed, and seniors are missing out on Prom, Grad Night, Senior Skip Day, and graduation, the Town would like to recognize their hard work and achievement. The Town will be erecting banners which feature photos of our graduating seniors, and a small parade is in the works. Please upload your senior’s formal, high resolution, graduation photo by May 12 here. If you are having issues with the Google Form, please reach out to Diane Edwards. While we congratulate all seniors, this project is limited to just seniors within Town limits.

 

Chief Ogden also reported on a recent fraud case. The victim had been defrauded $900, and thanks to the hard work of Detective John Allen, Windermere PD was able to hand deliver a check back to the victim. Chief Ogden encouraged residents to report any suspicious or inappropriate behavior and activity to the police.

Join us Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30pm. 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: 937 8443 6386
Password: 428839

Alternately, dial by your location. The meeting ID is the same as above.

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Don’t see your location? Find your local number here

One tap mobile is also available

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

 

 

Virtual Town Hall Meetings – New Dates & Link!

 

Part of staying safe is being informed. Please join Mayor O’Brien, Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden during our “Virtual Town Hall” meetings regarding COVID-19, Town updates related to Corona Virus, and Q&As. Special guests and presentations on select dates.

The Town will hold Virtual Town Hall meetings every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30pm, beginning on Tuesday, May 12.

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: 937 8443 6386
Password: 428839

Alternately, dial by your location. The meeting ID is the same as above.

+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Don’t see your location? Find your local number here

One tap mobile is also available

+16465588656,,93784436386# US (New York)
+13017158592,,93784436386# US (Germantown)

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

Orange County Health Services Announces New Free COVID-19 Testing Sites in 32825 and 32792

WHAT:

Orange County Government, will open new, free COVID-19 testing sites starting this week and next week. Based on zip code data from Orange County’s heat map, these new sites are opening in areas where there have been a higher number of positive COVID-19 cases.

No symptoms and/or criteria is necessary for testing, however, online appointments are required and individuals must be 18 years and older as well as be an Orange County resident. Please do not show up at the test sites without an appointment. Operating hours for test sites are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Para información en español (or any other languages), por favor llame al 407-836-3111.

WHEN & WHERE:

Thursday, May 7 & Friday, May 8, 2020

Legacy Middle School
11398 Lake Underhill Rd, Orlando, FL 32825 Make an online appointment

Monday, May 11 & Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Lakemont Elementary School
901 N Lakemont Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792 Make an online appointment

Thursday, May 7, Friday, May 8, Monday, May 11 & Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Ventura Elementary School
400 Woodgate Blvd, Orlando, FL 32822 Make an online appointment

For more information, click here

5/6/2020

Virtual Town Hall #24 – 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 (Access Password: 9v=%1m58).
 
As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.
 
Here’s a recap:
 
There are currently 38,002 cases of COVID-19 statewide, including 599 new cases. Florida’s positive test rate is 4.9%. Across the state there have been to date 6,557 hospitalizations and 1,539 deaths. In Orange County there are 1,392 positive cases, including 17 new cases, 262 hospitalizations, and 36 deaths. There are 37 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).
 
Mayor O’Brien shared details on the special project for graduating seniors in Town. As schools are closed, and seniors are missing out on Prom, Grad Night, Senior Skip Day, and graduation, the Town would like to recognize their hard work and achievement. The Town will be erecting banners which feature photos of our graduating seniors, and a small parade is in the works. Please upload your senior’s formal, high resolution, graduation photo (the one which would have been featured in the yearbook) by May 12 here. If you are having issues with the Google Form, please reach out to Diane Edwards. While we congratulate all seniors, this project is limited to just seniors within Town limits.
 
Town Manager Smith reminded residents about the upcoming Town Hall Meeting on May 12. This meeting will be held through Zoom. Login information as well as links to the agenda can be found here (scroll down the page). Similar to last month, there are just a few items on the agenda, namely:
 
• Town of Windermere Water Master Plan presentation (presented by WadeTrim)
• Temporary Use Permit program for certain Temporary Signs, Outdoor Retail Sales & Restaurant Seating and Small Tents
• Boat Ramp & Tennis Key Policy Amendments
 
As always, if you wish to make a public comment during the Town Council Meeting, please email your full name and street address to either Diane Edwards or Robert Smith prior to the meeting date. Alternately, you may provide that information before the meeting is called to order by typing it into the Zoom chat box.
 
Manager Smith also reported that Admin Staff held their weekly virtual meeting this morning, and are working on a plan to reopen. The anticipated date for Admin reopening is June 1, which corresponds with both Orlando and Orange County. This may change to an earlier date, but we will keep you informed.
 
OCERT will be opening five new testing sites in cooperation with OCPS both in COVID-19 hot zones and in walkable areas for those with transportation issues. They are also working on a plan to distribute PPEs to small, local businesses as part of the reopening effort. More information will be released by Orange County, either tonight or Friday.
 
Lastly, beginning next week, the Town’s Virtual Town Hall meetings will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Friday, May 8, there will still be a meeting. New meeting links and login information will be posted prior to Tuesday’s meeting.
 
Chief Ogden reported that Orange County judges are looking into virtual courts (ex for traffic issues). Everything has been going well for Windermere PD; all are healthy. A Windermere Safety Watch information bulletin was sent out earlier this week – please take a look at that when you have a chance. Information bulletins are sent out through the Windermere Safety Watch based on safety concerns, and issues that are trends and patterns; not necessarily information of a personal nature. Chief Ogden also reported that the streets in Town are still slow, but traffic is picking up. Lastly, Chief Ogden reported on the calls regarding Bird Island. That information was forwarded to the FWC and the issue has been taken care of.
 
Council Member Liz Andert reported on the Board of County Commissioners meetings she has attended
     • Public Hearings item IV. H. 13. Enacting Orange County Code, New Section 29-58, affecting use of public boat ramps and associated recreational areas and facilities (Continued from March 10, and 24, 2020) (For Board decision only. No Public Comment)
          o Ordinance refers to Operational Guidelines to regulate commercial activity at each public boat ramp and provides a framework for permits and allows for enforcement.
         o Began under concern about commercial businesses operating at boat ramps and no enforceability of parks rules without an ordinance. Originally about boat tours, but there are also businesses such as boat and jet is rental and fishing guides, tournaments and etc.
     • County operates 11 ramps.
     • 2017-2019 4 public workshops. Ordinance and guidelines were presented to BCC on 3/10 and board requested some changes to the guidelines. Because of COVID-19 this discussion that was scheduled for 3/24 was continued to yesterday’s meeting (5/5/).
     • Changes:
          o Annual permit changed from $3000 to $2500 for a commercial business with a brick and mortar address in Orange County; also insurance for $1,000,000 of coverage
          o No more than 10 permits issued at the Highway 50 boat ramp (no limits mentioned for other ramps)
          o Unpermitted businesses cannot operate out of county ramps, and contact subcontract with a permitted business
          o Commercial fisherman must follow same guidelines as fishing guides
          o Effective date of June 5, 2020
          o Passed unanimously, motion by Commissioner Bonilla (District 5), second by Commissioner Uribe (District 3)
 
Here is the link to the recording of the meeting (you can use a shortcut to get to the portion on the boat ramp ordinance by clicking on item 12 in the right hand of the screen).
 
 
 
(Thank you, Council Member Andert for providing this info!)
 
Join us Friday at 2:30pm for the next meeting. 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!
 
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.

5/5/2020

May 12, 2020 Town Council Meeting

There will be a Town Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. This meeting will be conducted via Zoom (links below), and will begin at 6:00pm.
 
 
If you wish to make a public comment, please email your name and street address to either Diane Edwards or Robert Smith ahead of the meeting. Alternately, you may provide that information before the meeting is called to order by typing it into the Zoom chat box.
 
 
Be sure to enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 983 9592 2872
Password: 407604
 
One tap mobile:
+16465588656,,98395922872# US (New York)
+13017158592,,98395922872# US (Germantown)
 
Dial by your location (meeting ID is the same as above):
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+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
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5/4/2020

Virtual Town Hall #23 – 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 (Access Password: 3B%#756w).

 

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

 

Here’s a recap:

 

There are currently 36,897 cases of COVID-19 statewide, including 789 new cases. Florida’s positive test rate is 4.9%. Across the state there have been to date 6,119 hospitalizations and 1,399 deaths. In Orange County there are 1,372 positive cases, including 9 new cases, 250 hospitalizations, and 35 deaths. There are 37 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently). The median age for those who tested positive for COVID-19 in Orange County is 45.

 

Mayor O’Brien reminded residents that the Town of Windermere will remain consistent with Orange County regarding the reopening of boat ramps. Once Orange County determines it is safe, and reopens theirs, the Town will reopen ours. Remember to be cautious as you renter if you choose to do so. Wearing masks, washing your hands, not touching your face are still very important.

Town Manager Smith advised residents that Town staff are still working, even remotely. The Town is reassessing weekly a plan for reopening. As the staff are so small, we have to be cautious. Town projects are still moving forward, namely the Park Avenue project and the Town facilities. Orange County is looking to make changes to signage permits which would allow local businesses to advertise their status and accommodate more outside seating. The Town is also working with our legal team to make similar adjustments for our own local businesses. The Town is looking to start holding Board & Committee meetings again in May. These meetings will be conducted via Zoom, and all links will be provided both on the Town website and across social media. May 12th there will be another Town Council meeting (Zoom), focusing on the Master Utility Plan, and there will be a Development Review Board meeting (Zoom) on May 19th reviewing the Windermere Pavilion overview. Lastly, the Town is working on setting up town hall meetings in June with residents along W 2nd Avenue who will be impacted by the project taking place there. Be on the lookout for emails related to that with details on dates, times, and venue.

 

Chief Ogden reported that all testing sites in Orange County are still open. 15,000 PPE masks were distributed to nursing homes, and the back order from the top 5 PPE manufacturers were released. Windermere PD continues to operate at 100% and all officers are doing well. Windermere also received our branded masks/scarves for officers. And as of 11am today, there were no new cases of COVID-19 within Town limits.

 

We were joined today by Pastor Troy Schmidt of Family Church, Windermere. Pastor Schmidt spoke to residents about the adjustments Family Church has made from a business perspective due to COVID-19, as well as what they are doing to help the local community. His portion begins at 00:13:30. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Services have moved online
    • In addition to worship services, Family Church has hosted online talk shows and game shows to bring people together
    • These changes have been effective and well-received
  • Needs of church and congregation have grown as a result of COVID-19
    • The East Winter Garden campus has been serving 3,000 free meals weekly for low-income and food insecure people
    • A large portion of the Family Church congregation are theme park employees or work in the tourism and hospitality industries and have been directly affected by the shut down
    • Family Church has some funds to help
    • They are also preparing for “tidal wave” that’s anticipated
  • Family Church is planning a very slow reopening to ensure the safety and health of their congregation

 

Some questions from today:

Q. Can you share more about the ministries that Family Church supports?
A.
There are a number of ministries directly associated with Family Church and some that Family Church supports. Family Church’s Dream Center in East Winter Garden is a food bank which provides food and other necessities for low-income and needy populations. Family Church also offers programs such as Financial Peace, Divorce Care, and Grief Share. Family Church also contributes to the Salvation Army and the Florida Baptist Children’s Home in Lakeland which provides adoption support and resources for unwed mothers..

Q. What is the reopening plan for Family Church?
A.
Family Church will focus on what’s best for the community. They will keep pace with general consensus of what makes people comfortable as well as remain consistent with State, County, and Local guidelines. Family Church will continue to utilize technology, and when physical gatherings begin, they will start with 6’ distances, one entrance and exit, and cleaning between meetings.

Q. What is happening with daycare and summer programs?
A.
The daycare facilities are open now, as they are deemed essential. Family Church is considering options for summer programs.

Q. What public outreach is being done for those in need?
A.
With the help of donations from Publix, over 3,000 meals a week are being provided to those in need.

Q. What do you tell people who are suffering from anxiety and/or depression besides to pray?
A.
Family Church recently shot a program with 3 medical doctors who have seen a large rise in depression and anxiety. Many people have been turning to unhealthy means to cope. Instead of relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms, be engaged spiritually and socially. Get outside. Watch enough news to be informed, but don’t fixate on it. Don’t focus on the “what ifs,” and focus on the “right now.”

Q. Does Family Church offer any AA type meetings?
A.
Yes. Family Church offers a Grief Share program, a Financial Peace program, and a Divorce Care program. Addiction recovery programs require a dedicated staff member, so Family Church is referring those needing addiction recovery to First Baptist Orlando’s Celebrate Recovery program.

Q. How can people contact Family Church?
A.
They may call 407-876-2234, or email ourfamily.church.

Join us every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm. Can’t make the live meeting, but have questions? Email Diane Edwards (dedwards@town.windermere.fl.us) 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

5/1/2020

Virtual Town Hall #22 – 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 (Access Password: 4t+V9^^$).

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

Here’s a recap:

There are currently 34,728 cases of COVID-19 statewide, with 5,767 hospitalizations. The hospitals are currently at about 40% capacity. There have been 1,314 deaths across the state. In Orange County there are 1,347 positive cases, including 23 new cases. There have been 34 deaths. There are 37 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).

Mayor O’Brien informed residents that Governor DeSantis’ “Stay at Home” order has been extended until Monday, May 4 at 12:01am. While the state will begin opening state parks on that day, the Town’s boat ramps will remain closed until Orange County opens theirs. Mayor O’Brien explained we don’t want to take away recreational opportunities, however keeping residents and first responders safe is our number one priority. We will not open the ramps prior to Orange County, as doing so would draw large crowds into Town. Once we do reopen, please be sure to continue following CDC guidelines on social distancing and PPE use.

Mayor O’Brien also reminded residents that Monday we’ll be joined by special guest, Pastor Troy Schmidt who is the campus pastor at Family Church here in Town. Pastor Schmidt will talk to us about some of the adjustments his ministry has had to make since quarantine started and also some of the community needs he’s been seeing and what’s being done to address them.

Town Manager Smith updated residents on the recently announced Phase 1 of reopening due to begin on Monday. This does not mean all businesses that can reopen will reopen, as businesses need to determine if they are stocked with PPEs, are able to ensure the health of their staff, and can comply with Department of Health social distancing and capacity guidelines. Businesses also need to determine if it makes financial sense for them to operate at 25% patron capacity. Town Manager Smith also advised residents to not call 911 if they witness violations of Phase 1 reopening guidelines. Instead, they should contact the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and/or the Department of Health.

Manager Smith commented that Town Admin is working on a plan to gradually reopen; Town Admin staff are still working remotely, but they are working! Once the boat ramps open, we will develop a plan to get residents still in need of boat ramp keys the keys. Town Admin is also working on a solution for the 2021 boat ramp and tennis court keys to ensure only residents are using them.

Chief Ogden mentioned he had informed the Windermere Safety Watch of the plan laid out by Governor DeSantis related to Phase 1 of Florida’s reopening. If you did not get that email, you may read it here.

Chief Ogden also reported that all Windermere Police Department is healthy and they are stocked on PPEs, but are still ordering more.

Deputy Chief Treadwell was able share her experience being tested for COVID-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in the hopes of alleviating any anxieties anyone may have about being tested. Per DC Treadwell:

  • Directional signage to testing site starts on International and is very good
  • Once at the Convention Center, follow cones
  • Orange County Sheriff’s Office is stationed around the perimeter, however the National Guard is stationed inside the perimeter
  • Keep your windows rolled up until you are instructed otherwise
  • All National Guard/workers onsite are fully covered with gowns, masks, gloves, etc.
  • Make sure you have your ID with you, you will need to present it
  • There are a couple different checkpoints, but you will be directed to each of them
  • Test is a throat swab as opposed to a nose swab and is painless
  • After your sample is taken, you are given a piece of paper with instructions to go online and create an account. This is where you will get your test results, approximately 72 hours later
  • The entire testing process took about 5 min
  • There can be multiple people per car, however you need to be 18+ to be tested
  • There were no screening questions prior to testing
  • The Orange County Convention Center site is open on the weekends and no appointment is needed
  • Testing at this site is free

Council Member Liz Andert also had a few updates for residents in regard to the Butler Chain of Lakes.

  • The Butler Chain of Lakes Advisory Board did not meet in either March or April, and their May meeting has also been cancelled
  • The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission has set aside funding for vegetation issues, such as hydrilla, on the lakes
    • FWC does quarterly vegetation surveys
    • Lake Down saw a substantial improvement in regard to vegetation
    • Most of the other lakes are showing significant vegetation issues in certain locations
    • If you notice hydrilla or other vegetation issues, you can report it to FWC here: https://myfwc.com/
  • Bird Island will be getting new, more visible and prominent “Private Property/No Trespassing”
  • The ramp gate at Fernwood Park was open the other day, but this was due to a patrol boat needing maintenance
  • The Orange County Environmental Protection Division is working on developing a newsletter focused on safe water recreation, alerts about vegetation, fish, etc.
  • New pelican chicks and nests were spotted on Bird Island
  • Shortly after the Windermere boat ramps closed, the Butler Marine Patrol reported 100% compliance with Governor DeSantis’ executive order related to boating and water recreation
  • The Orange County EPD found a lot of litter on some waterways, especially on the canal between Lake Butler and Lake Louise
  • As always, please email Council Member Andert if you have any questions

Chief Ogden followed up on Council Member Andert’s remarks to report that the Butler Marine Patrol has granted the Town money and authorization for WPD Officers for shore patrol and shoreline protection (open water is still Orange County/FWC jurisdiction). Expect to see a Windermere Officer at the ramps once we reopen!

Some questions from today:

 

  1. Is the Orange County curfew still in effect?
  2. Yes.

Join us every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm. 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

 

 

 

Phase 1 Florida Reopening

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Phase One of his plan for reopening the state for business. Calling the step “small and deliberate,” phase one will take effect on Monday, May 4th and will exclude Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.  Listed below are the main components of phase one.

  • Continued distance learning for schools
  • Continued prohibition on visits to senior living facilities
  • Allows elective surgeries to resume
  • Allows restaurants to offer outdoor seating with a 6-foot space between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity
  • Allows retail establishments to operate at 25% capacity
  • Continued closure for bars, gyms, and personal services, such as hairdressers
  • Continued social distancing and safer at home recommended for vulnerable adults
  • Continued limitation for social groups to ten people or less
  • Recommended use of face masks while in public, in the workplace, or if you are unable to social distance (No one will be fined for noncompliance)

Further, the state is increasing the availability of testing sites by increasing drive-up test sites, as well as walk-up testing.  The National Guard will continue to staff these testing sites. 

 

You may access the Governor’s presentation from yesterday’s press conference below.  You may also review the Governor’s recent Executive Orders below as well as others all Executive Orders. 

 

Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-111 extends Executive Orders 20-87 and 20-91 until 12:01 am May 4, 2020, and Executive Order 20-112 regarding Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery

Executive Order 20-111

Executive Order 20-112 re: Florida’s Recovery

FAQs for Executive Order 2020-112

Governor’s Powerpoint presentation on Phase One of Re-Opening: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step

 

Mayor Demings just completed an 11:00 am Press Conference.  He is relying on his Economic Recovery Task Force to provide further guidance for some of the business reopening specific criteria that may not have been answered in the Governor’s recent reopening orders.  Mayor Demings did state the Orange County Nightly Curfew would stay in place until future orders direct otherwise.  Mayor O’Brien has recommended that we will continue to operate in unity with Mayor Demings and the Orange County Orders and Directives in place. We will watch carefully over the next few days for updates.

 

 

 

Special Guest Monday, May 4

Monday, May 4, we are excited to welcome Pastor Troy Schmidt of Family Church, Windermere to our Virtual Town Hall Meeting! Pastor Schmidt will be speaking from a small business perspective about some of the changes that have been made at Family Church, as well as some of the general needs in the community during this time.

For more than three decades Troy Schmidt has been reaching audiences and readers through his writing for television, film and books. Whether sharing stories that inspire young people or guiding teens to adults through the bible with Inspirational, Devotional or Christian Living books, he has published more than fifty works.

Troy began writing animation in Los Angeles in 1985 (Dennis the Menace, Heathcliff, Flintstone Kids). In 1992, he moved to Orlando to write for The Mickey Mouse Club, on staff for three seasons. He wrote for three Disney parades on ABC (Easter and Christmas), and a Disney Animal Kingdom show. He later adapted a Max Lucado children’s book, “Hermie The Common Caterpillar”, into a video, creating and writing a total of thirteen Hermie & Friends videos and more than twenty different books for Tommy Nelson.

As a Producer and Writer for “The American Bible Challenge” with Jeff Foxworthy for all three seasons, Troy adapted his writings to create a daily devotional, “The American Bible Challenge Daily Reader” and the “The American Bible Challenge Board Game.”

Working closely with Alex and Stephen Kendrick, Troy wrote “This Mean’s War” a teen prayer journal based on the movie War Room and “Revealed” a teen boy’s devotional book through B&H for their movie upcoming movie Overcomer. Over the past 5 years he has written numerous Inspirational and Devotional books for Baker and Broadstreet. Recently he released a Christian Living book, “Fish Sandwiches: The Delight of Receiving God’s Promises,” through NavPress.

Recently, Troy has focused his attention on the issue of religious freedom in America through his book “Holding the Line: America’s Fight for Religious Freedom.” His Facebook group and website spotlight constant daily attacks on religious freedom by atheist groups.

Troy is a Campus Pastor at First Baptist Church of Windermere, Florida with more than 2,000 attendees and has been on staff since 1997. He is married to Barbie and they have three sons, Riley, Brady and Carson, two daughters-in-law and one grandchild (two more on the way).

Join us every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm. 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

 

4/29/2020

Virtual Town Hall #21 – 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 (Access Password: 5M#x3cX9).

 

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

 

Here’s a recap:

 

There are currently 33,193 cases of COVID-19 statewide, including 355 new cases. There have been 1,218 deaths. In Orange County there are 1,306 positive cases. There have been 33 deaths. There are 36 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).

 

Mayor O’Brien reminded residents that as we receive guidance from both Orange County Mayor, Jerry Demings, and Governor DeSantis, we may have to sacrifice and experience some inconveniences to ensure we don’t have a relapse as soon as the state and county reopen. Please be patient and be careful.

Mayor O’Brien thanked everyone who attended last night’s Virtual Town Council meeting, and invited anyone who had comments or suggestions to reach out to him or Town Manager Smith. Mayor O’Brien also congratulated Council Members Sapp and Williams on their new terms, as they were virtually sworn in last night.

Town Manager Smith clarified some information that has been circulating regarding theme parks reopening. When the Orange County task force released their talking points relative to what a theme park reopen would entail, they were referencing attractions such as the Orlando Eye, Gatorland, Fun Spot, etc. Disney and Universal will come up with their own plan for reopening in accordance with the State and County.

 

Governor DeSantis is holding a press conference this evening, as is Mayor Demings, regarding the stay at home order. Once we have all the details from both the State and the County, we will update residents.

 

We have a few upcoming guest speakers planned for this week and next – as always, there will be special social media posts for you to share with neighbors and friends. This Friday, we will have Tony Spratt of Body Coach here in Downtown Windermere. And next Monday, we will have Pastor Troy Schmidt from FBC Windermere – Family Church.

 

Chief Ogden shared some good news with residents; April 26th was the first day the County reported that there were no new hospitalizations!

 

Chief Ogden also had some sad news. The Clermont Police Department lost an officer to COVID-19. This is a municipality close to us, and reminds us that no one is immune and how important it is to follow CDC guidelines on social distancing and personal hygiene.

 

Today we were joined by the Orange County Director of Public Safety, Danny Banks. Director Banks’ remarks start at 00:03:21 in the recording. Here are the key takeaways:

 

  • Orange County got started early in regard to preparations for COVID-19
    • The Office of Emergency Management was activated early to start requisitioning resources there was an anticipated need for, to ensure first responders and assisted living facilities would be covered
  • Orange County has provided PPEs to over 300 different organizations including distributing
    • 300,000 N95 masks
    • 700,000 surgical masks
    • Similar amounts of gowns, booties, and hand sanitizers
  • Beginning March 13th, Orange County saw a daily increase in positive COVID-19 tests of 20%
    • We are now at a positive testing rate of 3-7%
    • Likely due to the increased use of PPEs, the Orange County curfew, and State/County “Stay at Home” orders
  • Orange County Mayor, Jerry Demings, put together a task force to sort out the logistics of reopening
    • Orange County recognizes the economic need for people to get back to work, but also the importance of caution to ensure optimum health
  • Orange County has multiple COVID-19 testing sites
    • Orange County volunteered the use of the Orange County Convention Center to FEMA right away. That site has served over 10,000 individuals
    • Several other sites were opened in partnership with AdventHealth (Mall at Millennia, UCF)
    • The Orange County Department of Health also initiated mobile testing sites which rotate between 5 different sites; including the one closest to Windermere at West Orange Park in Winter Garden
    • Two testing locations were opened today under the control of Orange County Health Services: Ventura Elementary School (32822 zip) and the South Orange Youth Complex. These locations were chosen due to their proximity to the most affected zones on the Orange County heat map
    • Windermere has not been affected to the extent of some other Orange County communities. If that changes, Orange County would provide localized testing sites
  • Orange County is and has been working to ensure they have adequate testing supplies through the entire pandemic
  • Orange County is also looking for future opportunities to possible provide additional PPEs to the public and businesses when the County and State start to reopen

 

Some questions for Director Banks:

Q. Are there enough PPEs for both Orange County municipalities and hospitals if the Governor decides to initiate phase 1 of reopening either sooner or slower?
A.
Orange County has built up a good stockpile in anticipation of whatever the Governor’s orders will be. Orange County is still collecting PPEs and plans to continue.

Q. How has communication been between the State and local governments?
A.
While it has been challenging it has worked well. Governments have been able to accomplish things quickly and have developed fast strategies. Orange County is in daily communication with both Tallahassee and Orange County local municipalities. The State has been responsive.

Q. Where are the locations for the Public to get their PPEs from Orange County?
A.
This has not been determined yet. Orange County would like to be able to provide PPEs to the community, but the logistics are still a work in progress. Right now, Orange County is looking to first come up with a cache to hand out to small businesses so that they have something prior to reopening. Orange County Fire & Rescue has been handing out small bottles of hand sanitizer to all calls, and everyone who has been tested at an Orange County site has also received a small bottle of sanitizer. Ideally, Orange County would like to be able to hand out masks as well. The county is working on ordering 1 million masks.

Q. Is Mayor Demings going to make face coverings mandatory?
A.
Mayor Demings is evaluating this possibility; and it may come as a result of some businesses reopening. Orange County realizes the importance of masks and other face coverings in slowing the spread of COVID-19, but there are valid concerns about the enforceability as well.

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 (dedwards@town.windermere.fl.us) your questions and she will ask them in the meeting for you; just watch the recording for your answers!
 
Join meetings here: https://zoom.us/j/412419544?pwd=THZSTmo5TTF3YncyV29WV3Y1VER0Zz09

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMUxzrgZvZQ

4/27/2020

Virtual Town Hall #20 – 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 (Access Password: 8y*6#hWH).

 

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

 

Here’s a recap:

There are currently 32,138 cases of COVID-19 statewide, including 535 new cases. There have been 5,000 hospitalizations and 1,088 deaths. In Orange County there are 1,276 positive cases. There have been 129 hospitalizations and 30 deaths. There are 36 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).

 

Despite an increased testing capacity, positive cases seem to be following a downward trend. This is good news, though we need to make sure we keep social distancing and staying home as much as possible to ensure this downward trend continues. Expect to see more targeted testing coming soon to high risk groups (assisted living facilities, retirement homes, etc.).

 

We have a few upcoming guest speakers planned for this week and next – as always, there will be special social media posts for you to share with neighbors and friends. This Wednesday, we’ll be joined by the Orange County Director of Public Safety, Danny Banks. Friday, we will have Tony Spratt of Body Coach here in Downtown Windermere. And next Monday, we will have Pastor Troy Schmidt from FBC Windermere – Family Church.

Town Manager Smith provided clarification on last Friday’s Virtual Town Hall: the canal is not closed for boat or jet ski traffic, but it has been amended to prohibit climbing and jumping.

 

Manager Smith also remarked about a potential extension on Governor DeSantis’ “Safer at Home” executive order, which is set to expire 5/01 at midnight as of now. All information will be passed on to residents as soon as it is received.

Manager Smith reminded residents about the 4/28/2020 Town Council Meeting. This meeting will be held via Zoom and has a limited agenda. Find links to the meeting and the agenda here (scroll down). We will have public comment during the meeting. If you would like to sign up for public comment, please email your full name and street address to either Diane Edwards or Robert Smith ahead of the meeting. Alternately, you can also indicate you would like to make a public comment using the chat feature in Zoom prior to the meeting starting.

 

Chief Ogden reported on his 1:00pm meeting with Orange County, and echoed both Mayor O’Brien and Manager Smith; we should have some more guidance this week as to when the state will re-open. We will of course share this information with residents. Small business should take steps to prepare for reopening, such as gathering PPEs, masks, gloves, cleaning supplies, preparing protocols, etc.

Join us every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. Meetings will be held daily at 2:30pm through the end of Governor DeSantis’ stay at home order. 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

4/24/2020

Virtual Town Hall #19 – 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 (Access Password: 6l%w8K@@).

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

 

Here’s a recap:

There are currently 30,174 cases of COVID-19 statewide. There have been 4,699, hospitalizations and 1,012 deaths. In Orange County there are 1,286 positive cases. There are 36 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).

The COVID-19 testing that was scheduled to be done at West Orange Park had to be cancelled due to inclement weather. Appointments have been rescheduled for Monday. Mayor O’Brien advised residents that if they need want to be tested, they have a high probability of being tested, you will just need to call the Orange County Health Department at 407-858-1400 or get a referral from your Primary Care Physician.

Mayor O’Brien also informed residents that the canal between Wauseon Bay and Lake Down is now closed due to safety concerns. Mayor O’Brien stated the purpose in doing this was not to halt recreation, but to avoid a potential tragedy as people had been jumping off the fences and piping into the canal which is being trafficked by boats and jet skis.

Town Manager Smith stated that the Town has been keeping in constant communication with County, State, and Federal officials regarding the economic reopening of Florida as well as the 2nd Stimulus Package which President Trump signed earlier this afternoon. As always, we will pass along any and all pertinent information to you as we receive it.

Manager Smith reminded residents about the 4/28/2020 Town Council Meeting. This meeting will be held via Zoom and has a limited agenda. Find links to the meeting and the agenda here (scroll down). We will have public comment during the meeting. If you would like to sign up for public comment, please email your full name and street address to either Diane Edwards or Robert Smith ahead of the meeting. Alternately, you can also indicate you would like to make a public comment using the chat feature in Zoom prior to the meeting starting.

The Town is moving forward with projects. Manager Smith indicated that he would send out his Projects Meeting notes to Council on Monday, who will then distribute to their respective email contacts.

Monday we will be welcoming Tony Spratt of Windermere’s Body Coach to our Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Tony will be speaking to us about staying active while remaining “Safer at Home.” Look for a social media post to share soon.

Chief Ogden reported that the WPD held their weekly Zoom meeting last night and that all are doing well. He also encouraged residents who may have missed Wednesday’s Virtual Town Hall meeting on Cyber Security and Online Safety with Special Agent Kevin Kaufman of the FBI to go back and review the recording (Access Password: 5Y^c^0o).

Chief Ogden followed up on the canal closing, stating that signs have been ordered and will be installed asap. He also mentioned that while Fernwood Park is closed for the launching of boats, that the pier is still open for fishing.

We welcomed Stephanie Desaulniers, owner of Windermere’s Dixie Cream Café to today’s Virtual Town Hall meeting. Dixie Cream has been a cornerstone of Downtown Windermere for 10 years. Stephanie spoke to us about some of the challenges small businesses are facing during this time, and what the future looks like for Dixie Cream. Stephanie’s segment begins at 00:14:46 in the recording

Key Takeaways:

  • Dixie Cream closed on the 22nd March with health and sustainability being the forefront concerns
  • The community has been incredibly supportive and understanding during this time
  • Dixie Cream is using this time to focus on updating their business model prior to reopening. This includes reworking portions of the menu, adjusting hours of operation, and methods of service. There is a lot of work to be done!
  • Dixie Cream will not reopen until it is 100% safe to do so. They are looking to the State for guidance on when that may take place. It will likely be several weeks, and will probably begin with takeout before opening for dine-in
  • Being closed has been difficult for employees as well; they are eager to get back to work, but also recognize the importance of social distancing. The Go Fund Me which was set up for employees raised over $9,000 and has been distributed to employees – thank you to everyone who contributed!
  • Dixie Cream will make it through this time!

 

Some questions from today:

Q. As a Small Business Owner, what has been your experience regaining funds from the State or Federal Government?
A.
It has not been easy and has not been great so far. Receiving funds is not guaranteed even though Dixie Cream submitted their application early. Stephanie has not given up and is trying every avenue to get stimulus funds. She and the rest of Dixie Cream are staying positive and preparing for what they can to ensure a successful future.

Q. Has there been any guidance from the Department of Health regarding social distancing and dining?
A. Not yet, but it’s expected for the Department of Health to give guidelines prior to restaurants reopening. Dixie Cream has already worked out furniture configurations to accommodate 6’ dining distances, but will comply with whatever the Department of Health issues.

Q. What keeps you up at night?
A.
The unknown date of reopening, how different the world is going to be after this is over, and anxiety from media overload.

Q. What are friends, colleagues, and others in the restaurant industry saying are their fears?
A.
Their world has been turned upside down. They’re worried about their families – they need to be able to work to support them, but this also puts them at risk. Some colleagues put a lot of time and effort into renovations only to have their businesses come to a screeching halt.

Q. How long can Dixie Cream sustain itself without government assistance or some sort of soft reopening (ex: takeout)?”
A.
Dixie Cream is hoping that by June they’ll be able to reopen, at least partially. Dixie Cream is relying on the government to issue guidelines regarding economic reopening. This closure is temporary and not permanent! The local Windermere community is helping to sustain Dixie Cream through the temporary closure; there would likely have been a different outcome if Dixie Cream had been located elsewhere!

To follow up on that last answer, and because Dixie Cream has been an integral part of Windermere for 10 years, the Windermere Wine & Dine announced they would be providing a grant that allocated $500 to each employee (approx. $9,000). The Windermere Police Department Foundation, Inc. announced they would round the grant amount to $10,000.  Both the Windermere Wine & Dine and the WPD Foundation reminded residents that, “We’re a community and all family. We are the community that we are because we take care of each other.”

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 (dedwards@town.windermere.fl.us) 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

4/23/2020

Upcoming Special Guests – Virtual Town Hall Meetings

 

Friday, 4/24/2020 – Stephanie Desaulniers, Owner – Dixie Cream Cafe

Join us Friday, April 24, at 2:30 pm as we speak with Stephanie Desaulniers, owner of Windermere’s very own Dixie Cream Cafe. Stephanie will talk to u about being a small business owner during Corona.

Stephanie founded Dixie Cream Cafe ten years ago in December 2010. She has a degree in Communications from the University of Florida. Stephanie has called Central Florida home since 1987. She’s been married 34 years, with 3 children and 2 rascally dogs. She is a member of the National Restaurant Association.

The Town will hold Virtual Town Hall meetings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. 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.

 

 

 

Monday, 4/27/2020 – Tony Spatt – Owner, Body Coach

More info TBA

 

Wednesday, 4/29/2020 – Danny Banks – Orange County Director of Public Safety

Join us Wednesday, April 29 at 2:30pm as we welcome Special Guest Danny Banks.

Danny Banks is the Deputy County Administrator / Director of Public Safety for Orange County, Florida. Banks was appointed to this position in March, 2019 by Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. Prior to assuming this role, Director Banks served a 25 year career in law enforcement in Central Florida, which included service with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Director Banks most recently served as the Special Agent in Charge of FDLE’s Orlando Regional Operations Center, which encompassed the state’s largest law enforcement laboratory and  sworn investigative unit in the state, serving nine counties of Central Florida. Director Banks began his law enforcement career in 1994with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, where he served6years until transitioning to FDLE.While at FDLE, Director Banks served as a member of the agency’s command staff for 12 years, and was the state police incident commander during the response to the Pulse Nightclub terrorist attack on June 12, 2016.As the Director of Public Safety for Orange County, Florida, Director Banks oversees the operations of multiple public safety departments within the county, encompassing over 3,300employees with an annual budget in excess of $500 million.Director Banks’ oversight includes the Orange County Fire Rescue Department, the Orange County Corrections Department and the county’s Office of Emergency Management. Director Banks also maintains oversight of the county’s Health Services Department, which provides safety and wellness resources to the citizens of Orange County. Director Banks is a graduate of the Florida State University, as well as numerous executive leadership programs across the nation.He is a graduate of the FBI’s Chief Executive Institute and the FBI National Academy, and has served on numerous local, state and national governance boards related to public safety.

The Town will hold Virtual Town Hall meetings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. 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.

 

4/22/2020

Virtual Town Hall #18 – 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 (Access Password: 5Y^c^0o).

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

Here’s a recap:

Mayor O’Brien reminded residents about the 4/28/2020 Town Council Meeting. This meeting will be held via Zoom and has a limited agenda. Read the agenda here (scroll down).

There are currently 27,543 cases of COVID-19 statewide with 943 new cases reported; this is a decrease from the past average of 1,000-1,200 a day. There have been 4,288, hospitalizations and 893 deaths. In Orange County there are 1,251 positive cases, with 91 new cases reported. There are 36 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).

Mayor O’Brien spoke briefly about the Orange County Economic Task Force meeting this morning. Small business owners are encouraged to email economicrecovery@ocfl.net with questions prior to the next meeting by 5:00pm. This will give the Task Force the opportunity to read and address your questions.

Town Manager Smith reported that there are approximately 700-1,000 tests a day being done in Orange County with a 9%-10% positive testing result. For reference, Orange County has a population of 1.39 million people.

Town Manager Smith attended the Governor’s Economic Task Force meeting. Per the information related at this meeting, re-opening the state is not as simply as merely declaring we’re open for business, particularly for restaurant owners. Many restaurants keep a 30 day food reserve on-hand, and this will put a strain on farmers and distributors if re-opening is not done in an orderly manner. Additionally, owners are facing a loss if they reopen, place their orders, and a new spike in cases forces another stay at home order; models do show COVID-19 making a reappearance in the Fall. Furthermore, restaurants do not currently have enough masks, gloves, or cleaning supplies, and re-opening will put them into competition with medical suppliers for these items. Last, but not least, re-opening restaurants without a plan raises questions related to how to effectively social distance and liability should patrons or employees get sick. The key to re-opening will be finding balance between business owners’ needs and the advice of medical professionals.

Manager Smith announced that Friday we will be joined by Stephanie Desaulniers of our very own Dixie Cream Café who will speak to us about being a small business owner during this time. Monday we will be joined by Tony Spratt of Body Coach Personal Training, also located here in Town. He’ll talk to us about staying healthy and active during quarantine. Keep an eye out for Social Media posts to share!

Chief Ogden reported that Windermere Police Department is still operating with a full staff and that all officers are healthy. Other than a few calls regarding crowds and unsafe activities around the canal on Main Street, things are calm in Town.

We welcomed Special Agent Kevin Kaufman of the FBI to today’s Virtual Town Hall meeting. Agent Kaufman has 16 years of experience with the FBI and is currently assigned to the Orlando Resident Agency Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Special Agent Kaufman’s remarks begin at 00:21:29.

Key Takeaways:

  • Due to schools closing down, kids are spending a lot more time online. This increases their risk of running into predators.
     
  • There has been a recent uptick in the solicitation and enticement of minors, as well as an uptick in scams.
     
  • Children as young as 6-7 years old are being targeted.
  • Any platform with chat, messaging, or video capabilities can be used by predators. Parents should review and approve all games, social media, etc. platforms and make themselves aware of all associated functionalities.
     
  • Ensure privacy settings are set to the highest level.
     
  • When the webcam is not in use, cover it with tape or paper. Predators can install viruses that can remotely activate webcams and capture private images and videos which can then be spread across the internet or used maliciously.
     
  • Parents should monitor all online activity, even school work.
     
  • Parents should take the time to educate their children about the dangers of online interactions, but make sure that their children also feel comfortable coming to them if they encounter inappropriate online activity. Make sure children know they won’t get in trouble if they are the victim of a predator!
  • Anyone under the age of 18 who distributes sexually inappropriate images can be arrested and charged with production and distribution of child pornography.
  • Colleges and universities are reviewing social media accounts; don’t let uninformed choices hold back your child’s future.
     
  • If you or your child are contacted by an online predator, resist the urge to threaten them. Alert law enforcement as soon as possible without tipping off the predator. This will ensure law enforcement has the greatest chance of gathering evidence and stopping the predator before they victimize others.
     
  • Be careful of what you are posting on social media, including what you are using for a profile picture and username. Scammers will use publicly available information gleaned from social media accounts to impersonate and scam individuals.

 

Some questions from today:

Q. Are certain online games being used by predators more than others?
A. Any platform with messaging/chat/video features has the potential for predators to exploit. The more popular games with kids are the ones that carry the greater probability of predators lurking.

Q. What are some safe/safer ways to pay for items online or that have an anti-fraud mechanism?
A. Use a credit card online instead of a debit card. Your credit card company will alert you to potential fraudulent activity and give you the opportunity to review. You can also dispute fraudulent charges made to a credit card to ensure you don’t lose money.

Q. Have you found that predators are from a particular area of the country or world, and are there more male than female predators?
A. Predators come from every country and demographic, though it is mainly males who target children. Both boys and girls are equally targeted. We see more predators from overseas active during the night, while during the day more domestic predators are active online.

Q. Any advice on how to keep seniors from being scammed?
A. Predators and criminals target most vulnerable. As we learn about scams as a community, spread the word so we all stay educated and ahead of the curve. Reach out to Windermere PD if you need help or would like to be added to the Windermere Safety Watch newsletter. Keep in mind, no government agency will ever ask for your password, security questions, social security number, etc. via email or phone. Stay cautious and alert.

Q. Kids are curious. Once a mistake is made (i.e. a child accesses adult content by mistake) how can a parent ensure the device is “clear?” Are there any net nanny type programs you recommend?
A. Network with fellow parents for programs they use and recommend. Doing a factory reset will clear the device history. If you come across potential evidence, immediately reach out to local law enforcement or the FBI.

Q. I get a lot of messages saying I have been hacked and I need to forward the message to all of my friends. What should I do?
A. This is a phishing scam. Check your device. Is it functioning properly? If so, it hasn’t been hacked. Check your account, check your bank, etc. before providing any information. Banks, device providers, social media companies will reach out to you in traditional ways to alert you of potential hacks or compromises and will never ask for your personal information.

Q. Where can I find the known scams on the website?
A. We just created a new page on the website which has resources for keeping safe online (for children, parents, adults, and seniors alike) as well as links to report scams directly to the FBI.

Q. Has Advent Health said anything about the COVID-19 antibody tests?
A. Per medical professionals, test results showing that an individual had COVID-19 or that antibodies are present in one’s system does not mean that that individual is now immune or still can’t spread the disease to others. New reports indicate that the 60% initially reported as asymptomatic carriers is actually closer to just 6%.

Q. What were the next steps at the end of the Orange County Task Force meeting?
A. Today’s meeting was a general introduction meeting. The Task Force will reconvene later this week. We’ll share any and all pertinent information as we receive it.

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 (dedwards@town.windermere.fl.us) 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

4/21/2020

Wednesday’s Virtual Town Hall – Special Guest

If you have kids or grandkids, you don’t want to miss tomorrow’s Virtual Town Hall meeting!
 
We are pleased to welcome Special Agent Kevin Kaufman of the FBI to talk to us about how to keep kids safe online. With schools being out for the rest of the school year, more kids are plugged in than ever before.
 
Special Agent Kevin Kaufman is a 16 year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigations. During his tenure he has worked in various violations to include: violent crimes, public corruption, health care, international terrorism, and violent crimes against children. He is currently assigned to the Orlando Resident Agency Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force. Prior to the FBI, SA Kaufman worked as a San Diego Police Officer as well as worked with troubled youth at the San Diego Probation Department. He is a graduate of San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
 
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 (dedwards@town.windermere.fl.us) your questions and she will ask them in the meeting for you; just watch the recording for your answers!
 
 
 
 
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.
 
 

4/20/2020

Virtual Town Hall #17 – 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 (Access Password: 9o^g!yK&).

 

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

Here’s a recap:

There are currently 26,660 cases of COVID-19 statewide with 744 cases last reported; this is a decrease from the past average of 1,000-1,200 a day. There have been 3,842 hospitalizations and 789 deaths.

In Orange County there are 1,204 positive cases, with 15 new cases last reported; again this is showing a downward trend. There have been 172 hospitalizations and 23 deaths. There are 36 cases in the 34786 zip code, but no new cases within Town limits (4 currently).

Governor DeSantis announced that public schools in Florida will remain closed through the end of the school year. Private and charter schools will likely follow suit.

Mayor O’Brien indicated that unfortunately, the Elizabeth Parsons School of Dance will not reopen this school year. He also reminded residents to use the parks and courts responsibly. Additionally, Mayor O’Brien encouraged residents to be extra mindful and supportive of their neighbors and community members. Disney furloughed 42,000 employees last week; this will affect members of our community, as we all likely know someone who works for Disney. It will be months before Disney or any of the theme parks can reopen, so if you’ve been fortunate during this crisis and would like to help those less fortunate, please consider doing so.

Town Manager Smith reiterated that just because the Town offices are closed, Town staff are still working to ensure vendors are paid, agendas are going out, and local government stays functioning. Town-contracted engineers are also working from home, so Town projects are on-going. Those needing building and zoning permits are still able to apply and access those documents through our online portal here.

The April Town Council Meeting was rescheduled from 4/14 to 4/28 at 6:00pm. The meeting will be held via Zoom to adhere to CDC guidelines on social distancing and public gatherings. Login information as well as the link to the agenda can be found here (be sure to scroll down the page).

 

The Town will follow guidance from the State as well as the County regarding when we will open for business. Once we have received information from the newly organized task force, we will be sure to pass that information along to residents.

 

Orange County officially rolled out mobile testing sites. They are working westward across the county. For more information on mobile testing sites and testing requirements, please visit Orange County’s website.

In addition to mobile site, the Mall at Millennia and the University of Central Florida are testing by appointment-only. Please reach out to your primary care physician to schedule an appointment at one of these locations. Alternately, the Orange County Convention Center is also testing individuals without an appointment. The Convention Center has loosened requirements for testing. To read more about these requirements, visit the above website, and click on the “1” icon on the testing site map.

Chief Ogden reminded residents that if they see something that seems suspicious or that should not be going on, to please alert WPD. There were reports over the weekend of kids and teenagers jumping off of the canal bridge – this is a safety issue and has since been addressed. Parents, please be mindful of where your kids are and that they are safe. There was a report last week in Estancia of someone signing for a package fraudulently. Be extra vigilant and keep an eye out in your neighborhoods. While overall crime is down across Central Florida, certain crimes like fraud and scamming is up.

Chief Ogden also announced our special guest for Wednesday’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting, Special Agent Kevin Kaufman of the FBI. Special Agent Kaufman will be speaking about staying safe online. We highly recommend anyone with kids or grandkids join us to learn more about keeping our families safe online. Be on the lookout for a social media post to share with neighbors and friends.

 

Chief Ogden shared information from Mayor Demings’ meeting earlier today regarding hurricane season and emergency management plans during this crisis. A point was raised that if there should be a hurricane, normally people would shelter in Orange County Public Schools. However, as it would be hard to social distance in an auditorium, Orange County emergency management is working on developing relationships with local hotels for shelter needs should this arise.

 

Lastly, Chief Ogden stated Orange County Public Schools will make the announcement by the end of the week how long they will extend their meals/grab & go program after the state reopens.

 

Some questions from today:

Q. Are you guys hearing anything about antibody tests becoming available soon?

A. No, nothing from OCERT or any other authorities. If and when we do, we’ll be sure to share it with residents.

Q. If we are older, but relatively healthy, should we get tested?

A. Those 65+ are given the green light for testing. Those under 65 will need to have an underlying issue, show symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who was diagnosed. For those without a doctor’s referral, the Orange County Convention Center will be your most likely chance of being tested. Review the requirements here.

Q. Is there any reading on what the Governor or OC Mayor may be doing about modifying the orders currently in place?

A. The orders will stay the same for the time being. Once the State and County committees/task forces put together, we will have more information to pass on.

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 (dedwards@town.windermere.fl.us) 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

 

Power Point from last week’s Virtual Town Hall with Attorney Pamela Martini

Once again, thank you to Town resident and attorney, Pamela Martini for speaking to us last Friday about Advance Directives and Estate Planning! Here is the link to Pamela’s PowerPoint that she used during the Virtual Town Hall: Advance Directives & Estate Planning

Below you will find timestamps from the recording (Listen to the recording here Access Password: N9+725^B) so you can follow along slide-by-slide.

Intro: 00:15:43
Heath care Decisions 00:17:11
-Picking a person to make your healthcare and estate decisions 00:18:43
-Health Care Proxy 00:19:14
-Designation of Health Care Surrogate 00:22:02
-Living Will 00:24:40
*Living Will vs DNR 00:25:48
-Five Wishes 00:27:19
Financial Decisions 00:28:15
-Durable Power of Attorney 00:29:30
-Living Trust 00:32:31
-Less Desirable Options (Joint Ownership, Convenience Accounts, & Guardianship) 00:33:27
Remote Notarization 00:34:46
Other Documents to Consider 00:36:05
-Where Should You Keep Your Documents? 00:37:47
Wills 00:39:07
-When a Will is Critical 00:40:04
-Wills and Probate 00:41:29
Steps to Take NOW to Assist Your Family in the Event of Your Hospitalization or Other Incapacitation 00:41:45

 

Agenda available for 4/28/2020 Town Council Meeting

In order to move forward with the Town’s temporary and permanent facilities plans, as well as the mid-year budget review, April’s Town Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 28th, 2020. The meeting will begin at 6:00pm. The agenda can be viewed HERE. This will be a virtual meeting through Zoom.

The login information is below:

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/92505336369?pwd=VVNUUThpdXE4RnZaTy9PVDFBY29NUT09

Meeting ID: 925 0533 6369
Password: 061593

One tap mobile:
+16465588656,,92505336369# US (New York)
+13126266799,,92505336369# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location:
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)


Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abdnle7eYL

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, here’s a great overview on how to access the platform: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMUxzrgZvZQ

4/17/2020

Virtual Town Hall #16 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Town Manager Smith and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Listen to the recording here (Access Password: N9+725^B).

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

Here’s a recap:

Mayor O’Brien reminded residents that April’s Town Council Meeting has been rescheduled to 4/28. This meeting will be conducted via Zoom (info and link to join can be found here). Town Manager Smith indicated that the agenda will be posted early next week, but only three items are planned for discussion: temporary Town facilities, the permanent facilities, and the mid year budget review.

Mayor O’Brien thanked residents for their continued efforts to stay safe at home, social distance, and comply with CDC guidelines. It appears we are continuing to flatten the curve; spikes in cases are likely a result of increased testing. Testing requirements have been loosened at the Orange County Convention Center; almost anyone who wants to be tested is now able to be tested. While it’s tempting to use this as an excuse to go outside more, the next couple weeks are crucial to keep the curve flat. Statewide there are 24,119 positive cases of COVID-19 (1,200 cases yesterday), with 3,507 hospitalizations and 687 deaths. In Orange County there are 1,073 positive cases of COVID-19 (58 cases yesterday), with 163 hospitalizations and 21 deaths. There are no new reported cased within Town limits.

Town Manager Smith reiterated that Town government is still running and staff are still working: Windermere Police Department are working 24/7, Public Works is working 7-11 and focusing on streets, stormwater, and keeping public areas free of trash and debris, and Admin staff are working from home/staggering and coordinating essential office time.

Based on Governor DeSantis’ press conference yesterday, State officials are looking at putting together a task force to tackle reopening the state once Phase 1 guidelines per President Trump and the CDC are met. The Town wants to ensure what we are doing is in compliance with State guidelines. We will be in communication with Tallahassee to ensure we are consistent with State guidelines. Right now, data suggests we could see a relapse in the Fall, so we definitely want to ensure we have enough PPEs and supplies should that happen. Currently the Town and Orange have enough PPEs and other supplies other than gowns, we want to ensure they last.

Manager Smith also remarked that Orange County will be rolling out mobile testing sites. We’ll link to the locations and times once that information comes available.

Chief Ogden announced that 16 cameras have been installed around Town Hall. Thank you Windermere Wine & Dine for making this possible!

The Town has acquired enough rapid testing kits to ensure our officers are staying healthy. Additionally, WPD officers take their temperature every shift and the WPD has worked out an agreement with Premier Medical doctors if there is a need. The PD is also holding weekly Zoom meetings to stay on the same page.

We were pleased to hear from Town resident, Attorney Pamela Martini, Esquire, today. Pamela spoke to us about advance directives and estate planning. Links to Pamela’s power point coming soon, keep an eye out for that!

Please find timestamps below which correspond to Pamela’s presentation:

Intro: 00:15:43
Heath care Decisions 00:17:11
-Picking a person to make your healthcare and estate decisions 00:18:43
-Health Care Proxy 00:19:14
-Designation of Health Care Surrogate 00:22:02
-Living Will 00:24:40
*Living Will vs DNR 00:25:48
-Five Wishes 00:27:19
Financial Decisions 00:28:15
-Durable Power of Attorney 00:29:30
-Living Trust 00:32:31
-Less Desirable Options (Joint Ownership, Convenience Accounts, & Guardianship) 00:33:27
Remote Notarization 00:34:46
Other Documents to Consider 00:36:05
-Where Should You Keep Your Documents? 00:37:47
Wills 00:39:07
-When a Will is Critical 00:40:04
-Wills and Probate 00:41:29
Steps to Take NOW to Assist Your Family in the Event of Your Hospitalization or Other Incapacitation 00:41:45

Some questions from today:

Q. If you have a trust, should you list the trust as the beneficiary of anything such as a life insurance policy?
A. Yes, if you have a living trust, you can transfer certain assets like banks accounts into it. For an insurance policy, most people want to make their spouse the primary beneficiary and the trust as the secondary beneficiary. If you have minor children, you should avoid naming them as beneficiaries to insurance policies as they cannot inherit property; any assets you wish to leave to a minor child should go into a trust for them that your will creates or a living trust.

Q. Would you recommend a revocable or irrevocable trust?
A. Revocable in most circumstances; you still can change and amend as needed and as life situations change.

Q. What happens if you file all of this in FL and then you are in another state and something happens. Will surrogates, power of attorney etc still be able to do things?
A. Yes, as long as your documents were executed validly in the state where you live, they will remain valid in another state. If you move to a new state, it’s a good idea to update your advance directives, however wills don’t need to be updated usually just because you moved to a new state.

Q. Should I put my child’s car in their name only once they turn 18?
A. Keeping your name on a vehicle that is used primarily by your child (or anyone other than yourself) opens you up to liability should they get into an accident.

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.

4/16/2020

Special Guest on Friday’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting – Attorney Pamela Martini

As promised, Windermere resident, attorney Pamela Martini, Esquire, will be joining us on tomorrow’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting.

 
Pamela will be speaking to us about advance directives, healthcare planning, and healthcare surrogacy.
 
Attorney Pamela Martini is a native Floridian, graduate of the University of Florida, and Barry University School of Law. She grew up in Brevard County and has lived in the Town of Windermere for the last 22 years. Her practice focuses on Elder Law, which includes Estate Planning, Probate, Guardianship, and Medicaid Planning. Pam is certified by the Florida Supreme Court in Family Mediation and has additional training in Elder Mediation and Shared Family Decision Making and as an Eldercaring Coordinator. She is a member of The Florida Bar, the Orange County Bar Association, and the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers

The Town will hold Virtual Town Hall meetings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. 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.

 

4/15/2020

Virtual Town Hall #15 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Town Manager Smith and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Listen to the recording here (Access Password: B1$q^A9Q).

As a reminder, links to past recordings can be found on past recap posts. Find past recap posts by scrolling through this page.

Here’s a recap:

Mayor O’Brien started us off with some great news! The date to file taxes has been extended to July 15. Some people have already begun receiving their stimulus checks – keep an eye on your bank account and mailbox. Not only does incoming weather this evening appear to be bringing in some much needed rain, but it will also lower temperatures overnight. Please be safe during any severe weather we experience. We are delighted to be joined by Windermere resident, Pamela Martini, esquire, on Friday’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Pamela will be speaking to us about advance directives, healthcare planning, and healthcare surrogate information. Look for a post to share tomorrow. If residents have any experts or subject matter they would like to see featured, please feel free to share.

More good news: the Town was able to acquire 150 COVID-19 tests from the city of Apopka. These tests will be used for our Windermere PD officers, and can determine if the test subject had COVID-19 and has since recovered/was an asymptomatic carrier. This will help keep up prepared for the remainder of 2020 or until there is a vaccine available for COVID-19.

Even more good news – per Orange County Mayor, Jerry Demings, our plan to flatten the curve is going well. If this trend continues, Orange County will not run out of PPEs, ventilators, ICU beds, etc. The next two weeks are critical to maintaining this projection. Keep up the good work; we’re almost there.

Statewide, there are 22,081 total cases of COVID-19 with 614 new cases reported yesterday, which is also a decline over the past 5 days (down from 1,100 Monday). There have been a total of 591 deaths statewide, 72 of those within the past 24 hours.

In Orange County, there are currently 1,051 cases of COVID-19. Despite additional testing, Orange County also shows a decline in positive cases. There have been 18 deaths in Orange County, 5 in the last 24 hours. There are 36 total cases in the 34786 zip code; with 4 of those within Town limits.

 

Town Manager Smith reported that staff met this morning (virtually) and that local government continues to function. The April Town Council Meeting will be a virtual meeting (Zoom) and is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28 at 6:00pm. Find login information here (scroll down). Right now the main agenda items are temporary and permanent Town facilities as well as the mid-year budget review. The full agenda will be posted early next week. We will link the agenda on the website and share across social media.

 

The Orange County Convention Center has relaxed requirements for testing and has increased their test amounts from 400 to 700 per day. Please visit the Orange County website for more information regarding testing at this location. Keep in mind, the number of cases is proportionate to the number of tests being administered. The more tests being administered, the higher case number a municipality will see.

 

In conjunction with AdventHealth, a new testing site opened up today at the Mall at Millennia. Similar to the UCF testing site, this location is by appointment only. Your doctor will need to refer you for a test at this location. There is no word yet on a West Orange testing site. Whether or not we get one will depend on if we see numbers increasing in our area.

 

Manager Smith also informed residents that the National Guard will begin visiting nursing homes and assisted living facilities to demonstrate to care staff how to properly use PPEs, administer tests, and ensure compliance with CDC guidelines. If you see men in camo, this is why; martial law has not been declared.

 

Manager Smith also thanked residents for participating in the 2020 Census. We are currently at a 50% response rate. In 2010, we had an 80% response rate compared to the nationwide response rate of 46%. If you have not already done so, please submit your Census data at this link. If you do not submit your data, a representative will visit your home in person between May and August to record your data.

 

Chief Ogden reported that the new camera system at Town Hall is officially up and running. Thank you to the Windermere Wine & Dine for making this possible!

 

The new Town App is moving forward. Paperwork submitted to Apple by Town Staff has been accepted and we should be able to launch in the next month. This app will allow iOS and Android users to opt-in to text alerts from the Town and Police Department. Once we are live, an announcement will be made.

 

Orange County has advised that they are working on setting up mobile testing sites. Once the logistics are worked out, we will share when and where those mobile sites will be located.

 

Per Orange County Schools – beginning next week all Grab & Go food locations will be reducing hours to Monday – Wednesday – Friday in order to reduce risk to their staff. The amount of meals available will stay the same; ex: Monday will pick up food for Monday AND Tuesday, etc. View a complete list of Grab & Go locations here. Please note that OCPS will be closed, including for Admin staff, Tuesdays and Thursdays as well.

 

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.

4/13/2020

Virtual Town Hall #15 – RECAP

Thank you for joining Town Manager Smith, and Chief Ogden for today’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Listen to the recording here (be sure to enter access code Q8*T#@29 when prompted).

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

Here’s a recap:

Mayor O’Brien could not join us today as he was on another COVID-19 related call.

As a reminder, the Orange County curfew is still in effect. Please make sure you are home between the hours of 11pm and 5am unless you are an essential worker at work or you meet another exemption.

The National Guard is still running tests at the Orange County Convention Center. Per the National Guard, restrictions on testing have been loosened; please review the Orange County Corona virus website for details.

Statewide there are 20,601 cases of COVID-19 (853 new cases yesterday, which is a decrease from previous days; this may be due to the Easter Holiday), 2,694 hospitalizations, and 470 deaths. In Orange County there are 1,017 cases of COVID-19 (64 new cases; this increase is likely due to more tests being done), 129 hospitalizations, and 13 deaths. The total number of cases for the 34786 zip code is 36 with still just 4 cases within Windermere. Due to a decrease in hospitalizations in Orange County, we do not anticipate any field hospitals opening up at this time.

Manager Smith reminded residents that the reason Orange County’s numbers may seem high compared to other counties is due to the fact that we have a federally-run testing site and are able to administer more tests than other (more rural) counties.

Per the COVID-19 data resource trends, the US peaked on 4/11/2020 with 2,000 COVID-19 deaths in a singe day. We are waiting to hear today’s numbers to see if the peak is still there. Anticipated Florida peak resource needs and deaths is 4/26/2020. Once we hit the peak in Florida, we will have a better idea of when smaller businesses can open back up. We won’t know when larger corporations that depend on (inter)national patronage (i.e. Disney, Universal, etc.) until the country and globe peaks.

Flights, though vastly reduced, are still coming in and out of Orlando International Airport. 97% of the flights at OIA have been cancelled, and the National Guard is screening travelers. However, the remaining flights are mainly cargo flights, delivering essential goods and supplies.

Manager Smith thanked the Windermere Police Department and Town Staff for their assistance with Saturday’s Easter Parade. Check out photos here.

Congress leaders met today to work on details of the second stimulus package, which is intended to supplement the CARES Act. Look for more details on this in the coming days.

Town government is still running. WPD is working 24/7, Public Works is working 7-11 and focusing on streets, stormwater, and keeping public areas free of trash and debris. Admin is working remotely with very limited and coordinated office time only when necessary. Projects meetings are still happening so projects don’t stall.

Lastly, Manager Smith informed residents we would keep them informed regarding whether Orange County would require the use of face masks/coverings when out in public. Regardless of Orange County’s decision, Windermere Police Officers and other Town Staff will be wearing masks to lead by example. Windermere-branded masks are being delivered to officers shortly.

Chief Ogden thanked the Windermere Safety Watch for their commitment to keeping Windermere safe and for calling in a suspicious vehicle over the weekend. He also reported that the Easter Parade was a success and thanked everyone who participated. We have some extra eggs, so if you know someone who missed out, please email either Town Manager Smith or Chief Ogden and we’ll make sure they’re taken care of.

The Windermere Police Department is still at full staff with no officers under quarantine. We in the process of ordering no-touch thermometers so that officers can take their temperatures every shift.

We were pleased to hear from Windermere Elementary School Principal, Diana Greer, today (00:13:13 is Principal Greer’s timestamp).

To date, approximately 690 WES students out of 721 are electronically participating in distance learning through a secured platform called “Big Blue Button.” The remaining students are participating via a supplemental paper packet which is mailed to their homes. Teachers are keeping office hours and are assisting/interacting with students as needed, videoing introductions to units, etc. So far, WES and OCPS as a district has had a lot of success with Distance Learning through Big Blue Button. Teachers and staff are striving to continue improving digital lessons each week, offering more variety, and making it a more user-friendly experience for students and parents; especially for grades K-2. Teachers and staff are doing their best to keep students engaged, on a routine, and to boost morale with morning announcements, different activities, and spirit days.

It’s okay as a parent to give yourself and your child a break! If an assignment is frustrating a student, step away for a while, take a walk, come back to it later, and definitely reach out to the teacher for help. Find a routine that works for your family’s situation. It may not be the exact routine that your teacher has outlined, and that’s okay! Teachers are being flexible since all families have unique needs.

Some questions from today:
Q. Is there any word on when schools will reopen?
A. No. Right now, schools will remain closed until April 30. Parents will be notified as soon as there are any updates.

Q. Are there any new changes to policies and procedures regarding how we interact with each other (i.e. school pick ups, visitation, etc.) in the future?
A. Not as of yet. Currently, Principal Greer is the only one accessing WES during office hours. If the school were to open back up, they would re-assess who should be coming in the building, sanitation, social distancing, etc.

Q. Is there any thought to setting up reading buddies through Big Blue Button?
A. Principal Greer will forward this idea to her staff – it’s a great idea!

Q. My fifth graders and their friends are very interested in hearing anything about their fifth grade celebration. Can you share anything that is being considered?
A. Principal Greer and PTO members are looking into alternate locations and dates for the celebration. Once it’s safe and things have opened back up, announcements will be made regarding the plan. Principal Greer emphasized that WES 5th graders are not forgotten about and they will have a celebration for them. Manager Smith stated that the Town would help in whatever way possible to help make the celebration happen.

Q. Will the food program continue?
A. It will continue until at least the traditional end of school. Alternate sites will likely be opened up for summer school locations/dates. As of right now, the 50 sites are still open Monday – Friday from 10am – 1pm. Any changes will be announced. A listing of sites can found here.
The closest grab & go location to Windermere is Frangus Elementary School, Gotha Middle School, and Maxey Elementary School. Potentially, Windermere High School will also open next week.

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.

 

Special Guest on Today’s Virtual Town Hall

Parents of school-aged children, be sure to join us for today’s Virtual Town Hall! Windermere Elementary School Principal, Diana Greer, will talking about
distance learning throughout the crisis.

The Town will hold Virtual Town Hall meetings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. 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.

4/10/2020

Virtual Town Hall #14 – 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. Scroll down to see past days’ updates/recaps.

Here’s a recap:
Statewide there are 17,531 positive cases, 390 deaths, and 2,360 hospitalizations. In Orange County, there are 902 cases,13 deaths, and 107 hospitalizations. There are still 4 cases in Town limits.

Mayor O’Brien thanked residents for staying home, only running necessary errands, and practicing social distancing. Mayor O’Brien encouraged residents to keep up the good work, especially with the Easter holiday this Sunday.

According to the latest models, the Florida peak is set for 4/26. Additionally, it does not look like Florida is expected to experience an ICU bed shortage at this point, and new cases seem to be declining, however every case is still significant.

As a reminder, Monday we will have Principal Greer of Windermere Elementary School join us to talk about how OCPS is handling distance learning during this time.

Town Manager Smith reiterated that the number of cases is directly proportionate to the number of tests. More tests means more positive results. Many people have been asking why the Orlando International Airport is still open. There is currently a very limited number of international flights coming through Orlando; virtually every flight except those coming from Brazil and Mexico have been cancelled, and the National Guard is screening. 95-97% of flights have been cancelled. Most planes coming into Orlando are cargo planes with items from Amazon, medical supplies, etc.

Masks for the Windermere Police Department have been ordered and are on their way. If you see WPD, Public Works, or other staff wearing masks it’s not because they are sick; but to help stop the spread and lead by example. Just because offices are closed, we are still working. We know the roads have ruts, but until it rains we can’t grade them. As soon as we get some rain, Public Works will be out grading. April’s Town Council has been rescheduled for April 28. Residents on Bessie and Butler, please leave survey flags where they are.

Town Manager Smith also reminded residents that peak times are different for each state. Florida’s peak is not the same as New York’s or other states. Don’t necessarily expect Disney, Universal, etc. to open up immediately, although local businesses may open up sooner.

Chief Ogden reminded residents about tomorrow’s Easter Egg Escort. WPD, Mayor O’Brien, and the Easter Bunny will be making their way through Town tomorrow morning beginning at 10am at Estancia, and moving south, ending at 12pm. Please stay in your yards, and keep at least 6′ between neighbors.

Be extra vigilant about scams going around, and be sure to report any suspected fraud to the State Attorney General. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional if you start feeling tense during quarantine; it’s a stressful time for everyone, but we don’t want things to escalate within homes.

Lastly, signs are now up at the Town basketball courts reminding residents that no more than 10 individuals should be on the courts at a time. This will help keep everyone healthy and will help us avoid having to close the courts.

Captain Herbert Frerking of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission joined us today to help clarify the Emergency Order issued by FWC and Governor DeSantis on 3/27/2020 regarding boating and social distancing on the water. Per this order, boats and other vessels must maintain a minimum of 50′ distance from other vessels when anchored or beached and cannot have more than 10 people aboard. People are still allowed and encouraged to recreate on the water, just responsibly while adhering to CDC-recommended social distancing guidelines.

If you would like to report inappropriate boating activity, please contact the FWC at 888-402-3922.

Some questions from today:

Q. Why can’t we have an FWC officer stationed on the Butler Chain, particularly near Bird Island?
A. The Orange County crew for FWC actually covers both Orange and Seminole County, and there are only 6 officers; about 1-2 per shift. This includes the St. John’s river.

Q. Have you heard of any plans to open Orange County ramps up like they have in Seminole County?
A. No; opening ramps is at the discretion of each county or municipality. FWC will monitor accordingly.

Q. Does the Emergency Order apply to jet skis as well?
A. Yes. The Emergency Order applies to all vessels

Q. When does the Emergency Order expire?
A. It will end when Governor DeSantis rescinds his Emergency Order. Right now, there is no expiration date.

The Town will hold Virtual Town Hall meetings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. 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.

4/09/2020

Virtual Town Hall 4/10/2020 Special Guest

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.

Join us today at 2:30 pm as we welcome Captain Herbert Frerking of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Captain Frerking will talk to us about responsible boating and lake recreation during the pandemic.

The Town will hold Virtual Town Hall meetings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm. 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.

 

 

Meals of Love

MEALS OF LOVE CONNECTS ISOLATED SENIORS AND DISABLED ADULTS

WITH MEAL DELIVERY FROM LOCAL RESTAURANTS

Partnership Infuses Working Capital into Restaurants While Supporting

Seniors and Disabled Adults Isolated Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 7, 2020) – This month, as older adults face challenging times, up to 1,000 fresh, restaurant-prepared meals will be safely delivered to the homes of seniors and disabled adults thanks to Meals of Love. Infusing working capital into restaurants while supporting those most vulnerable to COVID-19 – created in direct response to the pandemic – is a new partnership among the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Senior Resource Alliance, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

“Now, more than ever, we need to take care of each other,” said Karla Radka, President and CEO of the Senior Resource Alliance. “Meals of Love benefits our beloved elderly and disabled adult population, complementing the incredible year-round service provided by our agency partners, while providing an economic opportunity for the hard-hit restaurant industry.”

Meals of Love will serve Orange, Seminole, Brevard and Osceola counties in partnership with the following agencies:

· Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center

· Aging Matters in Brevard

· Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation

· Informed Families

· Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc.

· Meals on Wheels, Etc.

· Seniors First

· Share the Care

· Osceola Council on Aging

In addition to supporting seniors and disabled adults, as well as providing opportunities for restaurants, Meals of Love is also creating new job opportunities for those in need in the community with the meal delivery roles.

“Service is at the heart of what we do every day in the restaurant industry, and Meals of Love is a way for us to serve the community during an especially difficult time,” said Keri Burns, Regional Director at Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Meals of Love is currently accepting applications for seniors and disabled adults who are interested in meal delivery and restaurants that would like to prepare meals. For more information visit mealsoflove.org.

About Senior Resource Alliance

Serving the community since 1995, The Senior Resource Alliance (SRA) is the Area Agency on Aging of Central Florida, which covers Brevard, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties. The agency is the local resource for accessing the many services and programs of the state and federal government available to senior citizens, their caregivers and family members. SRA is also an objective clearinghouse for information and services offered by local, state and national organizations. For more information, visit SeniorResourceAlliance.org.

 

4/08/2020

Virtual Town Hall #13 – 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. Recaps can be found here on the website. Scroll down to see past days’ updates/recaps.

Here’s a recap:
Statewide, there are 15,456 cases of COVID-19, with 1,956 hospitalizations and 309 deaths. In Orange County there are 803 cases, 86 hospitalizations, and 10 deaths. In the 34786 zip code, there are 30 cases, 4 of which are within Town limits.

Banners have been places throughout Town reminding residents to stay home as much as possible; thank you to everyone who is staying home, washing their hands, and social distancing!

Local government is still functioning; WPD is working 24/7, Public Works is working 7-11 and focusing on streets, stormwater, and keeping public areas free of trash and debris. Admin is working remotely with very limited office time only when necessary. No park passes or tennis passes are being issued until further notice. Most parks in Town are still open for residents to responsibly recreate. Boat ramps are closed, however lake usage is still permitted. Vessels must stay a minimum of 50′ apart, and there should not be more than 10 people per boat.

Windermere Police Department and Admin are currently working on an app that will allow the Town to send alerts to the cell phones of residents who sign up. More information when that project is ready to go.

April’s Town Council meeting has moved to 4/28; this will be a virtual meeting. Again, links and agendas will be posted once they are ready.

Friday we will be welcoming a representative from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission to talk to us about responsible boating, and Monday we will welcome Windermere Elementary School Principal, Diana Greer, to talk about how OCPS is dealing with the pandemic and how distance learning is going so far.

As was previously mentioned, the annual Easter Egg-extravaganza has been cancelled. In its place, the Windermere Police Department, along with Mayor O’Brien and the Easter Bunny, will be driving through Town delivering eggs to residents. This will start at 10am on the north side of Town, and is expected to wrap up around 12pm. Chief Ogden stated the route will cover 75% of the main roads in Town, and that there will be (limited) sirens announcing arrival. Residents are reminded to stay at the end of their lawn or driveway and maintain at least 6′ distance between neighbors. If your family will not be home during this time, or cannot come outside, please tie a ribbon to your mailbox and we’ll make sure the Easter Bunny leaves something for your kids.

*Please note, after the Town Hall Meeting, staff decided against advertising on Social Media to avoid drawing crowds. The Windermere Safety Watch will be passing along info to residents*

We were pleased to hear from Dr. Jeff Barnes today! Dr. Barnes is a Counseling Pastor at Real Life in Clermont, as well as the Counseling Director for the Hope Center, also in Clermont. He spoke to us today about staying mentally healthy during this pandemic. For those interested, Dr. Barnes starts his talk at 00:16:00 in the recording. The #1 question Dr. Barnes is asked is “How do I deal with the constant anxiety?” Here are some key takeaways:

*Social distancing is hard, especially for extroverted personalities
*Social distancing doesn’t mean isolation
*A certain level of anxiety can be helpful; it helps us take things seriously, however too much anxiety leads to panic and can negatively impact our mental health.

*To keep anxiety in check DON’T:
-Rely on drinking, gambling, or other high-risk behaviors to distract yourself
-Stop exercising
-Over-eat
-Stay glued to your phone or the news
-Cut off contact with your support system

*To keep anxiety in check, DO:
-Practice good self-care
-Keep a routine and stick to a schedule, especially a consistent sleep schedule. This alone will boost your immune system and mood
-If you are isolating with family, make sure you’re setting boundaries and “alone time” to recharge
-Eat healthy, stay away from excessive amounts of sugar; intermittent fasting may also help
-Exercise; go for a walk, ride a bike, do an at-home workout
-Stay informed, but know when to turn off the TV or put the phone down

*If you’re feeling overwhelmed:
-Acknowledge the fact that you feel anxious! “Name it to tame it”
-Take it one day at a time
-Use a journal to write out your worries and challenge your thinking. You can also journal all the positive things in your life
-Interact with those most important to you through phone calls, texts, Skype, etc.
-If you are religious, you can find refuge in your spirituality
-Practice kindness and compassion to yourself and others

*If you find yourself overwhelmed and without a support system, know that you can reach out to a professional. Real Life will begin offering remote counseling soon. The Florida Crisis hotline (211) is also available for those needing immediate help (links below)

Real Life

Florida Crisis Hotline = dial 211 to call, text your zip code to 898-211 to speak with someone via text, or visit their website to chat with someone online

Last but not least, we wanted to wish Mayor O’Brien a happy birthday one more time; he truly is “essential” to Windermere!

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

4/07/2020

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

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!