Coronavirus: Florida nurse donates 900 masks

Staff Writer
Walton Sun
Walton Sun

It was a forgotten lunch that ultimately led to the donation of 900 hand sewn-masks to residents in the Historic Northwest community of West Palm Beach.

Karen Chambers, an assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, was helping set up a new clinic on 8th Street last month when she passed by two homeless men while walking to Publix to replace the lunch she left at home.

They weren’t wearing face masks, a likely low-level priority for the duo. She stopped another woman in the neighborhood who wasn’t wearing a mask to ask her why.

“She said even if she knew where to buy one, she couldn’t afford it,” said Chambers, who helped give FAU-donated masks to people Sunday at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. “It was either feed her children or buy masks. That’s when it really got into my brain that we needed to do something.”

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The new FAU community health center, which opened in late April a block from the historic 30’s-era Sunset Lounge, is just south of an area with one of the highest number of coronavirus infections in Palm Beach County.

Phase One

DeSantis announced Wednesday that restaurants can open filling only 25 percent of their indoor seating and permitted outdoor seating if tables are adequately separated.

Retail shops can operate at 25 percent of indoor capacity and do curbside transactions.

Another sign of normalcy will begin Monday with some hospitals beginning to perform elective surgeries, something that was shut down in March to ensure hospital space and personal protective equipment were available if there was a rush of coronavirus patients.

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“We took a lot of actions to prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed and we haven’t seen that, but because those other things weren’t happening, hospitals had to furlough workers,” DeSantis said Sunday at a press conference at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach.

He also announced that Walgreens will open nine drive thru coronavirus test sites statewide.


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For more information:

– Florida Department of Health coronavirus web page

– CDC coronavirus web page

– Florida DOH coronavirus hotline (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday) is 866-779-6121 or email