Coronavirus: Florida Gov. DeSantis activates state's Emergency Operations Center after deaths
The morning after announcing two new cases and two deaths from the COVID-19, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the Division of Emergency Management to activate the state Emergency Operations Center to Level 2 to coordinate the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Department of Health today also announced a new presumptive positive case in Lee County, bringing the total number of cases in Florida to 8. In addition, five Floridians tested positive were repatriated by the U.S. State Department and are being held in federal custody until they are well.
“I have directed the Division of Emergency Management to activate to Level II to ensure our state has all the necessary resources engaged as we respond to COVID-19,” said Governor DeSantis in a news release. “It is critical that we proactively coordinate all state resources to mitigate the threat and contain COVID-19. I urge all Floridians to take necessary precautions and follow hygiene guidelines issued by the Surgeon General and Florida Department of Health.”
DeSantis declared a public health emergency on Sunday, giving Surgeon General Scott Rivkees broad powers to direct the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak. The DEM will provide critical support to the Florida Department of Health and county health departments.
The Governor has asked the Legislature for $25 million to aid in combating the public health threat. The Legislature, which is in the midst of budget negotiations for the 2020-21 fiscal year, createdng an open line item in the budget.
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According to the DEM website, EOC Level 2 activation is "an agency activation that may not require activation of every section, branch or Emergency Support Functions. All primary, or lead, Emergency Support Functions are notified. The State Emergency Operations Center will be staffed by Division of Emergency Management personnel and necessary Emergency Support Functions."