With the number of COVID-19 cases in Okaloosa County on the rise and the Fourth of July just days away, the city of Destin is not looking at shutting things down again, at least for now.
“The city is monitoring the numbers and staying in contact with the county, emergency management and the health department,” said Catherine Card, public information officer for the city of Destin in an email Monday. “At this time there has not been a discussion regarding a shut down of our area or any summer projects being affected.”
The Florida Department of Health reported Sunday that 611 people have now tested positive for the coronavirus in Okaloosa County. The new total represents an increase of 38 from the day before.
Several cities and counties from the Panhandle to South Florida have approved requirements for face coverings to be worn in public settings.
In neighboring cities such as Gulf Breeze and Pensacola, they are requiring people to wear a face masks inside all businesses.
As for Destin, no such mandate has been made.
Mayor Gary Jarvis said he personally agrees with the stance of the Okaloosa County Board of Commissioner Chairman Trey Goodwin, which is to closely monitor hospital intakes, to address public health concerns and to encourage the wearing of mask, especially those at high risk, in public and to continue to social distance.
“I personally support that position, but I don’t have a clue on how the individual council members feel about this subject,” Jarvis said.
So for now Jarvis is “sticking with” chairman Goodwin.
“But I reserve the right to change that position as more information comes in. I’m paying close attention to the new cases, hospitalizations, ICU beds and overall status of our hospitals,” Jarvis said. “The math will tell the tale if we have to do anything different.”