'I'm glad the community is doing what they can to keep things under control before things get out of control,' one resident said.
On their way into the Government Services Building on the afternoon of March 19, Flagler County residents had to wait in line outside a single handicap-accessible door. Once inside, they got their temperatures taken by a security guard. They were given wristbands. They had to enter their names in a visitor log. Then they had to wait in an extended line, staying six feet apart from each other.
And few, if any, complained.
It was all part of added precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
"I'm glad the community is doing what they can to keep things under control before things get out of control," said Nicole DiMattina, an employee of the city of Palm Coast. She added that she has a child with asthma and food allergies.
“We appreciate everyone’s cooperation,” Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord said in a press release. “We need to be vigilant to flatten the curve.”
Flagler County government announced that the entryway at the Kim C. Hammond Justice Center would have the same screening measures beginning Monday, March 23.
“We need to be vigilant to flatten the curve.”
JONATHAN LORD, emergency management director
“The goal is to mitigate potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus,” Lord said. “Those who are running a temperature higher than the 100.4 degree threshold will be denied access, and provided with the phone number to the office they need to reach.”
Tax collector office changes
Tax Collector Suzanne Johnston spent much of the afternoon in the GSB lobby chatting with residents who were waiting to get licenses renewed and other activities at the department of motor vehicles. Other staff, including Renee Flynt, joined her, to help lines flow smoothly.
Johnston said she had closed the Palm Coast branch of the Tax Collector's office as of March 17 because the space didn't allow for enough social distancing. The Flagler Beach branch is still open. Online transactions are encouraged, rather than visiting the office.
"We'll do whatever we can to help people," Johnston said.
Also, the state has authorized an extension of driver's licenses and identification cards that expire March 16 to April 15. Delinquent renewal fees will be waived.
Officials urge all residents and businesses to follow Department of Health and CDC guidance, to include:
- Washing your hands often
- Stay home when possible
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- If you're sick, self-isolate, cover coughs and sneezes, wear a face mask around others and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
If you have further questions about COVID-19, call 866-779-6121. Visit www.flaglercounty.org.