NO FUN ALLOWED
In its latest effort to contain and combat the coronavirus, the biggest city in Volusia County has closed its parks.
Deltona Mayor Heidi Herzberg announced Monday that all 21 of the city’s parks — from the ones with ballfields and basketball courts to the more passive ones with only picnic tables and green spaces — are now off-limits as city officials seek to limit contacts and groupings of people in one place and close together. Herzberg reiterated leaders’ desires for residents to avoid being out and about.
“The city cannot issue a stay-at-home order or a shelter-in-place order,” Herzberg said at a news conference at City Hall, adding only Gov. Ron DeSantis has the authority to hand down such a decree.
The mayor said Deltona City Hall remains open, but she asked those needing non-emergency services to make their request or report their complaints via the city’s web site, www.deltonafl.gov.
“Animal Control is responding to emergencies only,” Herzberg said.
WELL-PROTECTED, FOR NOW
Joined by administrators of Halifax Health Medical Center in Deltona and AdventHealth Fish Memorial in Orange City, Herzberg said the Deltona Fire Department has enough personal-protective equipment to meet its demand.
The executives of the hospitals likewise say they have sufficient supplies of protective garments, but that they are following DeSantis’ order to postpone elective surgeries and non-essential outpatient procedures.
“We have stopped any procedures that are not urgent, emergent or time-sensitive,” AdventHealth Fish Memorial Chief Financial Officer Danielle Johnson said. “That’s really just to protect our personal-protection equipment.”
“We are still being extremely diligent about our personal protection,” Halifax Health Deltona Administrator Rafael Ramirez said.
“Right now, we are good, but we don’t know how long it will last,” he added.
Johnson said AdventHealth Fish Memorial has set up a big tent outside the hospital’s emergency room for “different uses … just in case to be able to handle anything that comes our way.”
As an additional precaution against the spread of COVID-19, AdventHealth has changed its visitation policy, eliminating virtually all social visits to patients.
Emergency situations, permitting a caregiver to secure a power of attorney, or allowing a parent or guardian to be with a child under care are examples of visits that are permitted, Johnson noted.
“In general, we are looking at every single case,” she said.
Like the state and localities, Deltona is extending its declaration of the coronavirus emergency until March 30, Herzberg announced.
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT
As the coronavirus crisis unfolds, AdventHealth Fish Memorial is temporarily under new management.
AdventHealth Fish Memorial Chief Financial Officer Danielle Johnson is now also serving as the hospital’s chief executive officer, because the nonprofit corporation has tapped the hospital’s CEO, Rob Deininger, to lead its regional effort to contain and combat the disease.
“Rob is leading the COVID program,” Johnson said.
The AdventHealth Central Florida area covers Volusia, Flagler, Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola and Polk counties.
Once the danger from the virus has subsided, Johnson noted, Deininger will return to the top post at Fish Memorial.