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“When we got up this morning, we’re one day closer to putting this crisis behind us,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said at a March 24 news conference staged by county officials at the Emergency Operations Center.

Other short takes from the presentation:

Volusia County government cuts work hours

For the duration of the coronavirus crisis, Volusia County agencies are operating on a shortened work schedule.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, county offices will be open for business 8 a.m.-noon, and will operate 1-5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

County Manager George Recktenwald said many of the services people seek are available online.

“The goal is to prevent them from having to come out of their homes,” he added.

A youth crime wave?

As the shutdown of schools continues and youngsters have an abundance of time on their hands, are law-enforcement officers worried about an increase in juvenile crime?

“Yes,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. “We are working with the Department of Juvenile Justice on some juveniles in Ormond Beach who may be involved in several car breaks.

“It’s a small percentage, but that small percentage wreaks havoc,” the sheriff said.

Social vs. antisocial

As they stress the need for personal space to counter the contagion of coronavirus, Volusia County officials are fine-tuning the popular understanding of “social distancing.”

“Social distancing — it doesn’t mean social isolation,” Interim Community Information Director Kevin Captain said.

Captain said people should try to stay at least 6 feet away from one another to limit contact with anyone who may have the virus, even if they do not show any symptoms.

Yet, Captain urged people to reach out and contact their neighbors, especially older ones or those who live alone and may need extra help or encouragement.

“There is a lot of real kindness going around,” Captain noted.

At the same time, medical professionals urge people to be cautious about close contact.

“It’s about how we all take responsibility,” Dr. Margaret Crossman said.

She noted the coronavirus is around us in the midst of the cold and flu season.

“Lay low, and please don’t spread whatever you have,” Crossman advised.

She is on the medical staff of Halifax Health.

When do coronavirus symptoms show up?

The time varies, according to Crossman.

“A week or as short as three days,” she said, may elapse between exposure and the appearance of such symptoms as fever, coughing, sneezing and difficulties in breathing.

Keep up with the local news online

The Beacon is continuously updating local news about the novel coronavirus on its website, and it’s all available without a digital subscription. Visit www.beacononlinenews.com.


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