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As of 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 9, there were 17,018 cases of COVID-19 in Florida, with 390 deaths. Volusia County had a total of 187 cases, with five  deaths and 41 hospitalizations. Visit www.floridahealthcovid19.gov for the latest figures and to view the state’s full report, which breaks down infections by city.

New website set up to help jobseekers

CareerSource Flagler Volusia (CareerSourceFV) has launched a new website to assist jobseekers and businesses who have suffered a job loss or have had to temporarily or permanently lay off employees as a result of COVID-19.

On the new mobile-friendly webpage, available at: careersourcefv.com/job-seekers/covid-19-response, small businesses can find information about programs designed to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Disaster Loan Assistance, the Short Time Compensation Program, and the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program.

Jobseekers will find information on how to apply for Reemployment Assistance, download and print paper Reemployment Assistance applications, connect to online resume and interviewing workshops, and search for jobs through the statewide Employ Florida database: employflorida.com.

Additionally, the site provides answers to commonly asked questions and links to frequently asked questions specific to COVID-19.

“In an effort to help businesses who are needing to furlough employees until it is safe to reopen, we wanted to make it as easy as possible to find the paper applications for their employees. We have staff available via phone and virtual platforms to answer general questions about Reemployment Assistance and services available for employees who are facing permanent layoffs. The number is 386-323-7052,” said Robin King, president and CEO of CareerSource Flagler Volusia. “Businesses who may be hiring, retraining their current employees or have questions about our other services, may call 386-323-7079 and speak with a Business Service Representative.”

Paper applications are available for residents who do not have access to the internet or have experienced difficulty using the online CONNECT system. These paper applications are available 24/7 for curbside pick-up at all three CareerSource Flagler Volusia Career Centers located in Daytona Beach, Palm Coast and Orange City. Staff will be restocking the bins daily in an effort to meet the needs of the community.

The Career Centers are located at: 359 Bill France Blvd, Daytona Beach; 846 Saxon Blvd, Orange City; and 20 Airport Rd, Ste. E, Palm Coast.

Libraries introduce historic newspapers on NewsBank

In addition to current articles from local newspapers, the NewsBank database now provides historic content for Volusia County dating back to the 1880s.

Since NewsBank is keyword-searchable, patrons no longer must visit a library in the hopes of finding an old picture or article on microfilm, as they can search at home and download the result.

Learn more about the Volusia County Public Library system at volusialibrary.org.

— Pat Kuehn, Volusia County Community Information


Libraries introduce Miss Humblebee’s Academy

There’s a new website that can help parents get their children ready for kindergarten, and Volusia County Public Library cardholders can access it for free.

Miss Humblebee’s Academy is an award-winning, online and offline curriculum that prepares children ages 3 to 6 for kindergarten proficiency. It offers hundreds of programs and fun activities in math, art, music, language and literacy, science and social studies. By creating a profile for each child, parents can track a child’s progress and access developmental milestone lists.

The service is accessible on home computers, tablets and smartphones. It’s free to Volusia County Public Library cardholders through volusialibrary.org.

— Pat Kuehn, Volusia County Community Information


County libraries to close for Easter weekend

All 14 branches of the Volusia County Public Library system will be closed from Friday, April 10, through Sunday, April 12, for the Easter holiday weekend.

All branches will reopen Monday morning for online, telephone and curbside service only. The library buildings remain closed to public access due to the coronavirus threat.

Children’s Storytime, a popular feature at the libraries, will be streamed live on Facebook at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

For more information about the Volusia County Public Library system, visit volusialibrary.org.

— Pat Kuehn, Volusia County Community Information

County libraries reduce hours, remain open for curbside service

To help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the 14 branches of the Volusia County Public Library system remain closed to the public but continue to provide online, telephone and curbside service.

Effective Monday, April 13, hours will be reduced at all branches.

The six regional libraries will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. This includes the Daytona Beach Regional Library, the DeLand Regional Library, the Deltona Regional Library, the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library, the Ormond Beach Regional Library, and the Port Orange Regional Library.

In West Volusia:

The DeBary Public Library will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The Lake Helen Public Library and Orange City Public Library will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.

The Pierson Public Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday.

To further reduce the spread of the coronavirus, library staff members are quarantining each book for 72 hours before distributing it to another patron.

All branches will be closed from April 10 through 12 for the Easter holiday weekend.

— Pat Kuehn, Volusia County Community Information

Resources for Deltona residents

The following resources are available for rent and utility assistance.

The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia (also serves other West Volusia residents)

434 S. Woodland Blvd.

Deland, FL 32720



New Hope Human Services

2855 Lake Helen Osteen Rd.

Deltona, FL 32738

(386) 532-8291


For additional assistance please call (386) 878-8620.

Governor issues more executive orders

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued two executive orders April 2, one that directs the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and other executive agencies to take necessary actions to improve DEO’s Reemployment Assistance Program, and another providing targeted, temporary relief from certain mortgage foreclosures and evictions for 45 days from that day, his office announced.

The first order directs “all executive agency heads … to identify and deploy executive agency personnel to assist DEO with their reemployment assistance efforts, including call center operations and other citizen services. In order to improve the operation and responsiveness of DEO’s reemployment assistance efforts, assigned personnel shall, to the extent reasonably possible, cease their current governmental responsibilities and fully devote their services to the DEO program,” the order says in part.

The move is a response to the “unprecedented and increasing call volume at DEO’s reemployment assistance call center during the COVID-19 statewide emergency.”

The order is to be in effect until the governor’s declared state of emergency expires.

The second order suspends laws allowing for mortgage foreclosures and for evictions only for nonpayment of rents by residential tenants due to the COVID-19 emergency.

“Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed as relieving an individual from their obligation to make mortgage payments or rent payments,” the order states.

Cultural Council extends deadline

The Cultural Council of Volusia County has extended the deadline for organizations wishing to apply for a Community Cultural Grant to May 26.

The Community Cultural Grant program provides general operating support to nonprofit organizations in Volusia County that have as their primary mission the delivery of cultural or heritage-based programs to the public. In 2019, more than $611,000 was awarded to 30 organizations.

Applications must be submitted at volusia.org/grants by 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 26. The Cultural Council will review and score the grant applications on Friday, July 24, to provide award recommendations to the Volusia County Council.

For more information, contact Cultural Coordinator Robert Redd at rredd@volusia.org or 386-736-5953, ext. 15872.

Census Bureau extends deadline for self-response

By now, most households have received their census invitations in the mail. Some received an invitation to participate online or by phone, while others received a hard copy that can be completed and mailed back.

Either way, it’s important that every household completes its questionnaire so Volusia County, its municipalities and agencies will get their fair share of federal funding over the next 10 years.

Because of the disruption caused by the coronavirus, the U.S. Census Bureau has extended the deadline for self-response to Aug. 14. Door-to-door counts, for those who do not return a form, will run from May 7 to Aug. 14. The bureau is still on target to deliver apportionment counts to the president by Dec. 31.

“If you have not received your invitation yet, or if you lost it, don’t worry,” said Complete Count Committee Co-Chair Barb Girtman. “The Census Bureau will send you a reminder. Better yet, go online to my2020census.gov and complete it now. You do not need an access code.”

So far, 36.9 percent of Volusia County households have completed their census forms, exceeding the national rate of 34.7 percent and Florida’s rate of 34.3 percent.

The county’s municipalities are engaging in a friendly competition — or race, if you will — to see which city will have the highest response rate. The winning city or town will receive a census loving cup. So far, Edgewater leads the pack with 46.7 percent.

Complete results, as of 3 p.m. March 31, are:

Edgewater: 46.7 percent

DeBary: 42.6 percent

Ormond Beach: 41.6 percent

Port Orange: 40.6 percent

DeLand: 39.7 percent

Orange City: 38.9 percent

Oak Hill: 38.6 percent

South Daytona: 37.5 percent

Deltona: 37.4 percent

Holly Hill: 36 percent

Ponce Inlet: 32.1 percent

New Smyrna Beach: 32 percent

Daytona Beach: 31.8 percent

Lake Helen: 31.8 percent

Pierson: 25.3 percent

Daytona Beach Shores: 23.4 percent

“Now, more than ever, we need to make sure we are encouraging our friends and neighbors to respond to the 2020 census,” said Complete Count Committee Co-Chair Billie Wheeler. “The census determines the funding for some programs, such as school lunch programs and emergency management, which are vital during this challenging time.”

Learn about Volusia County’s census awareness campaign at www.volusia.org/census.

— Pat Kuehn, Volusia County Community Information

Live from DeBary Hall kicks off this week

Since you can’t come to DeBary Hall Historic Site right now, DeBary Hall Historic Site is coming to you — every Tuesday and Thursday morning, live on Facebook.

On Tuesday, the historic site launched twice-a-week live virtual programs to give residents that being-there feeling from the comfort and safety of their home while the facility is temporarily closed to visitors due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of the main attractions of the site is DeBary Hall — a majestic, 19th-century hunting estate overlooking the St. Johns River. DeBary Hall was built in 1871 by Frederick deBary — the man that the city is named after — and is the oldest intact building in southwest Volusia County.

During Tuesday’s Facebook live event, the site’s manager, Tracy Mestre, walked viewers around the grounds, pointing out DeBary Hall and the other six buildings on the 10-acre site. The massive DeBary Hall is 8,000 square feet and contains 20 rooms, 65 windows and 56 doors.

“Yes, we counted them all,” Mestre told viewers.

Shown on the Volusia County Community Information Facebook page, Tuesday’s broadcast has attracted more than 1,200 viewers and was chock-full of interesting historical tidbits. For instance, DeBary Hall was visited by many VIPs in its heyday — including a future king and two U.S. presidents.

Live broadcasts will be at 11:30 a.m. and will take viewers throughout the inside of DeBary Hall and the other buildings to paint a virtual picture of what life was like there back in the 19th and 20th centuries. This Thursday’s broadcast will explore the new dining room and Frederick deBary’s unique bird collection.

“There is so much history here at DeBary Hall Historic Site and so many stories that Tracy and I would love to share with you,” the facility’s education coordinator, Lisa Perez, told viewers on Tuesday. “Now we know you can’t come visit us right now, but we’d like to invite you to be our virtual guest.”

The live broadcasts can be viewed here:


Residents also can take a virtual tour of DeBary Hall by going here:


Volusia County Library Services, the Marine Science Center and Lyonia Environmental Center also are hosting Facebook live events every week:

Lyonia Environmental Center: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays @ 11:15 a.m.

Volusia County Library Services: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays @ 10:30 a.m.

DeBary Hall: Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 11:30 a.m.

Marine Science Center: Daily @ 1 p.m.

— Gary Davidson, Volusia County Community Information


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