Updated May 11, 2020
Reopening Tourism/Hotels Committee:
Visit Pensacola, Escambia County DMO, FRLA, Santa Rosa Tourism, FRLA
Reopening Restaurants Committee:
Visit Pensacola, FRLA, Santa Rosa Tourism
Reopening Retail Committee:
City of Pensacola, Escambia County, Chambers of Commerce, DIB
Reopening Entrepreneurship Committee:
The Spring, UWF Center for Entrepreneurship, PSC Business Development and Entrepreneurship, Studer Community Institute
Reopening Manufacturing Committee:
FloridaWest, First Place Partners, Santa Rosa County EDC
Supply Chain Committee:
FloridaWest, First Place Partners, Santa Rosa County EDC
Reopening Construction Committee:
Homebuilders Assn. of West Florida, First Place Partners
Underserved Communities Committee:
Chambers, City of Pensacola, Escambia County, United Way
CareerSource EscaRosa, FloridaWest, First Place Partners, Escambia County Schools, PSC, UWF, Early Learning Coalition
Health Care Committee:
Baptist Heath Care, Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital, West Florida Hospital, Santa Rosa Medical Center, Community Health of Northwest Florida, Directors of the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County and Santa Rosa counties to provide guidance to the various components of the plan.
Volunteers and Social Service:
ESF 18 will coordinate with ESF 15 (Volunteers and Donations) led by Greg Strader, CEO of BRACE and Laura Gilliam, the President/CEO of the United Way of West Florida for assistance and coordination of efforts.
Each committee will work on their industry plan and then allow the health care providers to review and ensure that we are progressing safely.
The final document will be a compilation of each committee’s work product.
While our plan will contain much of what is recommended by Governor DeSantis’ Reopening Florida Task Force, there may be unique local issues that we will need to address.
This plan will provide our policymakers and the business community a solid foundation to begin reopening our economy.
This will be an ongoing process that will require adjustment as conditions evolve.
As our community begins the reopening and recovery efforts from the impacts of COVID-19, a myriad of local organizations are focused on providing data and guidance as we look at resetting our economy. In this document you will find the initial work product from this working group.
Many of these recommendations and the supporting data in this plan are directly from Governor Ron DeSantis’ Phase One Reopening Florida plan released on April 29th Executive Order 20-112. The working group believes that having the business community aligned with state and local officials is essential to minimize potential confusion and stand as a united front as we safely reset our economy.
The purpose of this document is to provide the public, the business community, workers, and policymakers a framework and resource that contains accurate information and is supported by reliable data. It is also essential that the activities recommended in this document are deemed safe to avoid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the coming months. All of these actions need to be complemented by residents and visitors monitoring conditions and taking individual recommended precautions.
This document will evolve as our community advances through this economic recovery. We will update this plan with the latest data and information to ensure that the business community is informed about the latest developments and programs and the community at-large has the latest pertinent information.
Below is information about public testing for COVID-19.
Centers for Disease Control Guidelines for Testing state that these symptoms may appear in 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
Ascension Medical Group Sacred Heart: Persons who wish to get tested must first call 850-746-2684. The call center is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Baptist Health Care: Call the screening center at 850-434-4080 to determine if you need an appointment. Online assessment screenings are also available via https://ebaptisthealthcare.org/ or text “Screen” to 850-318-3080. The online assessment screening is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Existing Baptist patients can also call their primary care provider with any questions or concerns they may have.
Community Health Northwest Florida will continue to offer mobile testing at sites throughout Escambia County for residents during May 2020. Pre-screening will not be required for these mobile testing sites. More information on locations will be provided as the mobile testing schedule is confirmed. If you don't have a healthcare provider or health insurance, call, do not visit, Community Health Northwest Florida at 850-436-4630.
Locations and times for testing sites vary. Please check https://myescambia.com/covid-19-information-for-escambia-county for updated test sites and times.
A mobile testing site at the University of West Florida will be open to the public on Saturday, May 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The UWF test site will be open seven days a week for two weeks. The drive-through test site is located at the SP2 parking lot, which is on the east side of campus, near the East Sports Complex. Individuals are asked to remain in their vehicles, and pre-screening is not required.
Ascension Sacred Heart has opened a drive-through respiratory clinic located at 4521 N. Davis Hwy for patients who have previously tested positive with COVID-19 and would like to return to work.
Patients should call the COVID hotline to make an appointment for a follow up exam to return to work. At the respiratory drive-through clinic, a physician will fully examine the patient while in the vehicle. The physician may choose to re-test the patient or give the patient a letter with a recommendation to return-to-work based on the non-test-based evaluation.
The hours of the drive through clinic are Monday through Friday 10am - 5pm
U.S. Military veterans who believe they may have contracted the Coronavirus may contact the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ VISN 8 Clinical 24/7 Contact Center by phone at 1-877-741-3400.
Drive-through COVID testing sites are being set up throughout the county, no pre-screening is required. If you do not live in one of the areas listed below, other locations are being set up in the county soon. Details will be made available via this news release. Testing dates and times for the locations below rotate, so please contact the Department of Health (850-564-2307) for which site is operating that day.
Milton Community Center, 5629 Byrom St. (minimum of 100 tests)
Chumuckla Elementary, 2312 County Rd. 182 in Jay (minimum of 100 tests)
Southern Raceway, 9359 Nichols Lake Rd. in East Milton (minimum of 100 tests)
Jay Community Center at the recreational park, 5259 Booker Ln. in Jay (minimum of 100 tests)
Berrydale Baptist Church, 6730 FL-4 in Jay (minimum of 100 tests)
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community, please follow these CDC guidelines:
Escambia County COVID-19 Hotline:
Santa Rosa County COVID -19 Hotline:
Florida COVID-19 Hotline:
Hotels are considered an essential business and can operate under the Governor’s Executive Order, but the state’s prohibition on vacation rentals remains in effect.
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association has provided a document that answers questions related to hotels https://frla.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/FRLA-Re-Opening-FAQs.pdf?mc_cid=c37525f156&mc_eid=530abb60e3.
Hotels should also follow the recommendations made under the Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
The Governor’s Executive Orders have not closed beaches other than those at the request of Broward and Palm Beach counties. Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection will announce a phased-in re-opening of state parks.
The Escambia County Commission voted to open public beaches in Escambia County beginning Friday, May 1st. Beaches will open 30 minutes before sunrise and close 30 minutes after sunset. Beachgoers must observe the CDC guidelines of groupings of 10 or fewer and proper social distancing.
Navarre Beach is open daily. Parking will be available at all public lots and spaces. Visitors may also walk and bike the multi-use path of the island of Navarre Beach.
Navarre Beach Pier is open from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily. Normal pier admission procedures will be in place; daily and annual passes may be purchased.
Visitors must observe the CDC guidelines of groupings of 10 or fewer and proper social distancing.
Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health authorities, we are increasing access and services in a phased approach across all units of the National Park System. Before visiting a park, please check the park website to determine its operating status. Updates about the overall NPS response to COVID-19, including safety information, are posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.
Florida Phase I National Parks Reopening
In Phase One the following areas will reopen with some operational modifications on the dates listed below if available:
Santa Rosa Area, including Highway 399:
Naval Live Oaks Area:
Perdido Key Area:
In Phase One the following will remain closed, cancelled, or suspended in Florida:
Restaurants will be allowed to re-open, with full outdoor seating on Monday, May 4th. Indoor seating will be allowed at 25 percent of building capacity. On-site sale and retail businesses will be allowed to operate at 25 percent occupancy. Twenty-five percent building capacity is determined by calculating 25 percent of maximum customer occupancy of that restaurant.
If your business is open, it may remain open and should continue appropriate social distancing and sanitation measures. Also, any activity or work that has been available under the previous order remains available. Businesses should adopt appropriate social distancing and sanitation measures.
All businesses are still encouraged to provide delivery or pickup and to take orders online or by telephone.
Bars and nightclubs are still closed under the governor’s order.
For restaurants, employee protocols remain in place under the Governor’s Executive Order. Other businesses should adopt appropriate measures based on CDC guidance. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
The Governor’s Executive Order does not mandate the use of masks for employee or customers. However, customers, employees and employers should consult CDC guidance https://www.cdc.gov/maso/policy/Food-Service-Guidelines.pdf
If a business exceeds 25 percent capacity enforcement penalties remain in place including a second-degree misdemeanor with a fine up to $500. Certain regulated businesses may face enforcement action for violations from their regulatory agency.
Local and state law enforcement continue to enforce Executive Orders, along with the regulatory agencies that oversee businesses.
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association has a document that answers questions related to restaurants https://frla.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/FRLA-Re-Opening-FAQs.pdf?mc_cid=c37525f156&mc_eid=530abb60e3.
On-site sale and retail businesses will be allowed to operate at 25 percent occupancy. Twenty-five percent building capacity is determined by calculating 25 percent of maximum occupancy of that retail business.
There are minimum health protocols that must be met to open a retails business. The Governor’s Executive Order 20-112 requires appropriate social distancing and limits groups to 10 people or fewer. Regulated businesses should adhere to agency guidance. Additionally, businesses should consult with the most up-to-date Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.
To reopen your business, review the requirements of the Governor’s Executive Order 20-112 https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/EO-20-112.pdf. Also review any guidance that has been provided from state and federal regulatory agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
While personal care services such as barbershops and salons with close contact should remain closed, the portions of those businesses with on-site retail sales may re-open at 25 percent building occupancy.
The Governor’s Executive Order does not mandate the use of masks. However, customers, employees and employers should consult CDC guidance.
If a business exceeds 25 percent capacity, enforcement penalties remain in place including a second-degree misdemeanor with a fine up to $500. Certain regulated businesses may face enforcement action for violations from their regulatory agency.
Local and state law enforcement continue to enforce Executive Orders, along with the regulatory agencies that oversee businesses.
Cordova Mall in Pensacola opened Monday, May 4th with the following safety policies and procedures:
Cordova Mall’s COVID-19 Exposure Control Policy can be viewed in its entirety at www.simon.com/healthandsafety.
Executive Order 20-120 https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/EO-20-120.pdf allowed for the reopening of barber shops and salons starting Monday, May 11th. You can find more information concerning safety protocols for these businesses at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/emergency/.
Manufacturing in Florida continues with the following safety guidance from OSHA and the CDC:
FloridaMakes, in partnership with the Associated Industries of Florida and Space Florida, have built Connex Florida. A supply chain database tool for the manufacturing industry in Florida. This tool contains in-depth information on a broad range of Florida manufacturers, along with detailed search functions to highlight specific production capabilities, certifications, equipment, material types and more. The purpose of this tool is to help Florida manufacturers better connect with each other, be discovered, and increase business opportunities.
Through this database you can:
To obtain access to browse and enter your company's information into the database, please visit https://florida.mfgconnex.com/.
Co:Lab is a business incubator and growth accelerator in Pensacola with one goal: to help entrepreneurs reach their next level. Co:Lab is still operating under CDC guidelines with businesses having the option of using office space. All current businesses utilizing Co:Lab space are 10 employees or fewer. Increased cleaning procedures and limits on common areas
Studer Community Institute (SCI) is a nonprofit dedicated to improving lives.
Two core divisions focus on supporting entrepreneurship, job creation and job growth.
The Spring Entrepreneur Hub exists to empower, connect and grow small businesses in the Pensacola area, serving as the front door to our community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Spring focuses on three key areas – mentorship, connection to resources, and scaling/acceleration –to aid local small businesses in Escambia and Santa Rosa County. Contact DC Reeves or Gracie Woodfin at https://thespringpensacola.com/ for more information.
SCI Leadership Development serves to help business owners, leaders and employee grow skills by providing programs, workshops, webinars, online content and toolkits. In addition, their Accelerate Business Roundtable program offers a unique opportunity for business leaders to gather. The Leadership Development goal is to help businesses grow, attract and retain talent and improve the workforce. Contact Rachael Gillette at https://www.studeri.org/ for more information.
The University of West Florida Center for Entrepreneurship is dedicated to seeding economic growth. The Center encourages and supports educational initiatives related to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking and serves as a comprehensive resource for economic innovation for students, faculty, industry and community partners.
The Pensacola State College Business Entrepreneurship Certificate (CCC) Program is part of the Business Entrepreneurship AS degree program.
This program offers a sequence of courses that provides coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in the Business Management and Administration career cluster; provides technical skill proficiency, and includes competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupation-specific skills.
While there are no restrictions on construction, these are general job site/office practices recommended by the industry:
With workers being laid off or furloughed, feeding a significant portion of our community is a daily challenge. Below are food support programs for Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.
The Council on Aging is offering free to-go meals for adults 60 or over at the locations listed below. Call (850) 432-1475 by noon the day before to reserve a meal. No income or disability qualifications required.
During the month of May, CareerSource EscaRosa is relocating all operations in Pensacola from L Street to 6913 N. 9th Avenue, in the Eastgate Plaza. The Career Center is located in Suite 12, and Administration is located in Suite 15.
CareerSource EscaRosa will continue serving businesses with assistance in recruiting employees, even if must just working online and on the phone with customers. CareerSource EscaRosa will continue communications with businesses to find out their needs and respond appropriately.
CareerSource EscaRosa expects to launch a platform for virtual job fairs soon and will have a new Apprenticeship Expansion Project to launch along with FloridaWest. Expected focus will be on IT/Cybersecurity and Manufacturing sectors with that.
As for customers visiting the CareerSource EscaRosa Career Center:
Available Jobs in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties
Re-Employment Assistance provides temporary wage replacement benefits to qualified individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own.
Under the CARES Act, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) is available for eligible applicants who are currently receiving regular state Reemployment Assistance benefits. FPUC is an additional $600 distributed weekly in addition to state Reemployment Assistance benefits.
Due to the system upgrades in CONNECT, DEO is able to issue the additional $600 payments in multiple ways. If you are eligible and have previously provided a bank account in the CONNECT system, you will receive a direct deposit to your account. If you did not provide your bank account, you will receive a check to the mailing address provided on your account. For information visit DEO’s website https://floridajobs.org/Reemployment-Assistance-Service-Center/reemployment-assistance/claimants/apply-for-benefits.
Florida DEO Reemployment Assistance Application Portal
Florida Reemployment Assistance Toolkit
Today, Escambia County has 43 providers open and 39 closed, not including VPK sites. Some providers have been lost to permanent closure. There is a need for closed childcare facilities to reopen as our local economy begins to reopen. For example, many people who are ready to get back to work at restaurants will need child are to do so. With half of Escambia County providers closed will make finding childcare difficult, and in turn impede individual’s ability to return to work.
Escambia County has enough physical capacity to serve around 6,000 children. Currently, we can only serve about 3,300 because there is a critical shortfall of people willing to work in childcare. This was an ongoing problem before this crisis even began. This crisis will only make this problem worse as many of the childcare workers who have been laid off have already found other jobs or will decide to pursue another line of work. If there is any opportunity for relief funding, we could use money for staff recruitment and retention.
Additionally, many childcare providers have used an undue amount of their limited funds to purchase the additional supplies necessary to operate. They are using a lot of cleaning supplies, gloves, masks, etc. more than ever before. Even some of the routine food supplies are costing more right now. This is cutting severely into their already slim profit margins.
Regarding summer camps and other alternative forms of childcare, Escambia County could easily serve another 2,000 children if we had people to care for them.
The role of the Health Care Committee is to continue to provide information and resources to the business community and general public through ESF-8 (Public Health and Medical). The Health Care Committee will also review ESF-18 practices and publications to ensure that business activities are resuming safely and within recommended health guidelines.
The Health Care Committee is comprised of representatives from Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital, Baptist Health Care, West Florida Hospital, Santa Rosa Medical Center, Community Health of Northwest Florida along with Directors of the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County and Santa Rosa counties.
Some important health care points:
ESF-18 will coordinate with ESF-15 (Volunteers and Donations) led by Greg Strader, CEO of BRACE and Laura Gilliam, the President/CEO of the United Way of West Florida for assistance and coordination of efforts.
ESF-18 representatives are holding bi-weekly calls with ESF-15 representatives to share updates, data, and activities.
All Volunteer and Social Service Activities are being done adhering to CDC guidelines and social distancing protocols.
State of Florida COVID-19 Page: https://www.flgov.com/covid-19/
Florida Department of Health: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/
Florida DBPR: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/
Florida DBPR Emergency: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/emergency/
Florida Disaster COVID-19 Page: https://www.floridadisaster.org/covid19/
Florida DEO: https://floridajobs.org/
CareerSource Florida: https://careersourceflorida.com/
VISIT Florida: https://visitflorida.com/
Florida Chamber of Commerce: https://www.flchamber.com/
Associated Industries of Florida: http://aif.com/
Florida Retail Federation: http://www.frf.org/
Florida NFIB: https://www.nfib.com/florida/
Florida Makes: https://www.floridamakes.com/
Escambia County COVID-19
Santa Rosa County COVID-19 Page
Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce
Santa Rosa County Chamber of Commerce
Santa Rosa County Economic Development
Santa Rosa County Tourism
Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce
Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce
Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce
Century Chamber of Commerce
Gulf Breeze Chamber of Commerce
Navarre Beach Chamber of Commerce
Pace Chamber of Commerce
Jay Chamber of Commerce
Greater Navarre Chamber of Commerce
Studer Community Institute
The Spring Pensacola
Downtown Improvement Board (DIB)
UWF Small Business Development Center
Emerald Coast Regional Council
Homebuilders Association of West Florida