EOC Scheduled to Reopen After COVID Closure
Florida’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is scheduled to reopen today after a recent closure due to 12 positive COVID-19 tests among its personnel. The state Division of Emergency Management began testing EOC personnel about three weeks ago as part of its precautionary measures. When 12 of the 150 employees tested positive, the EOC quickly moved to working remotely while the office underwent a deep cleaning.
The EOC coordinates Florida’s response to emergencies such as hurricanes, wildfires, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. The EOC has remained at its highest level of activation, Level 1, since March. This means the EOC is staffed 24-hours a day and is prepared to immediately deploy resources and supplies where needed. For several months, the EOC has been developing plans for the current Atlantic Hurricane Season that will differ from prior years’ hurricane response efforts due to the pandemic.
Division of Emergency Management Secretary Jared Moskowitz emphasized the protections the EOC has maintained since February. Moskowitz stated, “The safety of my employees and their families is paramount. It is why we have had aggressive screening, temperature checks, since February, mandatory masks and testing.”