Isaias is continuing toward Florida, and the storm comes at a sensitive time during the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, Florida marked the fourth consecutive day it reported a record number of Covid-19 deaths in the state at 257.
Florida closed some state-supported Covid-19 drive-through and walk-up testing sites on Thursday in anticipation of the storm.
Testing is shut down in Miami and will likely stay that way until Tuesday or Wednesday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told CNN Friday.
“That’s going to be a gap in information for four or five days,” Suarez said.
Here’s what else Florida is doing to prep for a hurricane in the middle of a pandemic:
- Safety at shelters: In Palm Beach County, Mayor Dave Kerner said a zone that primarily has mobile homes will be evacuated. The county will open six shelters Saturday morning at area schools and a recreation center, Kerner said. Kerner said the shelters would feature coronavirus precautions. Those taking shelter will have their temperatures checked, and will be divided into family units. Masks will be provided as needed and law enforcement will help enforce social distancing, he said.
- Extra PPE: Thousands of kits with personal protective equipment are being sent to shelters in counties that are in the storm’s path, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday.
- Possible power delays: Power outages could last longer than usual because of the pandemic, Florida Power & Light spokesman Bryan Garner said. That’s partly because restoration teams are taking time and space for health precautions, he said. They’re social distancing, working in small groups, sanitizing equipment and going through temperature checks and health screenings, Garner said.