I want to share with you my appreciation of our county employees and their extraordinary efforts dealing with the disruption and challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. I emphasized that amid those tasks, the vast majority of our staff are performing their daily jobs – at home, in facilities or in their offices – of delivering exceptional service to the people of Charlotte County. Some are helping customers navigate online services that are new to them, others are operating essential functions, such as water and wastewater plants, still more are keeping capital projects on track. Our Joint Information Center created a #WorkingForYou social media campaign to reinforce the message and recognize their colleagues’ work.

We’re taking advantage of facility closures to perform broad disinfecting of offices vacated by staff now working at home. When we return to normal operations – and we will – I want to assure you the public will find safe, clean facilities, with numerous hand sanitizer dispensers and a robust cleaning schedule.

For now, though, we continue to tackle the outbreak on a daily basis. Departments are teaming up to deliver food assistance, answer calls in our 211 call center and push the latest information out to the public. The Emergency Operations Center is coordinating with the Florida Department of Health to monitor the outbreak, supply first responders and health care facilities with needed protective equipment and identify future needs. The County Commission extended the local state of emergency and received another COVID-19 update from DOH, Emergency Management, Budget and Human Services at its Tuesday meeting. We continue to follow CDC and DOH guidance on limiting public gatherings in county facilities and expanding teleworking for county employees.

For COVID-19 information, including online services, closures, available assistance and rumor control, visit www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Sharps pickup

While the county’s mini-transfer stations in Port Charlotte and Englewood are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Public Works Department saw the need for residents to safely dispose of their sharps and hazardous waste. We’re now collecting these items curbside at your residence. A maximum of three sharps containers and a maximum of 10 containers of household hazardous waste of any combination will be collected by appointment.

Call 941-764-4360 to schedule a pickup.

Text updates

The Emergency Management Office has established the CharCoCares text system to provide local updates related to COVID-19, area resources and opportunities as they become available. Text CharCoCares to 888-777 to opt in. The service is free; message and data rates may apply.

Hector Flores is the Charlotte County administrator. Readers may reach him at Hector.Flores@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

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