DeLand, FL - Volusia County Council members unanimously approved using more than $96,000,000 in funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to create several programs to help local residents and businesses affected by COVID-19. Ten million dollars of that money will fund the Relaunch Volusia Small Business Grants program.
Council members approved applying and accepting $1,021,988 in CARES Act Relief Funding to be used for Votran Gold Paratransit services in the rural area of Volusia County. They also approved applying for and accepting $21,218,428 to be used for Votran operations.
Emergency Management Director Jim Judge said that two new COVID-19 testing sites are opening this week with one starting tomorrow at 9 a.m. "The first is University High School in Orange City. It is a drive-thru testing. It will be the nasal swab type testing. In addition to that, is the Midtown Cultural & Educational Center in Daytona Beach. We anticipate they will be up and running by Friday morning." All information pertaining to testing in Volusia County can be found by clicking here.
Judge also addressed the upcoming hurricane season and how shelters and social distancing will be handled. He says they have been working on a congregant sheltering plan for some time and continue to tweak it as necessary. "We're working very closely with the school district, the best criteria is approximately 110 square feet per person. That's going to have us utilizing quite a few more schools then we would normally. We're encouraging the public to make their preparedness plans now." Judge said using the shelters will require items and procedures. "We are going to need masks, we're going to need hand sanitizer, hand-washing stations, we're going to need to take temperatures, we're going to need to space out in the facilities as well as sleeping. So there's all that going into place."
We're anticipating an above-average hurricane season , according to Judge. "The University of Colorado is looking at 18 named storms, nine hurricanes, four of which could be Category 4 or greater. The normal hurricane season is 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three could be Category 3 or above."