April 13, 2020
Good Morning El Portal:
RE: COVID – 19 Update
We are connecting with each of you to provide an update, along with some reminders, as we continue to work to preserve the health and well-being of our El Portal community during the COVID-19 outbreak.
As a reminder, the Village of El Portal follows Miami-Dade County Emergency Orders; please visit our Village Website for more COVID-19 information and all emergency orders: https://elportalvillage.com/
As you know, since March 26th, 2020, the Village of El Portal has been under the “Safer at Home” order, enacted by the Miami-Dade County Emergency Order 12-20 and the Village of El Portal’s Emergency Order 20-01.
So, in simplest terms, please STAY AT HOME; only leave your home if you have to: go to the doctor or pharmacy, purchase fuel, food, buy groceries, etc. or if you work at an essential business. And, of course you may walk outside and you may walk your furry pets – we simply ask that when you are outside, always practice ‘social distancing’!
More recently, on Thursday, April 9th, 2020, Miami-Dade County issued Emergency Order 20-20 regarding “Facial Covering” and the order went into effect as of 11:59 p.m. on April 9, 2020: Persons working in or visiting grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, construction sites, public transit vehicles, vehicles for hire, and locations where social distancing measures are not possible shall wear facial coverings as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). A facial covering includes any covering which snugly covers the face and mouth, whether store-bought or homemade, and which is secured with ties or ear loops. Examples of compliant home-made masks may be found at https://www.cdc.gov/
NOTE: If you receive a call from (786) 206-0079 you have been randomly selected to participate in a Miami-Dade County and University of Miami Miller School of Medicine COVID-19 study. Miami-Dade County residents will be randomly selected to determine rate of exposure in our county. Chief recommends us to save: (786) 206-0079 as Miami-Dade COVID Test in case they call.
As of Friday, April 10th, 2020, here are all COVID-19 testing sites: https://www.miamidade.gov/
Below, we share with you on how we are cooperating with our Miami-Dade County, Municipal and State colleagues as we stay informed, study data and work to overcome this challenging time together
- In early March 2020, El Portal Police Chief Magnusson was selected to Chair the Miami-Dade Chiefs of Police COVID-19 Committee. In this role, Chief Magnusson is at the front-line in receiving information. He has kept abreast of statistics, and is responsible for disseminating information to all agencies. As such, El Portal Police Department is receiving information ‘hot off the press.’
- Since mid-March 2020, on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays: Mayor Cubillos, as President of the Miami-Dade County League of Cities (MDCLC) along with her Executive Board participate in an online Zoom Meeting with Miami-Dade County Mayor Jimenez and his staff. In these meetings, the County shares up-to-date information on the availability of hospital beds and ventilators available, the number of COVID-19 patient discharged, and those admitted-by-day, among other key information that helps us shape our message and plan in fighting this invisible enemy.
- On every Tuesday, El Portal Village Manger Christia Alou, “virtually” meets online with all Miami-Dade County Managers. During this call they share and discuss resources and ideas on how they are managing the response to and recovery from COVID-19, while still addressing the needs of many residents who still want their permits issued, and/or work completed, and also ensuring continuity of essential government services.
- On every Tuesday, Mayor Cubillos and the MDCLC Executive Board “virtually’ meets with its Associate Members. These associate-member companies share information on what they are hosting and/or offering to our community during this Pandemic. This information is then shared to El Portal residents via email and social media.
- Also, on every Tuesday, Mayor Cubillos and the MDCLC Executive Board “virtually” meets with the MDCLC Board of Directors (BOD). During this meeting, the BOD are updated on Miami-Dade County statistics and other pertinent information to ensure all municipalities are synchronized in our efforts to fight COVID-19.
- Now, on every Thursday, Mayor Cubillos and the MDCLC Executive Board also virtually meets with all Miami-Dade County Mayors. During this call we discuss best practices on this fluid situation, where we share ideas and best practices.
- Wednesday, April 1st, 2020: Miami-Dade County Mayor’s collaborated on a ‘Safer at Home’ public service announcement video circulated throughout the County and was broadcasted on local television stations.
- Thursday, April 2nd, 2020: Mayor Cubillos, via email, informed/reminded the community that the CARES Act -Federal Stimulus Package for small business will so begin to accept applications on April 3rd, 2020.
- Friday, April 3rd, 2020: Chief Magnusson identified all Miami-Dade County Police Agency-needs and collaborated amongst them to encourage them to share resources, so that no first-responder goes without Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Sunday, April 4th. 2020: Mayor Cubillos secured over 200 facial covering masks for folks in El Portal. These masks have been distributed as follows: 100 masks for the El Portal Police Department; 4 for the El Portal Administration, and the Mayor emailed residents asking to please email her if they were in need of a mask. Then Mayor Cubillos delivered masks on April 7th, 2020.
- Wednesday, April 8th: The Village of El Portal’s Emergency Team met on-line. During this meeting we discussed the Village’s on-hand inventory on PPE, shared data from our respective meetings, addressed some resident’s immediate concerns, and reiterated our communication protocol to ensure that we are continually informing our residents. Again the Village Manager is in regular communication with her staff and both the Police Chief and Village Manager informed the Mayor that their staff are all okay, and not in need of anything at this moment; only that some are eager to come back to work and the Manager advised them that when she re-opens the Village Offices it will be a tiered and gradual process, based on calculated and measured data in order to ensure the safety of the entire Village staff and community.
- Thursday, April 9th: Mayor Cubillos participated in a Florida League of Mayors State-wide conference call with Senator Rubio about an update on the PPP and unemployment assistance programs.
In closing this COVID-19 Update, we just want to thank and applaud all of you in the Village of El Portal who are adhering to each emergency order—as you are helping to prevent additional COVID-19 infections. In addition, we want to always thank all our first responders (police, fire, military, doctors, nurses, etc.) for being on the front-lines in battling this invisible enemy, where some in South Florida have already succumbed to this terrible virus where they have made the ultimate sacrifice in caring for others. So, in respect of their sacrifice and in the words of great Winston Churchill, “we will never give in, we will never give up” against this terrible invisible enemy of COVID-19 until it hurts us no more. Blessings to all of you!
Please stay safe and be “Safer At Home.”
Village Emergency Management Team