Snapshot of Recent Topics

Okaloosa County's Public Information Office shares stories of the many departments, services and local government initiatives, across traditional news and social media platforms. Be sure to follow us on our social media platforms for up-to-the-minute news and we'll curate a snapshot of topics, right here, for easy access. We have experienced increased engagement regarding the covid-19 pandemic. If covid-19 information is what you're looking for, click HERE for current data, resources and the status of Covid-19 in Okaloosa County. Find a collection of daily covid-19 updates at facebook.com/OkaloosaCounty 


4.9.21 - The Okaloosa County Emergency Rental Assistance Portal opened up this week.

The Okaloosa County Emergency Rental Assistance Portal opened up this week. If you are a renter or if you are a landlord with renters who have fallen behind, visit OkaloosaRentalAid.com to view FAQs that provide helpful details on qualifications, required documents and more. Have questions? Email help@okaloosarentalaid.com or call 850-460-3316.

 

 

 

 

 

4.9.21 - Several community cleanup events are coming soon!

Several community cleanup events are coming soon! Unfortunately the rain has dampened the plans for some this weekend but it picks back up next weekend with Earth Day at Forth Walton Beach Landing April 17 and a clean-up in Crestview at the Trestles off Pioneer Road at Yellow River April 18. Keep Okaloosa Clean. Visit myokaloosa.com/bcc/leavenotrace for info on these events, tips on staying cognizant of your own footprint and pitching when a helping hand is needed. #leavenotrace

 

 

 

 

4.9.21 

 

Severe Weather Outlook. We know what you're thinking. But wait there's more? Yes. Monitor...

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Friday, April 9, 2021

 

4.8.21 - Update on P.J. Adams Improvements Okaloosa County Public Works signal crews have started installing the temporary signal at Villacrest and will start flashing the signal next week (yellow on P.J. Adams and red on Ashley and Villacrest). The temporary signal will be switched to red-yellow-green operation on Monday, April 19.

** Background on the PJ Adams Improvements** We thank our community for the input and patience as we continue working through P.J. Adams Parkway improvements. Northview Drive in Crestview, off of P.J. Adams will be temporarily closed and adjusted to allow a proper connection to the future lanes of P.J. Adams Parkway. We have opted to delay the Northview Drive closure until April 19. Here are the adjustments and precautions taking place: * Northview Drive will be temporarily closed and adjusted to allow a proper connection to the future lanes of P.J Adams Parkway but not until April 19. * We are delaying the closure until April 19 to take advantage of Okaloosa Public School’s Spring Break and the reduced volume at peak travel times, that should correspond. * We are working with our City of Crestview partners to have law enforcement present along with a temporary traffic signal at P.J. Adams Parkway & Ashley Drive/ Villacrest Drive to help with roadway access. * The temporary traffic signal would be removed once Northview Drive is reopened at P.J. Adams Parkway. We’ll provide updated details as this temporary solution progresses. * Please contact the Public Works Department at 850-689-5772 with additional questions or concerns

 

4.7.21 -  Okaloosa County Public Law Library still has a few slots open for tomorrow's April 8 FREE, Ask A Lawyer Program.

* myokaloosa.com/public-law-library/alp for details.
* Link to Request Form: myokaloosa.com/sites/default/files/users/LLUser/ALP%20Request%20Disclosure%20Form.pdf.
* Return form to: lawlibrary@myokaloosa.com.
* Questions? 850-651-7256

 

4.6.21 - The U.S. Treasury has awarded Okaloosa County $6.36 million in emergency rental and utility assistance for low-income households experiencing COVID19 financial hardships. Beginning April 6, 2021, to ensure a successful economic recovery in our area, grant assistance is becoming available for rent, rent arrears, late fees, utilities and utility arrears.

This program is available to renters within Okaloosa County with a household income of 80% or below of the Area Median Family Income (AMI) adjusted for household size. An application for rental and utility assistance may be submitted online at OkaloosaRentalAid.com by an eligible tenant or landlord on behalf of the eligible tenant.

“Our community has faced and overcome many challenges in the past year,” said Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners Chairman, Carolyn Ketchel. “While our local economy is strong, we recognize that this grant will fill an unmet need for those who are still struggling.”
Funding is available for past-due rental and utility assistance from April 2020 to the present. Visit OkaloosaRentalAid.com to learn more about eligibility, required documents, application assistance and to apply online. Funds will be distributed to landlords and utility providers. Apply soon as awards are made on a first qualified, first assisted basis. Applications are open until December 31, 2021 or until funds are exhausted. For additional information, please call 850-460-3316 or email Help@OkaloosaRentalAid.com
Full release available at myokaloosa.com/cc/news-releases/current

 

4.1.21 - We thank our community for the input and patience as we continue working through P.J. Adams Parkway improvements. Northview Drive in Crestview, off of P.J. Adams will be temporarily closed and adjusted to allow a proper connection to the future lanes of P.J. Adams Parkway. We have opted to delay the Northview Drive closure until April 19. Here are the adjustments and precautions taking place:

Northview Drive will be temporarily closed and adjusted to allow a proper connection to the future lanes of P.J Adams Parkway but not until April 19.
We are delaying the closure until April 19 to take advantage of Okaloosa Public School’s Spring Break and the reduced volume at peak travel times, that should correspond.
We are working with our City of Crestview partners to have law enforcement present along with a temporary traffic signal at P.J. Adams Parkway & Ashley Drive/ Villacrest Drive to help with roadway access.
The temporary traffic signal would be removed once Northview Drive is reopened at P.J. Adams Parkway. We’ll provide updated details as this temporary solution progresses.
Please contact the Public Works Department at 850-689-5772 with additional questions or concerns.
 
 
 
 
 
 

3.31.21 - More beach access coming soon! Groundbreaking for the Shore at Crystal Beach Park Expansion is April 12 and the public is invited.

“This initiative is one of the highest priorities for the City of Destin. Our tourist tax dollars are being reinvested back into public beach so that we can deliver on the promise of the Destin brand and meet the expectations of our residents and visitors,” stated Mayor Gary Jarvis. “We recognize the desire for more beach access,” said Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners Chairman, Carolyn Ketchel. “Through this acquisition and partnership, we can accommodate the need for our community to enjoy the beaches year-round.” Click HERE to read the full release.

 

 

3.29.21 - VA extends debt relief for Veterans:

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is extending debt relief for Veterans through September 30, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. VA will suspend collection of all Veteran benefit overpayments incurred between April 6, 2020 and September 30, 2021. No adverse actions or collection attempts will occur during this suspension period. Veteran medical care and prescription charges incurred from April 6, 2020 through September 30, 2021 will be cancelled and any payments for this time period will be refunded.
Visit http://myokaloosa.com/veterans/home for details on Okaloosa County Veterans Services. 

 

 

 

 

3.26.21 Vaccine Q&A Update

Q: Who is currently eligible to receive the vaccine?
A: The following info available at floridadisaster.org/covid19/vaccine/
• Long-term care facility residents and staff;
• Persons 50 years of age and older;
• Persons under 50 deemed medically vulnerable by a physician; (must bring in completed form to the pharmacy at time of your appointment);
• Health care personnel with direct patient contact;
• K-12 school employees and childcare workers (pharmacies following federal guidelines)
 
Q: How can I get an appointment at a local pharmacy?
A: Visit the Vaccine Finder at https://vaccinefinder.org/search/
 
Q: How can I set an appointment with Florida Department of Health?
A1.) Watch for appointment announcements. Today's release can be found here: okaloosa.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2021/03/2021_0326_drive-thruvaccination-apr5-9.pdf.htmlor call 850-344-0566
A2.) Pre-register at myvaccine.fl.gov/#/ or call 866-200-3599 or TTY 833-990-3450
 
Q: How many people have been vaccinated?
A: National, State and Local reports are linked here: covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations
 
Q: Who becomes eligible next?
A1: Starting Monday, March 29, the vaccine eligibility age reduces from 50+ to 40+ https://www.flgov.com/2021/03/25/governor-ron-desantis-announces-new-eligibility-guidelines-for-covid-19-vaccinations/ (Still awaiting the EO)
A2: Starting Mo+ for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 18+ for Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (Still Awaiting the EO)
 
Q: What else?
A1: Medically vulnerable individuals under age 50 will need to have their physician certify using this form: http://ww11.doh.state.fl.us/comm/_partners/covid19_report_archive/covid-physician-form/EO-21-47-Form.pdf
A2: Continue monitoring myokaloosa.com/bcc/covid-19 for Covid-19 resources

3.12.21 - Are the kiddos up for a fun-filled Spring Break? If they're between the ages of 10-13, Okaloosa County 4-H may have just the adventure they're looking for! Wolf Day Camp at 4-H Camp Timpoochee is filling up quickly but you can still secure a spot by visiting https://4hwolf.eventbrite.com/ Questions? Contact Ronnie Cowan at rcowan1@ufl.edu or 850-689-5850

 

3.5.21 - Infrastructure Surtax Project Update! More at http://bit.ly/3rFXArIInfrastructureprojects

 

3.4.21 - Do you have a civil legal issue on your mind and you're looking for an efficient way to get a few answers? What could be more efficient than 30 minutes with a volunteer attorney for FREE via Zoom? Okaloosa County Public Law Library is setting appointments NOW for the complimentary, 'Ask A Lawyer Program'. #spoileralert Rumor has it that our very own Commissioner Trey Goodwin (District 4) will serve as a volunteer for an upcoming session! Visit myokaloosa.com/public-law-library/alp for details and to complete a consultation request form. Signed request forms may hand-delivered to the Okaloosa County Law Library or scanned and emailed to lawlibrary@myokaloosa.com. Have questions? 850-651-7256

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.3.21 

 

With multiple State executive orders and health-related news releases, we've consolidated some of the latest and...

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday, March 3, 2021

 

3.1.21 - Visit our linked sources for recycling... beyond the bin!

 

 

On top of Okaloosa County's recycling program, there are also other resources at easy reach to you. Below is a list of...

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Monday, March 1, 2021

 

3.1.21 - Vaccine Administration Update  from Okaloosa County Public Safety. Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-47 today, expanding on last week's 21-46. Here's what we know:

1.) On Friday 2-26-2021 Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-46 regarding vaccine administration, allowing a broader range of medical professionals to vaccinate persons under 65 who are deemed to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. In addition to the current population allowed to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the following allowances were made under 21-46:

  • In addition to hospital providers, physicians licensed under Chapters 458 and 459 FSS may also vaccinate persons whom they deem to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, and
  • Advanced Practice Nurses (APRN’s) licensed under Chapter 464 FSS and Pharmacists licensed under Chapter 465 FSS may vaccinate persons determined by a physician to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

* There were several outstanding questions regarding the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine with the language as written, and further clarification was being sought, specifically regarding eligible vaccinators and documentation of qualifying comorbidities. EO-21-47 is meant to Clarify

2.) Today, 03-01-2021 Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-47, also regarding vaccine administration, which amends EO 21-46. Under 21-47, all providers administering any COVID-19 vaccine shall only vaccinate the following populations:

  • Long-term care facility residents and staff (already in-progress)
  • Persons 65 years of age and older (already in-progress)
  • Health care personnel with direct patient contact (already in-progress)
  • K-12 school employees 50 years of age and older (NEW)
  • Sworn law enforcement officers 50 years of age and older; and (NEW)
  • Firefighters 50 years of age and older. (NEW- previously only Paramedics/EMT’s)

* In addition to hospital providers, physicians licensed under chapters 458 and 459 FSS may also vaccinate persons whom they deem to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. Advance practice registered nurses under chapter 464 FSS and pharmacists licensed under Chapter 465 FSS may vaccinate persons determined by a physician to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. Such physician determinations shall include a statement that the patient meets the defined eligibility criteria established by a form prescribed by the Florida Department of Health. (NEW) ** When we receive details on the abovementioned form and the booking process from the state, we'll post an update. Link to EO: https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/orders/2021/EO_21-47.pdf


3.1.21 - We're Hiring! Okaloosa County is #hiring for a number of positions, including both full and part-time #Paramedics & #EMTs. Interested applicants should follow these simple steps: 1.) Apply online at https://lnkd.in/gS8ti7P 2.) Email Captain McGuffin at Smcguffin@myokalooosa.com Questions? Contact Captain McGuffin at 850-651-7150. Learn more about Okaloosa County departments, services and projects at MyOkaloosa.com 

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2.27.21 -  DENSE FOG ADVSORY - Stay safe out there! More fog rolling in tonight through Sunday morning. * IMPACTS...Hazardous driving conditions due to low visibility. Click HERE for details.

2.27.21 - FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN OKALOOSA COUNTY ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENTS STILL AVAILABLE FOR MARCH 1-6 FOR DRIVE-THRU COVID-19 VACCINATION NEW PRIORITY GROUP ELIGIBLE - Click HERE to read the full release.

2.26.21 - Vaccine Appointments Available Now through Florida Department of Health (DOH) - Okaloosa. Here's the latest: * Currently Taking appointments for Week of 2/27 - 3/6: bit.ly/2NAsXWlDOHEventBright or call 850-344-0566 * Latest DOH News Release: Make an appointment beginning at Noon March 2 for appointments March 8-11: bit.ly/2ZStoxJMar8-12 * Sign up to Florida's Pre-registration system at myvaccine.fl.gov/ or call 866-200-3599. * Latest registration info from FL DOH Okaloosa: bit.ly/3kqjo8aDOHAppointments

2.25.21 - Big announcement at Destin - Fort Walton Beach Airport today. Have you heard the news? Now welcoming Southwest Airlines to the family! * News release with full details: bit.ly/37PH5SaNewsRelease * Flight information: bit.ly/SouthwestPR

 

Destin - Fort Walton Beach Airport went live for the big announcement this morning. The addition of Southwest Airlines...

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Thursday, February 25, 2021

2.24.21 As the Governors office anticipates expanding those eligible for vaccines, we've also received a release from Florida Department of Health (DOH) Okaloosa regarding appointments avialble now in our area for health care workers and for people age 65+. Important links & numbers --> * Full DOH News Release: http://okaloosa.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2021/02/2021_0205_drive-thruvaccination-feb11-19.pdf.html *Book an appointment with the DOH locally at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/florida-department-of-health-in-okaloosa-county-32150093249 or call 850.344.0566 *Visit https://myvaccine.fl.gov/ or call 866.200.3599 to pre-register for a future date TTY 833.990.3450

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2.24.21 - Big announcement at VPS tomorrow morning at 10am! Here's a link to the Destin - Fort Walton Beach Airport's event page so you can catch it on Facebook Live: https://fb.me/e/LPl2xPTq

2.24.21 - Have you ever wondered what happens to your bottle after it gets picked up? Here is the process that Okaloosa County uses to help get those bottles recycled! For more information visit myokaloosa.com to find out more about the recycling process for households serviced by the unincorporated Okaloosa County curbside recycling program. #OkaloosaRecycles myokaloosa.com/pw/environmental/recycling

 

2.23.21 - FOOD DISTRIBUTION EVENT - Old Spanish Trail Park in Crestview, 10am to noon on Saturday, Feb. 27. Visit City of Crestview, Facebook for more details!

 

FOOD DISTRIBUTION EVENT - Old Spanish Trail Park in Crestview, 10am to noon on Saturday, Feb. 27. Visit City of Crestview, Facebook for more details!

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, February 23, 2021

 


 

2.22.21 - Previous week's COVID-19 Updates - 2.15.21 | 2.16.21 | 2.17.21 | 2.18.21 | 2.19.21 | 2.20.21 | 2.21.21


2.19.21 - Okaloosa County is prepared to react to the cold temperatures forecast to occur in our area during the overnight hours of Fri 2/19/21 into Sat 2/20/21. Our strategic partners will open 2 cold weather shelters due to the National Weather Service’s forecast of temperatures below 40 degrees in Okaloosa County during that time. North County: Crestview Area Shelter for the homeless. 120 Duggan Ave, Crestview Opens at 6:00pm Phone: 850-398-5670 Website: https://crestviewshelter.org South County: Homeless Shelter: 1564 Percy L Coleman Rd, Fort Walton Beach Phone: 850-586-7879 Website: https://onehopefulplace.org **Note bus stop pick up locations for One Hopeful Place only: 4 and 5PM- Bridgeway Building B, 205 Shell Ave SE, Fort Walton Beach, Fl. 32548

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.19.21 - The City of Crestview, Public Works Department has announced that the southbound lane of Amos Street will be closed between East Cobb and East Brett Avenues on Monday, Feb. 22, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. while a private contractor performs utility work. Use caution and plan accordingly!GraphicIG.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.18.21 - The City of Fort Walton Beach will begin several half-cent infrastructure surtax repaving projects later this month. Weather contingent and remember to use caution in progress zones especially when workers are onsite.

 

The City of Fort Walton Beach will begin several half-cent infrastructure surtax repaving projects later this month....

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Thursday, February 18, 2021

2.18.21 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs continues medical debt relief options. *More details at va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5623 or call 800-827-0648 *Learn more about Okaloosa County Veterans Services at myokaloosa.com/veterans/home va.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

2.18.21 - Congratulations on your achievement Destin - Fort Walton Beach Airport and thank you for your dedication to providing a safe and clean environment for us all!

 

Congratulations on your achievement Destin - Fort Walton Beach Airport and thank you for your dedication to providing a safe and clean environment for us all!

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Thursday, February 18, 2021

2.17.21 - Have you ever wondered what happens to your bottle after it gets picked up? Here is the process that Okaloosa County uses to help get those bottles recycled! For more information visit myokaloosa.com/pw/environmental/recycling

2.17.21 - More weather issues, headed our way... Severe Weather Outlook Tonight into Tomorrow, from Okaloosa County Public Safety and weather.gov/mob/ An area of low pressure is expected to develop across the Western Gulf this afternoon and track northeastward tonight into Thursday morning. This will bring the risk of isolated severe thunderstorms to parts of the area overnight tonight. This is a low confidence forecast as much of the threat area may remain offshore depending on the low track. However, the greatest threat is expected to remain east of the I-65 corridor in far southern Alabama and across the western Florida panhandle where the Storm Prediction Center has a Slight Risk of severe storms. The threat is expected to start in Western areas around midnight and be east of the area by daybreak on Thursday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.16.21 - Just a quick reminder to please help us spread the word. Cold Weather Shelters will be open again tonight in the North and South end of the County. Click HERE for more.

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2.16.21 - Out of Okaloosa County Veterans Services --> The US Department of Veterans Affairs has posted a news release, extending the moratorium on evictions, foreclosures and forbearance requests for VA borrowers experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID19. Read the release or call 877-827-3702 for additional information. https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5620  More about Okaloosa County Veterans Services can be found at myokaloosa.com/veterans/home

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2.16.21 - Okaloosa County is seeking two members for a Waterway Rental Safety Committee. The members must be business owners or managers of businesses directly involved in the rental of motorized marine vessels (Personal Watercraft i.e. jet skis, Pontoon Boats, and/or other vessels) to customers with a physical presence on the water in Okaloosa County. We ask that you apply as soon as possible. Visit http://www.myokaloosa.com/waterwayrentals-safetycommittee for more details and to complete the application.

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2.16.21 - Florida Department of Health Okaloosa is opening the Covid-19 Vaccination appointment portal at noon today, February 16, as they begin transition to the State of Florida registration system found here: myvaccine.fl.gov/. Visit http://bit.ly/3diBeZpOkaloosaVaccine for eligibility and link to the DOH Okaloosa vaccination booking portal and instructions for booking by phone no sooner than noon today.vaccineannoun.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.15.21 - DOH-Okaloosa is hiring OPS positions for the COVID-19 response! These positions are currently funded through June 30, 2021. Health benefits will be offered for full-time employment. OPS employees are eligible to participate in a deferred compensation plan. Paid time off is not available for OPS positions. Please complete the State of Florida application or resume and email to OkaloosaCOVIDHire@flhealth.gov.  Experience, education, and/or training used to meet the minimum qualifications and in response to the qualifying questions must be verifiable through information contained in your application/resume. Visit http://okaloosa.floridahealth.gov/about-us/covid-19-ops-positions.html for more information. Click HERE for State of Florida Application. DOHNowHiring.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2.15.21 - Previous week's COVID-19 Updates - 2.8.21 | 2.9.21 | 2.10.21 | 2.11.21 | 2.12.21 | 2.13.21 | 2.14.21


2.12.21 - Are you aware of the benefits provided by the Okaloosa County Law Library? The Law Library maintains a thorough collection of current Florida Statutes, Rules and Case Law in bound volumes, ensuring accessibility to the courts for the citizens of our county. Give the law librarian a call at 850-651-7256 or visit myokaloosa.com/public-law-library to verify hours of operation and services provided.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.10.21 - Big news for Shalimar! Okaloosa County Public Works has shared an update on the Meigs Drive Infrastructure Surtax Project. Crews are paving this week, in anticipation of opening Meigs Drive up for traffic, next week, after being closed for an extended period of time for construction.  A summary of Infrastructure Surtax Projects can be found at bit.ly/3rFXArIInfrastructureProjectsVisit MyOkaloosa.com for a link to these projects, along with other Okaloosa County departments, services and resources.

2.9.21 - Here we grow again! Three new cities make 38 direct flights with Allegiant, overall direct service to 47 cities from Destin - Fort Walton Beach Airport. Visit Allegiant.com for flight days, times and the lowest fares. Click HERE for more.

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2.8.21 - In partnership with the National Association of Counties, the National Flag Foundation, Okaloosa County has installed a flag retirement box at the Board of County Commissioners office at the county admin building in Shalimar - 1250 N. Eglin Pkwy Ste. 100; Shalimar, FL. The United States Flag Code prescribes flag etiquette — everything from flying it near other flags to instructions on how to raise and lower it. “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning,” says the code. Community partners will be responsible for the proper disposal of the worn flags. Learn more at naco.org/care-us-flag-naco Pictured Beatrice Love-More, Veteran Services Division Director, with a quick message about Okaloosa County Veteran Services: Her team has been highly focused on assisting Okaloosa County veterans and their dependents. Her team is setting in-person appointments by phone and they've asked for patience if the line is tied up when you call. Leave a message and they're dedicated to returning that call as soon as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.4.21 - Infrastructure is a critical County value. Community partnerships and hard work keep Okaloosa moving forward! This past Tuesday #crestview Mayor JB Whitten and City Manager Tim Bolduc presented an $8 million check to Okaloosa County. Public Works Director Jason Autrey. The City of Crestview and Okaloosa County entered into an interlocal agreement, both parties agreeing that there is significant value in combining two projects. The City has been a true partner and this significant contribution is a clear demonstration of the importance of this #infrastructure project. Learn more about infrastructure projects all around Okaloosa County: https://lnkd.in/ga68vZs Connector-map:This map shows the planned East-West Connector Road (red line) linking State Road 85, right, with the planned bypass road from Antioch Road to Old bethel Road (white line). Map by NICHOLAS SCWENDT GIS Analyst / Planner | City of Crestview 

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2.2.21 - Okaloosa County Administrator, John Hofstad presented the H.E.R.O. award to Corrections Officer Anna Suggs today. Officer Suggs was nominated by The Corrections Department Director for her #humanitarian efforts while off duty in another state. Her quick life-saving actions after witnessing two individuals in an altercation, followed by one of the individuals suffering a medical emergency are believed to have saved a life on October 2, 2020. suggs.jpg

Officer Suggs is most definitely a #hero and we're proud of her #selfless acts in this moment! The County has established the H.E.R.O. (Humanitarian Efforts Recognized by Okaloosa County) Award to recognize employees who not only go above and beyond the scope of their job description, but who do something that is considered to be of a humanitarian or heroic nature.

 

 

 

2.1.21 - DIY Beeswax Wraps. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Okaloosa County's recycling program makes a positive impact on our environment... in a big way. Have you thought about the little things that we can all do to make a big impact? We hope you enjoy this fun and sustainable project, shared by our Recycling Communication Intern, intended to reduce contaminates in the recycling bin and the waste in landfills. We can't wait to share even more innovative ideas to help keep Okaloosa County green!  Learn more about the Okaloosa County's recycling program at myokaloosa.com/pw/environmental/recycling 

 


 

01.07.20 Vaccine Update - Florida Department of Health Okaloosa vaccination portal will open at noon today for the 65+ community. We have a link at myokaloosa.com/bcc/covid-19/vaccine. Vaccine distribution plans come from the State. So, while Okaloosa County BCC is not in charge of vaccine distribution, we are working to support their vaccination efforts! More about DOH efforts at http://bit.ly/35gk7CEDOHRelease 


01.06.21 

 


1.05.21 

 

Covid update for Jan 5, 2021.

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday, January 6, 2021

 

12.30.20 DOH-Okaloosa will hold a vaccination clinic for adults age 65+.

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The vaccination clinic will be drive-thru by appointment only. It will be held on January 6, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. To schedule, please call 850-344-0566. More details here: okaloosa.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2020/12/2020_12_30_drivethruvaccination.html

 

12.30.20 New Okaloosa County Vaccine Distribution Information* from Florida Department of Health (DOH) Click to enlarge graphic.

New Okaloosa County Vaccine Distribution Information* from Florida Department of Health (DOH) - Okaloosa! DOH Okaloosa has received 2,000 Moderna vaccine doses and 20 ancillary kits. Below are upcoming Points of Distribution (POD) plans based on the statewide vaccine distribution plan and the Governor’s Executive Order Number 20-315: • Vaccination Distribution Staff - Drive-thru, closed POD vaccination clinics will be conducted to “vaccinate the vaccinators.” This includes DOH-Okaloosa, Emergency Medical Services, and ALS Fire Department staff members. • General Population Older Adults - Drive-thru, open POD vaccination clinics will be held for members of the general public who are older adults (65+). o The first clinic will be held on January 6, 2021, location TBD. This will be a soft opening for anyone born on January 1956 or before. The clinic will be appointment-only with a total of 168 slots available. As soon as scheduling mechanisms are finalized, DOH -Okaloosa will issue a press release to announce the availability. o Additional Open POD clinics will be held the week of January 11, 2021. Availability, times, and specific dates will be determined based on lessons learned from the soft opening. In addition to the above info, the following, previously-announced distribution information is taking place: Hospitals Vaccine Distribution • Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital have received vaccination doses and have begun to administer it to frontline staff and caregivers. According to a December 29, 2020 press release from Director of Public Relations and Communications Denise Kendust, their “clinical operations teams have developed a comprehensive plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations that includes storage, scheduling and an administration process. Prioritized colleagues have signed up, in advance, for a specific time and location to receive vaccine. COVID-19 patient caregivers and other frontline support staff are the first to receive vaccine.” • North Okaloosa Medical Center (NOMC) has received 900 vaccination doses. According to Director of Marketing Nikki Bennett, NOMC will begin administration to their patient-facing clinical staff on December 31, 2020. Long-Term Care Facility Vaccine Distribution • Under the federal agreement with CVS and Walgreens, our LTC facilities are working to vaccinate their staff and residents. As of December 29, 2020, two facilities have received their first dose. *DOH-Okaloosa is following the statewide vaccine distribution plan. As we receive more vaccine allocations, we will schedule additional vaccination PODs for the priority groups and will work with partners to ensure healthcare workers are covered. ℹ️ Information about the statewide vaccine distribution plan and current local vaccine availability can be found on this webpage: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/covid-19-vaccines-in-florida/. You can also sign up for text message updates about the vaccine and distribution by texting “FLCOVID19” to the number 888777. After you submit the text message, it will ask you to supply your zip code for local-level updates. You can also check our website at www.healthyokaloosa.com. We will be sharing updates as we receive new information. Additionally, we will continue to update MyOkaloosa.com/bcc/covid-19 with resources, including vaccine info.


12.29.20 covid update

 

12.29.20 -Okaloosa County BCC Offices will be Closed for New Years on Friday, January 1, resuming normal business hours on Monday, January 4, 2021.For information on County government, departments and services visit myokaloosa.com. Reminder for those serviced by the unincorporated Okaloosa Curbside trash and recycling pickup who are serviced on Fridays: Curbside recycling pickup for Friday, January 1 (New Year's Day) will be picked up on Saturday the 2nd and trash the following Tuesday, January 5



 

 

 

 

 

 

 


12.28.20 - Covid Update 12.28

December 28 COVID-19 Update for Okaloosa County, sourced by Okaloosa County Public Safety from Florida Department of...

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Monday, December 28, 2020

12.28.20 - New Year's Eve Severe Weather update from Okaloosa County Public Safety - 2020 isn’t done with us just yet and is going to take one more jab at us on New Year’s Eve. Keep an eye on the situation at https://www.weather.gov/mob/

What - A Slight Risk of severe thunderstorms capable of producing damaging wind gusts in excess of 70 mph and a few tornadoes Where - Across the entire area When - Thursday into Thursday night

What - High rip current risk and dangerous surf Where - Along all area Gulf beaches When - Tuesday night through Friday

What - Gusty non-thunderstorm winds Where - Across the entire area, but especially along the coast When - Thursday into Thursday night

What - Minor Coastal Flooding Where - Along Gulf coast, Mobile Bay and possibly Pensacola Bay When - Thursday night

Since this system is still several days away, it is still a bit too early to nail down more details than what we have provided above. However, we will continue to keep you posted with updates as things evolve and forecast certainty increases.


12.21.20 - Severe weather outlook. Later this week:

We Have a Marginal Risk for Severe Weather Wednesday night (12/23) into early morning of Christmas Eve (12/24) and cold windy conditions later Christmas Eve into Christmas Day (12/25). Here are the details that can also be monitored at Weather.gov. More HERE

12.21.20 - Hosting a small celebration?

The CDC recommends having conversations with guests ahead of time and setting expectations for safer #Holiday gatherings. * Wear masks. * Improve ventilation by choosing outdoor spaces or opening windows and doors as weather permits. * Space seating at least 6 feet apart for people who don’t live together. * Limit the number of guests and length of the event. * Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. More tips like this: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/winter.html Okaloosa County Resources: http://www.myokaloosa.com/bcc/covid-19

12.21.20 - You might be able to see the holiday cheer once you get into the jail this year….

 

But it’s obvious once you walk into the visitation room - a red glow from christmas wrapping paper, boxes of candy and masks are neatly organized. Corrections officer Nikki Smalls has transformed the space into a Christmas gift emporium to bring inmates some holiday cheer. Officer Smalls organizes this event every year… but like everything in 2020 - the gift of being remembered at Christmas - had to be changed for the inmates this year. Volunteers from area churches - and off duty corrections officers don PPE and work to create the care packages 6 feet apart from each othe A dose of hope in a time that can be especially dark for inmates away from their families.

12.21.20 - Okaloosa County's grants division has applied for $250,000 to pave a .5 mile sidwalk on wright street (near Chick-fil-A of FORT WALTON BEACH) to make the area safer and reduce traffic. Let us know - what do you think about putting a sidewalk there?

 

 

 


12.19 - 12.20 Covid Updates

Covid update for 12.20.20 Note: of the 8 new deaths reported on this date, 7 of them occurred in November.

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Sunday, December 20, 2020

 

 

 


 

12.18.20 Covid Update:

December 18 COVID-19 Update for Okaloosa County. Sourced by Okaloosa County Public Safety from: ℹ️...

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Friday, December 18, 2020

 

12.18.20 - Covid-19 Vaccine Update and resoruces. Keep an eye on MyOkaloosa.com/bcc/covid-19 for more resources. 

 


12.17.20 Cold Weather Shelters Open this evening

It's cold out there! Our strategic partners will open 2 cold weather shelters again this evening due to the National Weather Service’s forecast of temperatures below 40 degrees in Okaloosa County.

  1. North End: Crestview Area Shelter for the Homeless “Helping Hands House” at 120 Duggan Ave, Crestview, FL 32536 ph: 850-398-5670 https://crestviewshelter.org Open at 6PM on 12/17/20 - 8AM the following morning
  2. South End: One Hopeful Place at 1564 Percy L Coleman Rd., Fort Walton Beach FL 32547 Ph: 850-586-7879 https://onehopefulplace.org Open at 4:30PM 12/17/20 - 8AM the following morning **Note bus stop pick up location for One Hopeful Place only: 4 PM- Methodist Church, 103 First St. SE, Fort Walton Beach, Fl. 32548

12.17.20 Attending a small celebration? Follow these tips from CDC to make the #Holidays safer:


12.16.20 Covid Update

Covid 19 update for 12.16.20

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday, December 16, 2020

12.16.20 The safest way to celebrate winter #Holidays is with the people you live with. If you gather with others:

12.16.20 Cold Weather Shelters open this evening, Wednesday, December 16, overnight into December 17. Our strategic partners will open 2 cold weather shelters due to the National Weather Service’s forecast of temperatures below 40 degrees in Okaloosa County.

  1. North End: Crestview Area Shelter for the Homeless “Helping Hands House” at 120 Duggan Ave, Crestview, FL 32536 ph: 850-398-5670 https://crestviewshelter.org Open at 6PM on 12/16/20 - 8AM the following morning
  2. South End: One Hopeful Place at 1564 Percy L Coleman Rd., Fort Walton Beach FL 32547 Ph: 850-586-7879 https://onehopefulplace.org Open at 4:30PM 12/16/20 - 8AM the following morning **Note bus stop pick up location for One Hopeful Place only: 4 PM- Methodist Church, 103 First St. SE, Fort Walton Beach, Fl. 32548

12.16.20 Commissioner Ketchel shares some insight on potential airport expansion

 


12.15.20 Southwest Bypass Infrastrucure Surtax Project Update

 

 

12.15.20 Covid Update

 


 

2.14.20 Covid Update 

Covid update for 12.14.20

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

12.14.20 - COVID-19 VACCINE PROTOCOL UPDATE:  Pfizer Vaccine was granted an EUA on Saturday 12/12/20. Protocol is being closely coordinated with Florida DOH Okaloosa based on the statewide plan. Here’s an update from Okaloosa County Emergency Management Chief Schwartz:

Vaccine Protocol.png

  • Based on decisions by federal leadership, the distribution plan was triggered Sunday to have the vaccine delivered on Monday to ensure no issues with weekend or after hours deliveries.
  • UPS is delivering all Eastern United States and Fed Ex to the Western United States.
  • Per the CDC approved plan, the State of Florida is receiving 179,400 doses today for Week One.
  • 97,500 doses will be sent to hospitals to administer vaccine to high-contact and high-exposure health care personnel.  Those hospitals are Tampa General Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, AdventHealth Orlando and UF Health Jacksonville.
  • It is expected that there will be surplus doses from the five hospitals once doses are offered and administered.  Per FDEM, there is a second tier of 25 hospitals below the five that will be offered any surplus doses.  At this time, none of these 25 are identified in Okaloosa County.
  • 60,450 doses will be sent to CVS and Walgreens for use in long-term care facilities. Both companies are under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to administer vaccines inside those facilities.  At this time, FDEM and DOH has no current visibility into specific locations or timing of administration.  Per DOH in Okaloosa County, all 21 long term care facilities/adult living facilities in Okaloosa County are enrolled in this program.
  • 21,450 doses of vaccine will go directly to the Florida Department of Health for a pilot program.  Teams from DOH, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and the Florida National Guard will go into long-term care facilities and administer the vaccine in areas with a high concentration of facilities in Pinellas and Broward Counties.
  • Vaccine administration supplies are to be included with the vaccine doses – i.e. syringes, needles,  band aids, alcohol preps.
  • If needed, FDEM has supplies to administer 5 million doses.
  • DOH in Okaloosa County also has supplies in the event we need to use them.
  • DOH in Okaloosa County, EMS and Emergency Management have been reviewing and adjusting Mass Prophylaxis plans to follow federal and state guidance.
  • Once vaccine doses reach Okaloosa County first doses will be administered in accordance with the statewide prioritization plan, to priority hospitals for administration to healthcare providers and via CVS/Walgreens personnel to Long Term Care facilities.
  • The next step would continue within Assisted Living Facilities utilizing CVS/Walgreens program, and may use first responders (EMS) to facilitate faster vaccinations.
  • DOH would utilize a closed POD operation to use a drive through site to vaccinate the first responders EMS providers if this occurs.
  • Once the vaccine becomes more available and we advance through priority groups identified by the State, the County has the ability to utilize several Closed PODs via employers  and then via three pre-planned Open POD locations to reach general population patients. 
  • We’ve been told DOD will get vaccine directly and it will not go through the Closed POD plan. Please realize that the vaccination situation is fluid and will be adjusted as we work through the plans.Visit http://okaloosa.floridahealth.gov/ for more local health updates.

12.14.20 - Okaloosa County EMTs give back!

 

12.13.20 Covid Update

Covid-19 update for 12.13.20.

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Sunday, December 13, 2020

 

12.12.20 Covid Update

We missed an update that came in late Friday. Please see the attached December 11 COVID-19 Update for Okaloosa...

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Monday, December 14, 2020

12.11.20 Covid Update

We missed an update that came in late Friday. Please see the attached December 11 COVID-19 Update for Okaloosa...

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Monday, December 14, 2020

12.10.20 - Covid-19 Update, December 10

Covid-19 update for December 10th. - Sourced by Okaloosa County Public Safety* from: ℹ️ floridahealthcovid19.gov/ &...

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Thursday, December 10, 2020

12.10.20 - Temporary Curbside Waste Pickup Schedule Change for Christmas & New Years

Holiday curbside pick up changes for those serviced by Waste Management through the unincorporated Okaloosa County franchise. If Fridays are one of your pick up days, there will be no recycling or trash pick up on Christmas Day or New Year's Day.

  • Recycle scheduled for Friday, Dec. 25 & Jan. 1, will be picked up on Saturday Dec. 26 and Saturday Jan. 2
  • Trash scheduled for Friday, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, will be picked up the following week, Tuesday Dec. 29 & Tuesday Jan. 5 More about Okaloosa County Solid Waste at http://www.myokaloosa.com/pw/environmental/solid-waste

12.9.20 - December 9 Covid Update

 

Covid 19 update for December 9th. - Sourced by Okaloosa County Public Safety from: ℹ️ floridahealthcovid19.gov/ &...

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday, December 9, 2020

12.9.20 - Geomagnetic Storm Watches are in effect from December 9th - 11th, 2020 due to anticipated CME effects.

What would 2020 be without a strong Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) with the associated solar storm affecting Earth? According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it sounds more alarming than it actually is but power outages and communication disruptions are not out of the question with a G3 (Strong) solar storm if that verifies. Cell phone and radio communication are particularly susceptible to disruption during magnetic storms. See NOAA info below: We've just received the following update from Okaloosa County Public Safety: Geomagnetic Storm Watches are in effect from December 9th - 11th, 2020 due to anticipated CME effects. What would 2020 be without a strong Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) with the associated solar storm affecting Earth? According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it sounds more alarming than it actually is but power outages and communication disruptions are not out of the question with a G3 (Strong) solar storm if that verifies. Cell phone and radio communication are particularly susceptible to disruption during magnetic storms. See NOAA info below: The CME occurred on December 7th, and was associated with a C7 flare from Region 2790. Analysis suggests CME arrival possible late on 9 December, initially resulting in G1 (Minor) storm levels. As CME effects continue, activity is likely to increase, especially if the magnetic field carried with the CME connects well with Earth's magnetosphere. Therefore, the potential for strong storm levels exists and a G3 (Strong) Watch is in effect for December 10th. CME-related disturbances are forecast to continue into 11 December, likely resulting in G2 (Moderate) storm levels - and another Watch has been issued accordingly. While SWPC forecasters are fairly confident in CME arrival at Earth, timing and geomagnetic storm intensity are less certain. Continue to monitor our SWPC webpage for the latest conditions and forecast. Here's a link to more on the topic: https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ 

12.9.20 - Public Information Articles transition from 3rd party site to MyOkaloosa.com.

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