Okaloosa County

Twenty seven miles of public beaches will be closed in Okaloosa County in a drastic move to avoid further spread of COVID-19, effective Saturday March 21, through April 30. 

It’s a move Okaloosa County Commissioners did not take lightly as they debated and took public comment for nearly three hours during an emergency meeting.  Dr. Karen Chapman of the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County made a passionate case for limiting the amount of visitors coming to the area as tourist season begins to ramp up. 

The health-care industry in Northwest Florida stays prepared for disasters — whether it be a hurricane or public health scare like COVID-19. Yet, the biggest demands continue to be medical supplies and equipment, and staffing.

Ann Hill is the executive director of the Emerald Coast Healthcare Coalition (ECHC), a network of healthcare agencies that covers 10 counties, from Escambia to Holmes, that work together before, during and after disasters.