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Coronavirus

Virus challenges high holy days this week

Two different religious faiths. Two different sets of holy holiday customs. And both forced to completely revamp their ceremonies this week because of the coronavirus. Wednesday night marks the beginning of Passover, which is celebrated with a Seder dinner replete with ceremonial food and readings from the Haggadah, the Jewish[…]

Vacation rental crackdown intensifies

In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, local governments in the Florida Keys are stepping up enforcement efforts on property owners defying state and local emergency orders about renting out their properties to tourists. A task force comprised of Key West Code Compliance Department and the Key West Police Department[…]

County government eyeing furloughs

The Monroe County Commission next week will vote a plan that will furlough possibly as many as 100 of its roughly 565 employees because of the economic impacts of the coronavirus. County Administrator told the press on Tuesday that the county is working on a plan that calls for a[…]

Correction

• A story that ran in the Tuesday, April 7, edition of The Citizen, regarding new Key West restrictions on essential store employees and customers should have stated customers are required to wear face coverings such as masks in stores where 10 or more people congregate but not gloves. •[…]

Assistance available to families

The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County’s WIC (Special Supplemental Food Program for Women Infants and Children) is offering food, nutrition and breastfeeding assistance to low income pregnant women or families with infants or children younger than 5 who reside in Monroe County. Receiving unemployment benefits does not automatically[…]

City imposes new restrictions

New protective orders have been issued by Key West City officials for local companies still open for business, including requiring masks and gloves to be worn by both employees and customers at places where 10 or more people congregate. In addition, beginning at midnight April 7, all open essential businesses[…]

Bogus re-entry stickers halted

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is beginning to report fake hurricane resident re-entry stickers on cars trying to sneak through the two checkpoints coming into the Florida Keys. Local government leaders set up checkpoints on U.S. 1 and State Road 905 more than two weeks to slow the spread of[…]

Following virus delays, city to hold virtual meeting

After a five-week delay caused by the coronavirus, the Key West City Commission will hold a virtual public meeting tonight, Tuesday, April 7, starting at 5 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast on Comcast Channel 77 and AT&T Channel 99. It can also be streamed on the city’s website, https://www.cityofkeywest-fl.gov,[…]

Florida governor says unemployment system now up to speed

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that the state’s heavily criticized unemployment system should now be able to handle the crush of applicants it is receiving as workers lose their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak. He said the computer system’s capacity has been increased to handle 120,000[…]

National Park closes public access

Dry Tortugas National Park will close all islands in the park to public access until further notice. Visitor programs, concession tours, and the campground were closed previously. Park waters remain accessible to the public for recreational use in accordance with the latest federal, state, and local health guidance, in addition[…]