In a cautionary move, the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners postponed its Wednesday, March 18 BOCC meeting in Key Largo to the scheduled Wednesday, April 15 meeting that will take place at the Marathon Government Center.

“There are several very important topics on the March agenda that we know people will want to speak about. By postponing it, we hope to reduce the risk of any possible exposure to COVID-19 in the community and still allow public participation,” said Heather Carruthers, Monroe County Mayor.

County Commissioner David Rice told the Weekly that the commission had planned to revisit the 300 ROGO units it recently accepted in a split-vote as well as hear a health update about preventing a coronavirus crisis in the Keys.

The postponement comes on the heels of Carruthers’ declaration of a State of Local Emergency on Sunday, March 17 due to the rapid acceleration of COVID-19 in South Florida. 

A critical tool to combat community spread of the virus is to limit in-person meetings by frequency and size. If meetings can be conducted virtually, they should. If they can’t, they should be limited in size or postponed if possible.

Following similar guidelines, the BOCC chose to postpone their meeting.

Monroe County’s State of Local Emergency included similar provisions. Gatherings on county property will be limited to under 250 persons, and all businesses and organizers are encouraged to limit mass gatherings of 250 or more people through at least March 22, 2020.

Carruthers has said that coronavirus poses a health risk to Monroe County residents, particularly the elderly. The mayor noted that “extraordinary and immediate actions” by the county were necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare of residents and visitors.

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