OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office says it’s taking new measures after the county’s 3rd covid-19 case. Among the measures, deputies will patrol the beaches reminding visitors of social distancing. “The OCSO is seeking voluntary compliance, however Sheriff Larry Ashley says if voluntary compliance is not obtained, beaches will be closed,” they said in a press release.
The department also says, “beginning Thursday, March 19th at 8 a.m., deputies will begin call-in crime reporting for most low-priority, nonviolent/and or misdemeanor crimes that have already occurred – versus in person responses.”
There are 3 cases of confirmed coronavirus in Okaloosa County.
LATEST CORONAVIRUS HEADLINES
- Texas overtakes California with most coronavirus infections
- Second stimulus checks: Trump eyes aid deal with direct payments after Election Day
- Mississippi governor Tate Reeves extends mask mandate to seven additional counties
- Mississippi governor announces mask mandate for seven additional counties
- Expert: France has “lost control” of the virus
FULL STATEMENT FROM OCSO:
In an effort to enhance efforts to protect against COVID-19, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office announces a number of new measures to attempt to limit potential public and staff exposure. These protocols will remain in effect until further notice.
Deputies are patrolling Okaloosa beaches to remind residents and tourists alike to stick to the Governor’s emergency order on social distancing and avoiding more than ten people in a group. The OCSO is seeking voluntary compliance, however Sheriff Larry Ashley says if voluntary compliance is not obtained, beaches will be closed.
Beginning Thursday, March 19th at 8 a.m., deputies will begin call-in crime reporting for most low-priority, nonviolent/and or misdemeanor crimes that have already occurred – versus in person responses. The normal dispatch lines will be used and calls of that nature forwarded to deputies – or your calls returned by deputies – as soon as possible. The OCSO is limiting access to headquarter and substation lobbies and asking the public to attempt to do business by phone or email whenever possible. Most buildings have an outdoor phone that can be used for routine business as needed. The OCSO is suspending all elective fingerprinting, with the exception of statutorily mandated fingerprinting such as arrestees and sexual offender registrations.
Sheriff Ashley wants to reassure the public that our OCSO deputies have implemented multiple precautionary practices in interacting with the public, ranging from social distancing to wearing masks and gloves to limit exposure. The OCSO also wants to thank our citizens and visitors who are paying heed to the Governor’s emergency order and health care recommendations in an effort to enhance public safety. Please continue to stay abreast of developing guidance and adhere to CDC and Florida Health Department recommendations and guidelines. We will post any new updates or developments via our Facebook and Twitter platforms.