The Florida Department of Health (Department) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor the current outbreak of COVID-19 and is actively working to ensure that the most up-to-date CDC guidance is quickly and accurately disseminated to local partners. To see the latest case count please visit COVID-19 page, the Department is coordinating with our local partners to investigate, confirm, contain and report any cases.
For information from the CDC and the World Health Organization on COVID-19, please visit:
- CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html.
- CDC Symptoms https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/about/symptoms.html.
- CDC Situation Summary https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html.
- WHO COVID-19 Outbreak https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website
For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.
- Your County Health Department (CHD) is reinforcing important public health messaging—like symptom monitoring, infection prevention and stopping or slow down the spread of disease—that will help keep you safe if you come into contact with someone with COVID-19 or other viral respiratory pathogens like flu.
- Your CHD is monitoring the health trends in your community on a daily basis to help identify any possible cases of COVID-19.
- Your CHD is serving as an expert resource for health care providers and the public, and working to make sure that health care providers know what to look for and what to do if they suspect COVID-19 in a patient.
- Your CHD will coordinate the collection of specimens from patients and will submit these specimens to the CDC or the Florida Bureau of Public Health Laboratories for testing of suspected COVID-19.
- Your CHD will isolate (quarantine) a patient who tests positive for COVID-19 and determine the patient’s travel history and who they may have had close contact with while sick—this is called contact tracing. People who may have been exposed would be notified and may be quarantined and observed for symptoms of COVID-19.
- Your CHD is preparing for the possibility that COVID-19 may become a global pandemic and ensuring that local plans, resources and capabilities are in place to respond to a widespread outbreak and lessen the impacts on Florida’s communities.
This interim guidance is intended for organizers and staff responsible for planning mass gatherings or large community events in the United States. A mass gathering is a planned or spontaneous event with a large number of people in attendance that could strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event, such as concerts, festivals, conferences, worship services, and sporting events.
COVID-19 is an emerging respiratory disease and there is more to learn about its transmission, clinical course, and populations at increased risk of disease and complications (see How COVID-19 Spreads). Everyone can do their part to help plan, prepare, and respond to this emerging public health threat.
As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, CDC strongly encourages event organizers and staff to prepare for the possibility of outbreaks in their communities. Creating an emergency plan for mass gatherings and large community events can help protect you and the health of your event participants and local community.
CDC has developed recommended actions for preventing the spread of COVID-19 at mass gatherings and large community events. The Before, During, and After sections of this guidance offer suggested strategies to help you plan for and implement these recommendations.
Before a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community: Plan
A COVID-19 outbreak could last for a long time. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, public health officials may recommend community actions designed to limit exposure to COVID-19. Officials may ask you to modify, postpone, or cancel large events for the safety and well-being of your event staff, participants, and the community. The details of your emergency operations plan should be based on the size and duration of your events, demographics of the participants, complexity of your event operations, and type of on-site services and activities your event may offer.
In this guide