JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The City of Jacksonville is giving an update on the first positive case of COVID-19 in Duval County Friday.
Mayor Lenny Curry and other city leaders gave a briefing at City Hall at noon, with updates on plans for public venues and events under city management.
The mayor said he is indefinitely suspending events in city facilities.
"All city-owned event venues including TIAA Bank Field, VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Times-Union Performing Arts Center and Prime Osborn Convention Center will remain closed until further notice," Curry said.
Some of the events that will impact include the touring production of Hamiltion, Josh Groban and the Jacksonville Symphony.
The mayor also gave details on the COVID-19 patient in Duval County. He said when JFRD first responders arrived on scene at the Town Center-area assisted living facility where the man was living, they had no indication the patient was possibly infected.
“Since the first responders were exposed without personal protective equipment, all five are now in quarantine," Curry said. "The patient came from a senior facility. Emergency management has been and is in contact with that facility.”
The mayor said he is acting unilaterally to make sure Duval County families are safe.
“Doing so is essential to ensuring our health care system is not overwhelmed and that the fewest number of people in Duval County are at risk,” Curry said.
That also means closing the zoo, all libraries and public parks at the close of business Friday, and canceling all large gatherings at city parks or on city property through the end of the month.
Election Day is still on as planned, and the mayor said he is working with the supervisor of elections to keep locations open for early voting.
“I understand that this is disruptive and inconvenient, but we have to experience this disruption and inconvenience to slow this thing," Curry said. "We’ve learned from other countries and other places that have experienced what we’ve experienced now ... that (limiting) social interaction drastically slows the spread of this. So it’s incumbent upon me to make sure that I do everything I can with the information I have to slow the spread of this and eventually eliminate it.”
The mayor said he is looking into acquiring testing kits that the city can use to test people at its own direction.
As far as events that are being canceled, the mayor said to contact the venue where tickets were purchased if they're looking for a refund.
The president of Jacksonville's city council also canceled all meetings of the council, agenda meetings, boards, commissions and committee meetings from March 16 through April 5, with the exception of the special meeting of the council scheduled March 16 at 11:30 a.m.
For the latest updates on the virus and its impact on the First Coast, follow this live blog and join our Facebook group, Facts Not Fear: Your Coronavirus Questions Answered.