Naples declares local state of emergency due to coronavirus

Brittany Carloni
Naples Daily News

The city of Naples declared a local state of emergency Monday due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus and has set up a COVID-19 hotline.

The emergency declaration gives the city the administrative powers to buy supplies and make decisions in the wake of an emergency.

City residents can call the city's COVID-19 hotline at 239-213-4902, Naples Fire Rescue Chief Pete DiMaria said. 

The announcement comes a day before the Naples election where city residents will elect the mayor and three city councilors for the next four years.

“It is important to note, the city encourages residents to vote,” Mayor Bill Barnett said.

Coronavirus in Florida updates:Total number of cases jumps again, bringing state total to 155

Naples Mayor Bill Barnett declares a local state of emergency due to the coronavirus in Naples on Monday, March 16, 2020.

More:Bill Barnett and Teresa Heitmann cross paths again in 2020 mayoral race

More:Meet the candidates for Naples City Council. Election day is March 17.

Jennifer Edwards, the Collier County Supervisor of Elections, said staffing will be reduced at polling locations, but asked for patience from city residents. More than 80 election workers have excused themselves from working Tuesday, Edwards said.

“There may be some lines. Please be patient with us,” Edwards said. “It’s a short ballot, so processing of the voters will move along very quickly.”

More than 59 polling locations will be open across the county on Tuesday, Edwards said.

Businesses, parks and city workers

Naples is not taking steps to close businesses or restaurants, Barnett said. The ability to close those establishments is not within the city’s purview, city manager Charles Chapman said.

“We are not contemplating shutting down any private business or any private restaurant or food court operation at this point in time,” Chapman said. “We are taking into consideration public safety as it related to our public facilities and we are reviewing the CDC guidelines.”

Coronavirus Naples: Here's what is closed or has changed along amid COVID-19 concerns

City public parks and the Naples Pier are open, according to the city. The Naples Pier concession stand will be closed starting Tuesday. 

The following recreation facilities will be closed starting Tuesday, according to a city news release: 

  • All athletic fields closed for league play
  • Arthur Allen Tennis Center at Cambier Park
  • Charlie C. Anthony Community Center at Charlie Anthony Park
  • Eva Sugden-Gomez Center at Baker Park
  • Fleischmann Park Community Center at Fleischmann Park
  • Hedges Family Eco-Center at Naples Preserve
  • Norris Center at Cambier Park
  • River Park Aquatic Center
  • Skate Park at Fleischmann Park
  • Splash Pads at Baker Park and Fleischmann Park
  • All permitted weddings and picnic shelter rentals at City facilities are cancelled.
  • The computer lab, fitness center, and recreation programs at River Park Community Center will be closed; the Center remains open for voting.

Naples is making adjustments to allow city staff to work from home.  The city has canceled all business-related travel for city employees outside of Collier County until May 1, 2020, Barnett said.

Any non-essential city meetings will be postponed until the end of March, Barnett said.

Public meetings of the city’s Design Review Board, Planning Advisory Board and code enforcement board will continue as scheduled.

No cancellations or changes have been made to City Council meetings as of Monday, Barnett said.  

State of emergency:Collier County declare states of emergency due to coronavirus

In your preparedness kit:What to stock up for coronavirus

In addition to Naples, Collier County Commissioners declared a state of local emergency Monday due to COVID-19.

Collier County has six cases as of Monday afternoon, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Cases in Collier include a 73-year-old man, a 68-year-old woman, a 64-year-old woman, a 76-year-old man, a 28-year-old man and a woman whose age was not released.

Brittany Carloni is the city of Naples reporter at the Naples Daily News. Support her work by subscribing to our local news organization. Find her on Twitter as @CarloniBrittany.