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The Broward County government is continuing to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the members of the Commission attended a recent meeting in person while others participated remotely. Members of the public were not permitted to attend but they could see the meeting via video.

Commissioners discussed the problem of people using public transportation and not being able to practice social distancing. Many of the bus riders are getting to and from essential jobs. Bus drivers have complained that they are not being protected from the virus.

There was discussion about protecting the Broward homeless population from COVID-19 and preventing homeless people from spreading the virus.

And members of the commission praised Port Everglades personnel for their work in handing the Zaandam and Rotterdam situation.

There was discussion on helping people who have lost their jobs especially on the hospitality industry because of COVID-19. People have been unable to access unemployment benefits through the computerized system because it keeps crashing. More people are being hired to handle the huge number of calls to the unemployment system and efforts are made to distribute. Paper forms have been made available to people who don’t have access to computers, but this is had led to major crowd problems where the forms are being distributed.

Commissioners discussed efforts to help revitalize the hotel and restaurant industry which are very important in Broward after the COVID-19 crisis passes. Many residents are employed in this industry and are suffering economically now.

During the meeting Commissioner Mark Bogen called for the suspension of flights from COVID-19 hotspots like New York. But other commissioners disagreed with him and the suspension was not passed.

Also, commissioners discussed how to deal with the COVID-19 situation after it calms down. Commissioner Beam Furr said that COVID-19 will actually be with us for a while and plans need to be put in place to handle it long term.

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David Volz
David Volz has been a reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2011 and has worked for numerous community news publications throughout South Florida over the past two decades including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal. He is a Professor in the Business department at Broward College and the editor of the Coral Springs Connection, an online community news website. He covers city government, schools, sports events, cultural activities, faith groups and workplaces.

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