By: Sara Warden
2 min read March 2020 — Businesses across South Florida have been hit by the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, as the government issued new advice urging people to stay home if possible. Drastic measures have been taken to prevent the further spread of the virus, but some Fort Lauderdale companies are taking the crisis in stride.
Fort Lauderdale made the decision to close all public beaches, bars, nightclubs and restaurants. All meetings of city boards and committees have been postponed until the end of March at the earliest. Only essential businesses such as pharmacies and grocery stores are excluded from the measures. The TSA reported that one of its agents at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport tested positive for the virus, bringing the tally to two officers across the state.
“We have to do everything possible to minimize crowds and unfortunately, our beautiful beaches must be part of that plan,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis to South Florida Business Journal. “I want to be clear that this is not an overreaction, but a way for us to help stop further cases of COVID-19 in our community.”
With the measures set to last until April 12, one of the biggest concerns for Fort Lauderdale residents – and for people all over the world – is of a potential shortage in supplies of essentials such as canned goods, medicine and toilet paper.
As the virus response ramped up, Postmates and Walgreens announced an expansion of their partnership to allow customers to order Walgreens pharmacy goods through Postmates and have them delivered to their doors. The service was piloted in New York six months ago but its ramp up to cover a handful of cities including Fort Lauderdale comes at an opportune time to allow citizens to comfortably practice social distancing.
Businesses are urging employees to work from home, but are threatened by a drop in productivity. Some forward-thinking businesses had already made preparations, having monitored the unfolding situation from its roots in China’s Wuhan region in December. Davie-based Bankers Healthcare Group implemented home office last Friday after extensive testing of its digital systems.
“We’ve been preparing for this transition for more than a month, checking and testing our systems to ensure we could continue to do business as usual,” co-founder Eric Castro told South Florida business Journal. “We don’t anticipate any challenges or disruption to our business, and are confident we will not lose productivity.”
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