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Coronavirus: State of Emergency issued for Palm Beach County/schools closed

Palm Beach County has been placed under a state of emergency due to the Coronavirus.

The announcement was made Friday afternoon during a press conference with several top officials.

According to Mayor Dave Kerner, while there are only two declared cases of the coronavirus in Palm Beach County, declaring a state of emergency will allow for much-needed government funding so that the city can hire more workers to administer testing for the virus among other concerns.

Mayor Kerner also urged residents not to panic but to be more diligent about their personal health:

“This state of emergency should not change anything in your life except to pay more attention to what’s going on, to be diligent in watching out for your personal health, and being even more concerned about not interacting unnecessarily or unscreened with vulnerable members of our community, i.e. those that are 65 years of age or older.”

So far 47 people in Florida have contracted the virus and at least two people have died from it.

By declaring the state of emergency, funds will be made available to hire more people to conduct testing countywide. At this time health officials say they have enough test kits but not enough people to conduct the testing in Palm Beach County.

Palm Beach County, Broward County and Miami-dade County public schools have made the decision to close for two weeks.

While many public and government facilities have been shut down or are not operating at full capacity, Elections will continue to take place. Early voting ends Saturday.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw warned that if you are a Palm Beach County resident and the health department advises you to quarantine at home it’s better to do so in your own home rather than in his hotel, meaning jail.

This is a developing story.