Blog Posts

We are almost there

March 15, 2021  
Saturday, March 13, 2021 marked the one year anniversary of the Mayor's emergency declaration for COVID-19 in Jacksonville. 
Full text from his video statement:

One year ago, March 13, 2020, I signed an Emergency Executive Proclamation declaring a state of emergency for Duval County to address COVID-19. What followed was a whirlwind year of hardship, challenges, and obstacles for the people of Jacksonville, our state, nation, and the world.

You can tell a lot about a people by how they respond to hardship. These are defining moments for people and communities. And as the citizens of Jacksonville have demonstrated time and time again since our founding in 1822, we have proven to be a strong, compassionate, bold, and resilient people. 
Once this virus reared its ugly head in our community, my team and I shifted our primary focus to ensuring the safety and economic well-being of the people of Jacksonville.

Less than a week after my emergency declaration, we moved quickly to set up a drive-thru testing site at the Prime Osborn Convention Center—one of the first in Florida. Soon after, a federal testing site opened at Lot J. We were able to move quickly because of the sound financial practices we implemented the years before.

Through a combination of emergency reserves and leveraging federal dollars, including over $167 million in CARES Act funds, we were able to swiftly respond to the pandemic with small business assistance to keep citizens on payroll, housing and utility aid, financial assistance to seniors and disabled citizens, personal protective equipment for first responders, and so much more.

Because of these efforts, local sales activity recovered faster than most Florida’s cities and more quickly than most large cities throughout the country. We are in a strong position, which is a testament to the strength and resilience of our people.

But we also know that many in our community are still struggling, and we are doing what we can to help them. I have been humbled to see our community come together through food drives, hand-making masks and other personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, and other volunteer activities to help neighbors in need. We truly are a kind and compassionate people.

Now, one year later, with more vaccines becoming available, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We must only push on a bit farther and I urge everyone to continue the fight to end this pandemic once and for all.

Soon, we will be able to break bread with our friends and neighbors, attend concerts and events, and get back to the lifestyle we love here in the River City. We are almost there, and I am looking forward to it.

I am grateful to all first responders, healthcare workers, and City employees for working tirelessly to get our city through this pandemic. And thank you, Jacksonville, for your dedication, compassion, and commitment to the health, safety, and future of our community. I am grateful to serve as your mayor and remain committed to making Jacksonville the bold city we all know it to be.