Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association

Important Health Care Provider Updates for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Monday, May 04, 2020 8:21 PM | Delia Janice LaTorre (Administrator)
Florida Department of Health

Important Health Care Provider Updates for Coronavirus Disease 2019(COVID-19)

May 4, 2020

Governor DeSantis Issues Executive Order Number 20-112

On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-112 to outline Phase One: Plan for Florida’s Recovery. As you review the entire Executive Order, please note that Section 5 relates to health care practitioners. The Executive Order was effective at 12:01 a.m. on May 4, 2020.

Final Report of the Re-Open Florida Task Force

The Re-Open Florida Task Force Executive Committee Report was submitted to Governor DeSantis. Click here to view the Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery Report.

Renewal of Declaration of Public Health Emergency

On April 30, 2020, State Surgeon General, Dr. Scott A. Rivkees renewed the Declaration of Public Health Emergency originally issued on March 1, 2020. Click here to view the Renewal of Declaration of Public Health Emergency related to COVID-19.

Diagnostic Testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their clinical and diagnostic testing criteria for COVID-19. Patients with cough or shortness of breath or with two of the following symptoms: fever, chills, headache, sore throat, myalgia, and sudden loss of taste or smell should be considered for testing.

Antibody Testing

The Food and Drug Administration has provided guidance on antibody testing to health care providers. These tests are still being validated and should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose COVID-19 infections. It is also not yet clear to what extent antibodies to COVID-19 protect against reinfection.


Talkspace is providing free therapy for medical and health care workers, first responders, and state employees on a first-come, first-serve basis. The company connects individual users with a network through an easy-to-use and HIPAA-compliant web and mobile platform. In addition to therapy, Talkspace launched a series of free, therapist-led Facebook support groups to address anxiety relating to COVID-19, and a COVID-19 channel on Instagram (IG). These platforms include therapists, weekly therapist IG LIVES, mental health check-ins, and content sharing.

Updated Format for the Weekly Health Care Provider Telephone Conference Call

To address all the questions from health care providers around the state, the Department of Health has instituted a new format for the weekly health care provider telephone conference call. Participants are asked to email questions in advance to no later than close of business on the Monday preceding the call. All participants will be muted during these calls to help streamline information delivery. The State Surgeon General, Dr. Scott Rivkees, in collaboration with Secretary Mary Mayhew from the Agency for Health Care Administration, will provide updates from the Department of Health on the COVID-19 pandemic response efforts, provide a briefing from the Agency for Health Care Administration, offer updates from other state agencies and address questions submitted from our health care providers. If you are interested in joining this weekly telephone conference call, please see the call-in information below:

Date: Every Tuesday
Time: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Call-In Number: 888-585-9008
Conference Room ID: 208-305-233
Submit Questions in Advance:

Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.
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Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association
P.O. Box 110002 
Bradenton, FL 34211

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