More COVID-19 testing coming to Jacksonville, Memorial Day goes virtual

Mayor Lenny Curry stresses the importance of using precautions to curb the spread of the virus.

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  • | 2:00 p.m. May 21, 2020
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Although positive test results are declining and the city is opening up, Mayor Lenny Curry stressed in his virtual news briefing May 21 the importance of personal responsibility and wearing a mask.

“We may not have a vaccine for this virus for quite some time,” Curry said. “But we cannot afford to quarantine indefinitely. It’s not sustainable. Doing so puts too great a strain financial and otherwise on our neighbors and their families. Therefore, we must find a way to move forward.”

Curry said he and his administration planned an in-person briefing with health care leaders, all wearing masks, but decided to postpone until next week “in an abundance of caution.”

Although the city is shutting its testing site at the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, it will roll out several community sites in the coming weeks. 

CVS Pharmacy will provide COVID-19 testing at three Jacksonville locations: 4280 Southside Blvd., 4475 San Juan Ave. and 9509 San Jose Blvd. Patients can begin scheduling appointments May 22. 

On May 20, vacation rentals in Duval County reopened under new guidelines after state-mandated closures.

“By getting these businesses back up and running in a responsible way, we are stabilizing elements of our economy that have been disrupted by the pandemic,” Curry said.

With Memorial Day on May 25, Curry said it would not be safe to hold a public celebration. Instead, the city will post a virtual Memorial Day observance at 8 a.m. on the city’s YouTube channel and social media.

Curry, area officials and military leaders will make remarks and the Jacksonville Voices, Jacksonville Pipes & Drums and Navy Band Southeast will perform. A wreath-laying ceremony will take place. 

Though the parks are booked for Memorial Day weekend, camping reservations now can be made at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park and Huguenot Memorial Park.

The city continues to provide funding through its Rent, Mortgage and Utility relief program. As of 11 a.m. May 21, more than 24,904  of the $1,000 cards had been distributed. 

As the city begins allowing employees back to work, it will close the distribution location at the Ed Ball Building on May 24 and move appointments to the Jacksonville Main Library.