We have gathered a few resources for you however please remain advised of ongoing updates from your local officials.
If you feel you have contracted COVID-19, please follow the guidance from the CDC you will find below. If you are having a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you may have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
— Source CDC.gov
Yes. COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in parts of the world. Risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19 is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, for example healthcare workers, or household members. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Learn more about places with ongoing spread at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html#geographic.
— Source CDC.gov
The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html.
— Source CDC.gov
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.
— Source CDC.gov
Stay home except to get medical care
You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
People: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
Animals: Do not handle pets or other animals while sick.
Call ahead before visiting your doctor
If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
Wear a facemask
You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
Avoid sharing personal household items
You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day
High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
Monitor your symptoms
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.
Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department. Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.
If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.
Discontinuing home isolation
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments
— Source CDC.gov
Executive Order(s) and Directives
DATE: April 30, 2020
From the office of NAIFA-Florida Lobbyist Tim Meenan:
At 5:00 p.m. yesterday, Gov. Ron DeSantis held a press conference announcing what he called a “small, deliberate and methodical step to reopening Florida.” The Governor laid out his first steps for re-opening the state, Phase 1, which will begin Monday, May 4 and excludes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. DeSantis said he hopes these counties will be able to move to Phase 1 soon. The Governor is labeling this as a “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery”.
The Governor kicked off his press conference with a “Facts vs Fear” presentation which described why he believes the facts are much more important in guiding our decisions versus fear. This consisted mainly of Covid-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalization rates to date. Additionally, the Governor said he spoke with President Trump and the White House agrees Florida is ready to go to Phase 1.
Part of Phase 1 is to expand testing with additional walk-up testing in certain communities and also adding additional drive-thru testing sites around the state. In addition to the walk-up and drive-thru sites, the state is going to have a mobile lab that can test 3,500 people per week in high-risk areas with rapid test results within 45 minutes. Contact tracing will continue.
Here is what Phase 1 entails:
- Schools remain distance learning;
- Visits to senior living facilities remains prohibited;
- Elective surgeries are able to resume (this is statewide);
- Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with six foot space between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity;
- Retail can operate at 25% of indoor capacity;
- No change for bars, gyms, movie theaters and personal services such as hair dressers;
- Vulnerable individuals should continue to avoid close contact with people outside the home;
- All individuals, when in public, should maximize physical distance from others;
- Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people; and
- Recommending face masks if you have face to face interactions with people at the workplace or cannot comply with the six foot rule.
The Governor said his office will continue to monitor all the same data that led to this Phase 1 re-opening Florida approach. The re-opening Florida plan will go along with the White House’s three-phase plan. The duration of phases will be weeks – not months – and based on data. DeSantis said he is customizing the White House’s plan to fit Florida.
Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a mandatory stay-at-home order for the entire state of Florida, starting April 2, 2020 at midnight. Click here to read the executive order. .
Click here to view the FAQ sheet that has been released regarding the executive order.
5/14/2020 – Licensing Test Centers Opening Back Up
Florida’s licensing test centers – which are run by DFS testing contractor PearsonVue – are now open, according to Greg Thomas, Director of the Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services. NAIFA-Florida Lobbyist Tim Meenan spoke with Thomas yesterday and passed along the information. Thomas cautioned, however, that some partner sites are not open yet because PearsonVue has contracted with some colleges as testing sites, for example, which are still closed. The PearsonVue-run test centers which are open are operating at 50% capacity. In addition, Thomas advises that while testing is ramping back up, there have been some glitches and there is a backlog of candidates waiting to take their insurance exams.
The DFS is keeping the Temporary License option in place until test centers are back at normal capacity and the backlog is cleared up. While the wording of the DFS Emergency Order was tighter than that, they are interpreting the order liberally at the moment in order to provide flexibility.
5/12/2020 – CFO Patronis Extends Directive – Allowing CSRs to Work From Home
Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis has extended CFO 2020-01 which allows insurance licensed (4-40) customer service reps to work from home during the Covid-19 emergency health crisis. The original Directive was issued on March 16, 2020 and was set to expire on May 8. The new Order, 2020-08, issued on Friday, May 8, simply extends the original Order to “afford flexibility to licensees whose offices are subject to closure due to Covid-19.” Click here for the complete full text of the Directive.
4/17/2020 – DFS To Issue Temporary Licenses, Due to Virus and Closure of Examination Sites
Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis issued a directive on Friday, April 17, permitting the Division of Agent and Agency Services to begin processing insurance agent temporary licenses for pre-licensing candidates who have not been able to take licensing exams due to the closing of pre-licensing testing centers in Florida because of the Covid-19 virus.
This directive gives insurance agencies the ability to hire new agents who have completed all other requirements (education, fingerprints, applications, criminal history checks, background checks), but have not yet taken the DFS licensing exam(s). There will be only be three temporary licenses issued: a) Health; b) Life; c) and Personal Lines. Each temporary licensing is good for six (6) months or upon issuance of a permanent license of the same type and class, whichever comes first. Each holder of a temporary license shall be appointed by a sponsoring insurer which assumes responsibility for all acts of the temporary licensee. In addition, the temporary licensee may only solicit insurance under the direct supervision of a licensed and appointed insurance agent authorized to sell the type of insurance being solicited.
The directive further orders that the DFS will cease issuing temporary licenses 14 days from the date in which at least half of the examination centers reopen, or upon expiration of the directive, including any extensions, whichever occurs first.
To view Patronis’ announcement and for the full text of the CFO’s directive, click here: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/sitePages/newsroom/pressRelease.aspx?id=5532
Mark your calendars for the following upcoming NAIFA Town Hall sessions:
- June 30 @ Noon EDT, “Adapting Your Practice to the New Business Reality: Becoming Blockbuster or the New Netflix?”, Featuring Tom Guzzardo and Henry Whitlow
Did you miss any of the Town Hall Sessions? Watch them on-demand!
- April 6 @ Noon EDT, “Behavioral Finance & CARES Act,” featuring Jamie Hopkins
- April 8 @ Noon EDT, “CARES Act Questions and Answers Session,” featuring Diane Boyle, Keith Gillies, Todd Villarrubia, and Mark Massey
- April 13 @ Noon EDT, “Servant Leadership and Practice Management,” featuring Dave Resseguie
- April 16 @ Noon EDT, featuring Joe Jordan
- April 20 @ Noon EDT, “Delivering Your Message in Uncertain Times—In Person or Virtually,” featuring Deidre Van Nest
- April 23 @ Noon EDT, featuring Wade Pfau
- April 27 @ Noon EDT, “Don’t Waste This Crisis,” featuring Joe Jordan
- April 30 @ Noon EDT, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” featuring Scott Brennan
- May 4 @ Noon EDT, “How COVID-19 Just Accelerated the Tax Freight Train (and what you can do about it), featuring David McKnight
Have a topic you want covered, a speaker to suggest or other comment? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4/17/2020 – NAIFA Opens Family Response Fund: Due to Covid-19
NAIFA has opened the Family Response Fund – to assist NAIFA members who may be experiencing financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Grants will be considered for those members and their legal dependents who incur out-of-pocket medical expenses, unanticipated funeral expenses, or other extraordinary Covid-19 related expenses. Please note that the grants will not be issued for lost wages or other office-related expenses.
For more information, to apply for assistance, or to make a contribution to the fund, click here.
4/9/2020 – NAIFA-Florida April E-Journal
The NAIFA-Florida E-Journal is the state association’s monthly news letter. This month’s edition contains several COVID industry updates and tips. Click here to view the latest edition.
3/27/2020 – Congressional Conference Turns into Virtual NAIFA Impact Week
Due to COVID-19, the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C., has just notified us that it has closed its doors until June, thus cancelling our 2020 Congressional Conference.
As NAIFA always does, we come together in challenging times. We have quickly moved to announce that instead of meeting in-person this May, we will instead hold a series of virtual meetings entitled “NAIFA Nation: Impact Week” which we will hold over several days as follows:
Tuesday, May 19th: Diversity Symposium
The Diversity Symposium, led by NAIFA’s volunteer Diversity Task Force, will create a half-day virtual event that focuses on recruiting, training and developing top talent in the financial services industry. The event will be open to members, non-members and corporate partners working in the diversity & inclusivity space.
Wednesday, May 20th: Advocacy in Action Day
While we will not be able to visit Capitol Hill, what we will deliver is experts from our Congressional leaders, Government Relations team and key volunteer leaders to brief us on legislative initiatives and grassroots activation. The Advocacy in Action Day will focus on turning the August recess period for Congress into a “Take it to the Streets” Grassroots Army initiative to conduct in-district visits in every US state capital.
Thursday, May 21st: Chapter Leadership Training Day
Whether a current leader, a leader-elect or a member interested in becoming a leader, the Chapter Leadership Training Day will be conducted by the incoming VP, Member & Chapter Services, Corey Mathews. The session will focus on how to energize and activate NAIFA’s membership to lead us into 2021.
More information to come on registering for these virtual events, but our wish is that even more people will choose to attend and get involved with NAIFA during this crisis. It is in times like these that we turn to our professional association in new and unexpected ways; we want you to know that we are here for you.
For those that have already registered for Congressional Conference, thank you for your support of our advocacy efforts. Expect to see a communication under separate email in the next few days concerning refund options.
Moving to virtual meetings is what we have been progressively doing since we introduced NAIFA Live in 2019, so rest assured, we are well-equipped to manage this change for Congressional Conference. In fact, in case you missed it, we have held Town Halls every day this week at 12 noon eastern to bring NAIFA Nation together. Tomorrow we welcome a long-time NAIFA member, Ryan Pinney, as our guest speaker to talk about moving to a virtual agency model. If you haven’t registered, please join us for the education and camaraderie during these challenging times.
Thank you for your continued support of your professional association and remember that together we can take on anything.
Kevin Mayeux, CAE
Chief Executive Officer
3/19/2020 – The Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently issued two Industry Alerts related to the Covid-19 virus.
- CFO Jimmy Patronis has signed a directive waiving certain statutory restrictions to allow Customer Representatives (4-40 licenses) to perform their work from home, if necessary, through May 8, 2020. (Click here to view the Directive)
- CFO Jimmy Patronis has released a statement to travel insurers and travel insurance agents encouraging them to pay claims quickly in the wake of coronavirus-related travel cancellations. (Click here to view the statement)
Department of Financial Services – Important Information Regarding COVID-19 and Business Operations
Due to the response to COVID-19, state examination testing locations are closed until April 16, or whenever conditions are deemed safe to re-open. We’re also starting to see more and more fingerprinting locations close throughout the state and are anticipating that number to climb.
We are continuing to process license applications during this time. However, we won’t be able to completely process them if the license being applied for requires fingerprint and/or state examination results, and we don’t have them.
In order to continue operating efficiently, we strongly encourage people to utilize our Upload Documents feature through their MyProfile account to submit any application deficiency documents, instead of emailing them to us. If the option to upload documents isn’t available in someone’s account, it will appear within 3 hours after submitting a new license application in our system. (Note: If an application is submitted through NIPR, the option will appear once that application reaches our system, typically the day after the application is submitted to NIPR.)
Thank you for your cooperation and patience!
NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux’s Letter on COVID-19 to the White House
Please check our ongoing list of event cancellations as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
Please note that the CDC now recommends that groups remain lower than 10 people while keeping a 6 foot distance between individuals. Please refer to Interim Guidance: Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for more information.
The Small Business Administration – COVID-19 Resources
SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to small businesses economically impacted by the coronavirus in New Jersey, Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Delaware, Florida, California, Arizona
The Department of Labor – OSHA Resources for Workers and Employers on COVID-19
The World Health Organization – Get Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19
Center for Disease Control – Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
The Federal Communications Commission has released an agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cut off service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.
· Comcast – Comcast is offering an internet essentials package for free. To sign up for a free internet essentials package for 60 days, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
· Spectrum – Spectrum is offering free internet access for students. Beginning March 16, Spectrum is offering free internet for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who don’t already have a Spectrum subscription. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.
· Charter – Charter is offering free internet for 2 months.
· AT&T – AT&T COVID-19 response. AT&T will offer open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low-income families
· Verizon – Verizon does have special offers, but is following the FCC agreement.
· Sprint – Sprint is following the FCC agreement, providing unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
· T-Mobile – T-Mobile is following the FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
Provided by the CDC:
Provided by the White House:
Provided by the Florida Department of Health: