Gainesville, Fla. (WCJB) --
Mayor Lauren Poe hosted County Commissioner Hutch Hutchinson, Eric Godet from the Gainesville chamber of commerce, Paul Myers from the Alachua County department of health and Hal Grieb of the Alachua County emergency department for a second telephone town hall.
The officials provided updates on COVID-19 and told people that there is no curfew in place in Alachua county but to flatten the curve, they must stay home when possible.
Poe said, "on a more positive note, we are happy to report that we are going to be able to significantly expand our testing capabilities in the next couple of days."
People also called and asked about financial assistance for small businesses and how to adjust to changes to everyday life.
Resident Hanna Buz said, "yeah it's an inconvenience not being able to go out and um only for essentials but it's necessary"
Mayor Poe of Gainesville adds that RTS is offering free fares and Gainesville Regional Utilities will start lowering bills in April.
Myers said, "the increase in cases is alarming, in terms of the containment strategy we continue to focus on that in addition to mitigation. So the containment strategy is to identify these cases once they're confirmed we do intensive contact tracing.
Myers adds that each positive case can create anywhere from 15 to 80 contacts and that increases the challenge for health care workers.
The last week has been overwhelming for many.
Buz added, "It was like quick, it was shock, everything was halted but it's ok."
Hannah Buz has two children at home, where she works.
"I think it's good for us, it's challenging to readjust and do things that we used to do more of an now we're getting back to those things. Even just sitting on the floor coloring or puzzles, the basic things its just so much fun. The kids love it., they're like mom this is so much fun, we've had the most fun today ever."
Alachua county created a COVID-19 community resource portal that will let people apply to be added to the essential businesses list and report emergency order violations.