Community comes together during COVID-19 outbreak

Posted on 29 March 2020 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

COVID-19 has brought our world to a standstill it seems. Business are closing. Employees are out of work. Everyone is glued to their TVs waiting for the latest news and home hoping to not get sick, or that someone they know doesn’t get sick. They are isolating in hopes that they do not spread it to others if they are the ones who have it. We are all in this together. But during this crisis, people still need basic needs – food, water, toilet paper, some of which are in short supply these days as people hoard the goods as quickly as they hit the shelves. Luckily, some members of the community have stepped up to lend a helping hand, and, at the same time, have worked to keep their own businesses going in a new way, and be able to still pay their employees during this difficult time.

The staff at Olympia Flame are now delivering items from their community market. Photo provided by Danielle Rosse.

One of those clever business owners is Danielle Rosse of Oceans 234. Her restaurant is usually bustling with people as it right on the beach. But now that the beach is closed and restaurants have been limited to take-out only, she had to shift gears to keep her business going. She came up with an idea that not only would help with that, but also help out the community. She turned her seaside locale into a community market that delivers. 

We have turned our restaurant into a community market offering grocery essentials for pick-up or delivery. I saw that grocery stores were empty with food and supplies, and knew that I had instant access through my suppliers. I wanted to find a way to provide value to our community and also be able to keep some jobs. We are charging $10 for delivery. The delivery charge as well as any tips collected are being collected to support our non-working team members,” said Rosse.

Some of the staff at Olympia Flame are still on-hand to serve customers for pick-up and take-out.

She is not the only business owner able to stay open at this time. Olympia Flame Diner has been busy offering take-out. This family owned business has been open since 1991. Their full menu is available but  during reduced hours. They are open from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Owner Patty Miranda said, “We’re all trying to navigate this new normal while trying to help our community. I have been keeping in touch with other local restaurant peers. We are trying to comfort each other.”


Bia and Rafael at Casa Maya are some of the staff available to fulfil take out and pick up orders. They also have closed alcohol available shown on the table).

Meanwhile, The Cove Shopping Center seems pretty empty, but there are still a few places open, including Casa Maya, which is offering take-out from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. during the week and noon to 9:30 p.m. on the weekend. Not only do they offer up their menu items, but also packaged alcohol. In addition, they are now offering delivery. 

While the Wyndham Resort is closed, General manager Claude Dubois says that their Burger Craze restaurant is still open for pick up, as well as take-out via Uber Eats and Grub Hub. Orders can be placed at 954-596-5949. The Cafe’ Med and Patio Bar, however, are closed.

“Needless to say that very sadly this situation is affecting everyone in Deerfield Beach and the beautiful country that we live in. We want this situation to be under control as soon as possible so we can have our team members come back to work as soon as possible and do what we do best, taking care of our wonderful guests,” said Dubois, who added, “We remain very positive that it will be over soon and we are taking advantage of this opportunity to make the property look even better than it has and on enhancing our services for when we reopen.”

These are only a few of the many restaurants still open for take-out. If you know of others, please contact The Observer and let us know and we will put the word out on our Facebook. Email us at

Stay safe!

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Boca Bacchanal Grand Tasting

Posted on 21 March 2020 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

Every year, food and wine lovers flock to one of the most popular events of the year in this area, Boca Bacchanal’s Grand Tasting. This year, the event was held on March 7 (the day after the Vitner Dinners) at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. In addition to over enjoying tasty tidbits from local restaurants, as well as drinks, guests could bid on over 100 silent auction items. There was also a pop-up Bloomingdale’s Red Carpet Touch Up Station. In addition, world-renowned painter of wine Thomas Arvid was on-hand to paint live and had some of his pieces on display, as well as donating to the silent auction. Proceeds benefited the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum (BRHS&M). Guests enjoyed the event so much that they did not want to leave! Find out more about the BRHS&M at

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Fish Fry at St. Ambrose

Posted on 21 March 2020 by JLusk

On March 13, St. Ambrose held its Fish Fry. For $10, guests got two pieces of fish and potatoes,  as well as coleslaw.  Drinks were also available for sale.  Kids also sold bakery items.  

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Deerfield closures due to COVID-19

Posted on 20 March 2020 by JLusk

As the City of Deerfield Beach prepares to head into the weekend, officials want to remind residents of recent closures and other restrictions that have been enacted by the city, county, and state government to fight the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions and closures are as follows:
1. All bars, nightclubs, taverns, pubs, cocktail lounges, breweries, dance halls, movie theaters, halls for hire, auditoriums, bowling alleys, video arcades, and sports and entertainment facilities, including but not limited to such establishments contained within a hotel or other enclosed structure, shall be closed.
2. All restaurants, cafeterias, and other foodservice establishments shall cease all on-premises dining. These establishments may continue to operate drive-thru, delivery, take-out, and exterior pick-up food services during their regular permitted hours.
3. Effective Monday, March 23rd, the Community Development Block Grant bus shuttle service is suspended until further notice. Residents are encouraged to use Deerfield Beach Express I & II for their transportation needs. No changes have been made to the Express I & II service at this time. For more information on senior services in Deerfield Beach, call the Center for Active Aging at (954) 480-4449.
4. Please be reminded that all public beach areas east of the beach boardwalk are closed until further notice. Lifeguards and law enforcement are on duty to ensure that the public is aware and adheres to these beach restrictions. On-street parking and the Main Beach Parking Lot are also closed.
All public gatherings of any type, whether organized or otherwise, of greater than 10 people are prohibited. 
However, grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, retail establishments, banks, credit unions, financial institutions, hardware stores, auto supply stores, hospitals, healthcare and medical facilities, and pharmacies will remain open. Please remember to adhere to the social distancing recommendations. City officials want you to stay safe and healthy. 
For additional information and resources, visit City News at, or the Emergency Management Coronavirus webpage at

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BSO ceases all eviction notices

Posted on 19 March 2020 by JLusk

The Broward Sheriff’s Office, in coordination with the 17th Judicial Circuit, has decided to temporarily cease all eviction activities until further notice due to the current public health crisis. 

In coordination with Chief Judge Jack Tuter and the 17th Judicial Circuit, it was agreed that deputies stop serving eviction notices for as long as is needed. This is a difficult and uncertain time for everyone in our community, and we want to ensure residents have a safe place to stay, focus on being with their families and stay healthy in order to slow the spread of the virus across Broward County. No one should have to worry about losing their home during this pandemic,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, for your safety and the safety of our personnel, notify the dispatcher of those symptoms so the information can be appropriately relayed to our first responders. Also, contact the Florida Department of Health at 954-412-7300. 
For additional information and frequently asked questions, please visit 

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Broward County Libraries Close, SBA Loans & More

Posted on 18 March 2020 by JLusk

Update #13 on COVID-19

Today, Mayor Dale V.C. Holness held a news conference along with Florida Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez to update the public. View News Conference

 Port Everglades is operational. We are focused on keeping the Port functioning efficiently so fuel and cargo can be delivered as quickly as possible.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is operational. There are some reductions in flights, especially on the international side, due to the airlines adjusting to less travelers. Because of decreased demand, FLL has suspended valet parking service. Employees will temporarily park in the Cypress Garage, eliminating the need to be shuttled to terminals.

Broward County Libraries will be closed to the public at the close of regular service hours on Thursday, March 19th. This will also be the last day customers can pick up holds or borrow books, digital tablets and other physical materials until the library reopens. The Library will not assess any fines for materials returned late as a result of the closure. Online services will still be available. Library staff will still report to their regular work locations. Check for updates.

The National Guard will soon deploy a team of nurses and medics to operate a COVID-19 testing location in Broward at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines. In order to prepare, both the park and the Broward County Transit Park & Ride lot at the park have been closed until further notice. Watch for details about the testing locations. BCT’s 95 Express customers are advised to use the Park & Ride lot at Ansin Sports Complex, 10801 Miramar Boulevard in Miramar, until further notice. NOTE: Only health care professionals, first responders, and residents age 65 and older who are symptomatic will be screened.

Small Business Assistance

 There are two emergency small business loan programs designed to assist small businesses during during a disaster – the Florida Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program and the SBA Economic Injury Loan Program. Visit this website for more information. We are also continuing to encourage every Broward County business to complete the Florida Emergency Business Damage Assessment Survey at

People with Food Insecurity

 If residents are already receiving home-delivered meals from South Florida Meals on Wheels, that service will continue as usual. If a resident normally takes meals at a congregate meal site or senior center, and that facility has closed, that resident will receive home-delivered meals until their regular facility re-opens. 

Residents who are currently not participating in a meal program and are experiencing a food shortage due to COVID-19, can call the Area Agency on Aging of Broward’s Elder Helpline at 954-745-9779 for assistance.

It is critically important that all residents and visitors continue to follow the precautionary recommendations of health professionals. For the latest updates, visit, email or call the FDOH Call Center at 866-779-6121. To learn what Broward County is doing, visit

Check this state Department of Health tracking map to stay informed.

This update prepared by the Broward County Office of Public Communications

To subscribe to Snapshot, email

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DB Closes Beach due to COVID-19

Posted on 18 March 2020 by JLusk

The City of Deerfield Beach continues to monitor and adapt emergency plans for COVID-19 in its effort to slow the rate of transmission. The City is closing its public beach effective Wednesday, March 18, at 6 a.m.

In a meeting held this afternoon with the mayors and city managers of Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach, and the town manager of Lauderdale by the Sea, these cities have agreed to close their beaches effective Wednesday, March 18, at 6 a.m.

Additional Closures and Changes:

  • The Deerfield Beach Aquatics Complex is closed until further notice.
  • Bars and nightclubs in Deerfield Beach were ordered closed effective at 5 p.m. March 17 for 30 days, per the Governor’s orders.
  • Building permits, engineering permits and inspections will be done by appointment only through those respective departments. (Building/Code 954-480-4238, Planning/Landscaping 954-480-4206)
  • Restaurants that choose to remain open must operate at 50-percent occupancy capacity, maintain social distancing, and abide by all other CDC guidelines. All restaurants are required to be closed to dining by 10 p.m., with exceptions to takeout/delivery.
  • The International Fishing Pier will be closed to sightseeing, and only fishing will be allowed from 5 a.m. to midnight, effective immediately.


The City of Deerfield Beach will not be turning off any water services in the Deerfield Beach service area for overdue accounts until further notice.

They want to remind residents to follow public health advice regarding hygiene, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.

For more information, contact the 24-hour Florida Department of Health hotline, 1-866-779-6121 or email


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Update #12 on COVID-19

Posted on 18 March 2020 by JLusk

Governor Ron DeSantis held a news conference Tuesday morning and announced new protective measures for Florida. Read Executive Order

  • Effective 5PM today, all bars and nightclubs are ordered closed for 30 days.
  • All restaurants are ordered to reduce their seating capacity by 50 percent of their building occupancy, stagger seating to support social distancing of 6 feet between patrons with no groups larger than 10, utilize take out and delivery when possible, and screen all employees.
  • All colleges and universities are urged to switch to remote learning for the rest of the spring semester. Campuses are to be closed and students sent home.

The Governor stressed that these measures represent a minimum response for Florida. Municipalities are free to announce more stringent measures, based on local circumstances, as demonstrated by Fort Lauderdale today.

Governor DeSantis announced that Florida currently has 192 cases of COVID-19. Some Florida counties have no cases. As of 11 a.m. today, Broward County had 43 confirmed cases. Tracking Map

A request from the state to assist with a mobile testing site at C. B. Smith Park, which will require the park to temporarily close. We have no other details at this time.

As shared earlier today, and reported by the media, there were 3 deaths of elderly individuals at the same assisted living facility. Thus far, only one of those individuals has tested positive for COVID-19 while the results for the other two are still pending.

They expect to make an announcement regarding Broward County Libraries tomorrow.

Broward County officials are in ongoing communication with neighboring counties, all County municipalities as well as consulting with County agency leadership to determine best next steps for Broward County and the region. This is a very fluid situation, and Broward County is assessing all of the information and recommendations coming in from health professionals and emergency managers on an ongoing basis.

They have proactively canceled all of the programs and activities at our libraries and at our parks, but the facilities currently remain open. Several weeks ago, we stepped up sanitizing procedures at all County government facilities.

There have been no reports of Broward County employees testing positive for COVID-19.

Health Department-recommended protective actions include:

  • Avoid groups larger than 10.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath and/or severe illness), call the Florida Department of Health at 954-412-7300 BEFORE visiting your health care provider, and follow their instructions.
  • Take steps to protect vulnerable individuals – especially seniors over age 65 with underlying health issues. Remember the greatest percentage of individuals with a positive result fully recuperate.

Check this state Department of Health tracking map to stay informed. For the latest updates, visit, email or call the FDOH Call Center at 866-779-6121. To learn what Broward County is doing, visit

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Deerfield Beach Update on COVID-19

Posted on 13 March 2020 by JLusk

On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, Broward County declared a local State of Emergency due to the regional spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and several confirmed cases in Broward County. Today, Friday, March 13, 2020, the Mayor of the City of Deerfield Beach has declared a local State of Emergency. The purpose of this State of Emergency is to provide for the necessary preparations and response to COVID-19. The City of Deerfield Beach is in regular communication with state and local health officials on mitigation strategies to slow the transmission of the disease. The best way the City and its residents can prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to take precautionary measures and adhere to the CDC’s guidelines.

Who is at Risk?
The CDC reports that older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease are at the greatest risk. If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious existing health problem, it is especially important to take actions that could reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

What is the City of Deerfield Beach Doing?
Deerfield Beach administration and staff have taken precautionary measures to help protect its employees, residents, and visitors who rely on local government for essential services. These precautions include:
• Providing additional free-standing sanitizer dispensers and signage at all City facilities.
• Increased sanitation of all frequently touched surfaces at all City facilities (Door handles, phones, restroom fixtures, water fountains, computer keyboards, etc).
• Restrooms at all City facilities and recreational areas are undergoing daily specialized deep disinfection.

Effective immediately, all City events, programs, recreational activities, classes, and athletic events taking place at City facilities are canceled until April 13. Those with paid facility reservations can be fully refunded. Those with existing outdoor facility rentals, such as pavilions, may keep their rental for small gatherings less than 50 participants. Current paid outdoor rentals may also be canceled and fully refunded. No new rentals of any City facilities are being taken at this time. For any questions or concerns about facility rentals, please call the Parks Department at 954-480-4483. Someone will be available to take your call Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM. If the line is busy, please leave a message, and someone will call you back. The City apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and is taking these measures in the interest of public safety and based on the recommendations of federal and state health officials.

At this time, the City is planning to hold its scheduled regular City Commission Meeting on March 17, 2020. Note that the agenda has been substantially modified. Several items have been removed. The revised City Commission agenda can be found at

Afterschool Camp and Spring Break Camp have not yet been canceled. The City will follow the lead of the School Board of Broward County (SBBC) regarding the cancelation of these activities. If and when schools close, the City’s afterschool and spring break camps will be suspended or canceled.

What should Residents and Visitors be doing?

• Take everyday preventive actions to stay healthy per CDC recommendations.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds, and other social distancing measures.
• Stay informed. CDC’s COVID-19 Situation Summary is updated regularly as information becomes available.
• To reduce anxiety and fear rely on factual information from official sources.

For More Information and Resource Links Click Below:

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St. Ambrose Carnival

Posted on 11 March 2020 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

Did you hear the music as you drove down Federal Highway in Deerfield Beach? The rockin’ tunes were probably from St. Ambrose Catholic Church & School where the annual carnival was held Feb. 27 to March 1. 

“We had fabulous bands,” said Carol Schottenfeld, who volunteers at the event yearly. “Every year gets better and better.”

This year, said fellow volunteer Kathy Capobianco, they added Mexican Corn to the food court, which was a big hit. Their usual Polish dinner was sold-out. 

Something else new … The DoubleTree by Hilton had their employee appreciation party there. 

“Every year, it gets better and better,” added Schottenfeld, who thanked all the volunteers who support the event year after year. 

There were plenty of carnival rides and games again and plenty to eat, including carnival faves like funnel cakes. 

Rena Varoli, a volunteer selling baked goods while wearing this year’s new tie-dyed t-shirt for the carnival, added, “We had beautiful weather. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer weekend.”

Proceeds from the event go back to the students at the school.

Carol Schottenfeld & Kathy Capobianco volunteer at the event every year.

Next is the annual Fish Fry, in time for Lent, on March 13. For more information, call 954-427-2226. St. Ambrose is located at 363 SE 12 Ave. in Deerfield Beach.

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