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St. Lucie County employees taking different role during coronavirus crisis

Posted: 9:16 PM, Mar 24, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-24 21:16:34-04

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — Lisa Lima is normally surrounded by books and stories. She’s the Children’s Program Specialist at a library in Port Saint Lucie, but now she’s taking on a new role.

On Tuesday, Lina was packing medical supplies and sorting food while working inside the Treasure Coast Food Bank during the Coronavirus crisis.

“We’ve been packing boxes for the seniors for their dinners, and today we got a big donation of medication,” Lima said.

Libraries in Saint Lucie County closed down last week. Ever since some librarians moved their office inside the Emergency Operations Center to help field calls and answer questions.

“We’ve been able to transfer those phone lines to the actual libraries so some of the library staff can still work and help us answer the phones and help the community and still earn a paycheck,” said Erick Gill, Director of Communications for the county.

Lima and her colleagues are packing the boxes while still practicing social distancing with tables placed six feet apart.

“I’m really grateful for the county being able to give me this opportunity,” Lima said.

While the beaches are closed, lifeguards are also taking on a new role.

“Lifeguards are helping right now man the beaches and keep the parking lots closed,” Gill said.

Resources and positions are being shifted as the county looks for new unique ways during this evolving situation to keep people employed.

“We wanted to find opportunities to keep those employees working if we could,” Gill said.

“I think that we as a community need to think about other ways to help others and the county has provided that opportunity for a lot of us right now,” Lima said.

The county is also looking to add staff to its temporary animal shelter, the landfill, and other areas until offices reopen and everything is back up and running.