Hillsborough County Neighborhood Parks to Reopen Monday, May 18

Updated May 18, 2020

In an effort to gradually turn the dial toward reopening, Hillsborough County is providing more opportunities for recreation and exercise by reopening its neighborhood parks’ green spaces, including dog parks, on Monday, May 18 for passive recreation. Important restrictions will remain. Parks users must obey social distancing guidelines, and portions of many parks will continue to be off-limits. Visitors are encouraged to wear face coverings and to bring water to hydrate and provide for pets. Tennis/pickleball courts and volleyball courts will be open, but no organized sports, activities, or groups will be allowed. Outdoor restrooms will be open at staffed sites.

 

CareerSource Tampa Bay Reopening Offices – Part of Phase I Plan

Updated May 15, 2020

CareerSource Tampa Bay (CSTB) will reopen the Tampa Center location with limited career services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, effective Tuesday, May 19, 2020. The Tampa Center is located at 9215 North Florida Ave, Suite 101,Tampa, FL 33612.

The Phase I reopening of the Tampa Center is to provide customers that do not have computer access or those with limited computer skills with specific services. The following limited services will be offered in the Resource Room:

  • Basic Reemployment assistance services
  • Job Search registration and/or assistance
  • Access to computers, printers and faxing

Customers with access to their own computers are encouraged to utilize their personal access instead of coming into the center. Customers requiring assistance from home can contact the Customer Contact Center Monday through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling 813-930-7400. The contact center will no longer offer weekend hours.
Read more HERE

Updated May 11, 2020

Commissioner Sandy Murman was at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Tampa donating food. “I am so proud of the work being done every day by our churches and religious institutions to help our most vulnerable and homeless. As we gradually return to our normal routines please continue to help those in need”, said Commissioner Murman.
https://www.ccdosp.org/hillsborough-hope/

 

 

 

Funding for Past-Due Bills Now Available for Hillsborough County Residents in Need

Updated March 27, 2020

Hillsborough County is opening a special call center on Monday, April 27, to help all Hillsborough County residents get access to disaster recovery funds available to assist in paying utility bills, rent, and even mortgage payments.

Residents of Tampa, Plant City, Temple Terrace, and unincorporated Hillsborough County who have seen a reduction in or loss of wages resulting from layoff or lessoning of hours due to COVID-19, are eligible to apply.

The funds can be used to pay past-due utility bills and/or lease/mortgage payments in the name of the person applying for assistance. For instance, if the electric bill is in your spouse’s name, your spouse must be the one to apply for R3 assistance with Social Services.

All Hillsborough residents can call the Rapid Response Assistance Call Center at (813) 274-3710 beginning on Monday. The call center will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Learn more about eligibility, how to apply, and more, here:

Details: https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/…/emergency-management/s…

 

CARES ACT FUNDING OPTIONS

Updated April 24, 2020

Our nation’s small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Today the President approved $310 billion in additional funding for the CARES Act. This almost doubles the funding available to small businesses for these forgivable loans.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Hillsborough Artist Relief Fund – This fund is to provide financial assistance to Hillsborough County artists who are temporarily unable to meet their basic needs.
Salesforce Care Small Business Grants – Salesforce is partnering with Ureeka to offer eligible small businesses the opportunity to receive a $10,000 grant to help them through the COVID-19 outbreak.
Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County business consultants are available to assist small businesses prepare loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges at no-cost. Visit HCFLGov.net/FSBDC to request a phone or Skype appointment.

 

 

Hillsborough expands aid to needy with $15 million in rapid-recovery dollars

Updated April 21, 2020 Tampa Bay Times

TAMPA — Hillsborough County will use $15 million in federal aid to expand social services and homeless prevention efforts for people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The rapid-response funding, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), will broaden existing programs providing rent, mortgage and utility payments and other assistance to new clients. The county said requests for help have more than doubled since the beginning of the pandemic.

From April 1-13, the county received 1,268 requests for utility bill assistance, 529 requests for help with rent or mortgage payments and calls from 291 people asking for food.

The money is part of the $256 million in CARES Act funding the county expects to receive from the federal government. Potential economic recovery efforts include providing businesses with capital to make safety modifications as they reopen, job-creation incentives and training and job placement assistance for residents.

The Hillsborough County Commission will decide exactly how that money will be spent. The county previously convened an economic recovery task force which is expected to make recommendations within 30 days. The cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City also will provide input.

 

 

More -FREE- COVID-19 testing sites have been made available in Hillsborough County

Updated April 21, 2020

Along with drive-thru testing at Raymond James Stadiums, new sites include Adventure Island parking lot along with drive-thru and walk-up sites in SouthShore, Plant City and East Tampa. Please see details below.

AdventHealth to offer drive-up COVID-19 testing for 30 days at Adventure Island, Busch Gardens’ Waterpark

 In an effort to increase availability of COVID-19 testing in Florida, AdventHealth will offer free testing at Adventure Island, across the street from Busch Gardens at 10001 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612 beginning Wednesday, April 22.

AdventHealth has 2,000 tests available per day to administer during the designated times to anyone who meets the criteria for testing as set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A doctor’s order is not required for testing. Additionally, there will be no out-of-pocket costs, regardless of insurance status. AdventHealth will cover the cost for those who are uninsured.

Pre-registration is preferred to help alleviate long wait times. People can go to AdventHealthCoronavirusTesting.com or call 866-694-5503 during the hours of 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. for screening and registration. During the registration process, people will be asked to enter their contact information, insurance information and will be assigned a time to show up for testing. Testing will take place from noon – 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22 and from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each weekday after that for a period of 30 days.

Additional Drive-Thru and Walk-up Testing Locations

Hillsborough County is doing drive-thru and walk-up testing.

Drive-thru testing will ONLY be administered to symptomatic individuals who have pre-registered and have scheduled an appointment through Hillsborough County’s call center at (813) 272-5900. The call center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Testing will take place at one of the County’s testing sites. However, testing will not proceed without an appointment.

Testing Locations

  • Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa | You must arrive in a personal vehicle.
  • Lee Davis Community Resource Center, 3402 N. 22nd St., Tampa | offers drive-through testing, but a vehicle is not required.
  • Plant City Community Resource Center, 307 N. Michigan Ave., Plant City | offer drive-through testing, but a vehicle is not required.
  • SouthShore Community Resource Center, 201 14th Ave. SE, Ruskin | offer drive-through testing, but a vehicle is not required.

 

Volunteering at Feeding Tampa Bay

Updated April 18, 2020

If you have the ability, please consider helping our community anyway you can. Proud to #standwithftb Saturday morning for a Feeding Tampa Bay Mega Pantry providing care packages for over 2,500 Hillsborough families.

https://feedingtampabay.org/volunteer/

Hillsborough Co. leaders set up Economic Recovery Task Force in first steps of reopening economy

Updated April 17, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. — Hillsborough leaders are taking the first steps to reopen the county’s economy.

The Emergency Policy Group has started a task force to get a sense of how local businesses are coping and what can be done to get them back up and running.

It’s a complex national discussion. The balancing act between public health ad figuring out just when is the right time to reopen the economy and how to go about doing that.

The Economic Recovery Task Force will work to figure out ways to speed up the process of helping businesses and workers get back on their feet.

Commissioner Sandra Murman said the EPG is tackling the virus from all ends of the spectrum.

We now have a health statistics dashboard to drive our decision making and the development of an economic recovery plan to bring about re-employment and business retention and support services. So we have definitely added to our agenda the full scope of what is happening with this virus from the health aspect to the jobless to the business recovery. Once the economic plan is complete is will be folded into our scope of work on the EPG to complete the circle of the pandemic crisis in Hillsborough County so we can get our residents back on their feet and get the doors of businesses open again.

Commissioner Sandra Murman

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/coronavirus/hillsborough-co-leaders-set-up-economic-recovery-task-force-in-first-steps-of-reopening-economy

 

Hillsborough County is handing out unemployment forms at libraries

Updated April 13, 2020

Hillsborough County announced Monday it had opened drive-thru services at two libraries to distribute unemployment forms to people without access to a printer.

The forms can be picked up at the Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library, 3910 S Manhattan Ave., and the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W Bearss Ave., and can be used to apply for unemployment assistance.

Residents also can drop off the completed forms at either drive-thru, and library staff will mail the documents for them. Operating hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The libraries are otherwise closed to the public.

New online applications for Reemployment Assistance

Updated April 9, 2020

Any Floridian who hasn’t yet successfully applied for unemployment should now use this new website to sign up: www.FloridaJobs.org/RAApplication

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced it has added the new site. It is mobile-friendly, allowing you to apply on your phone or tablet. Early reviews show that applicants have not been met with the error messages and other glitches plaguing the old site.

We are in this together. Stay Safe.

Florida releases paper unemployment applications

Updated April 6, 2020

Florida Reemployment Assistance Application

If you are having trouble accessing the online application, please download a Florida Reemployment Assistance Application and mail to:

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
P.O. Box 5350
Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350

Florida Reemployment Assistance Application

Click here for English    |    Click here for Spanish   |   Click here for Creole

Please note that paper applications could potentially take longer to process than completing an online application. Click here to complete the online application for Reemployment Assistance.

 

Watch on YouTube

Important Message for Small Business Owners and those Seeking Reemployment Assistance

Updated April 3, 2020

I spoke with John Flanagan, CEO of Career Source Tampa Bay. The video clip provides important information about resources available to our small businesses and those who have lost their jobs and need assistance. The video also has contact information to obtain those services. We are in this together. Stay Safe.

 

Additional COVID-19 Testing to Resume

Updated March 31, 2020

Hillsborough County Emergency Management has secured 1,500 additional testing collection kits from the State of Florida and will be re-opening the COVID-19 community collection testing site at Raymond James Stadium beginning on Wednesday, April 1 through Friday, April 3.

Drive-through testing will be administered by appointment only to symptomatic patients that have pre-registered through Hillsborough County’s call center. Vehicle passengers MUST only include those needing a test. The call center will be taking appointments Tuesday, March 31 through Thursday, April 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m by a call to (813) 272-5900.

Find details, here: bit.ly/2WWAgdc

Updated March 30, 2020

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill told the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group (EPG) on Monday that he had signed leases for two hotels to use for COVID-19 coronavirus quarantine and isolation facilities should that become necessary.

Details on how the quarantine/isolation facilities will be managed and who will be eligible to stay there are being developed and will be announced later. The leases are for six months and 360 rooms.

In addition, County Office of Emergency Management Director Tim Dudley told EPG members that the Yuengling Center on the campus of the University of South Florida has been identified as a possible alternate-care location for COVID-19 patients in need of medical care should hospitals become overburdened.

Find details, here: bit.ly/3bFusIO

 

Safer-at-Home – What does it mean?

Updated March 27, 2020

Hillsborough County issued a Safer-at-Home Order to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19. This applies to all residents within Hillsborough County including the cities of Plant City, Tampa, and Temple Terrace, effective as of 10:00 p.m. on March 27, 2020.

A continuously updated Hillsborough County “COVID-19 Safer At Home” Order FAQ can be found HERE.

All non-essential businesses are required to follow CDC guidelines for safe social distancing or close to the public for the duration of the order. The order allows essential businesses and services to continue to operate as needed while residents are asked to stay at home except for necessities, such as groceries, medical needs or banking.

If my business isn’t listed as “essential” do I have to close?
No, however the order states non-essential businesses that are unable to maintain the required physical distancing (6 feet) to keep employees and customers safe, must close. Businesses who have questions about how the order impacts them can call the Entrepreneur Collaborative Center at (813) 204-9267

What you can do

  • Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store
  • Commute to and from work if your employer is an essential business or has ensured you can maintain at least 6 feet from your co-workers or customers
  • Go to the pharmacy or other medical establishments to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
  • Go to medical appointments (but first, check with your doctor or medical provider)
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out or drive-thru
  • Care for or support a friend or family member in need
  • Take a walk, run, or exercise outside – just remember to practice social distancing — that means at least 6 feet between you and others in the community
  • Walk your pets or take them to the vet
  • Take your child where they need to go if its directed by a custody sharing agreement or order

Stay Safe

Updated March 27, 2020

Hillsborough County Emergency Management has secured 1,000 additional testing collection kits from the State of Florida in anticipation of re-launching its COVID-19 coronavirus community collection testing site at Raymond James Stadium. Officials are still working to secure the needed personal protective equipment that is required by the medical teams working the site. An official date to re-open the site has yet to be determined.

Details, here: bit.ly/39nqgfm

Florida residents whose incomes are negatively affected by efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 may be eligible for Reemployment Assistance.

Updated March 26, 2020

People may apply if they:

Are quarantined by a medical professional or government agency.
Were laid off or sent home without pay by their employer due to COVID-19.
Are caring for an immediate family member who has contracted the virus.
Residents who still receive wages, even if on paid leave due to coronavirus measures, are not eligible for Reemployment Assistance.

People seeking help due to the virus outbreak are subject to the same application, review, and payment processes as everyone applying for Reemployment Assistance.

Help from the State of Florida
Floridians may visit FloridaJobs.org and click Reemployment Assistance Service Center to learn more about the program and watch a short video about how to apply
Visit their page directly for instructions on how to apply for Reemployment Assistance
See the document from Florida Jobs for answers to frequently asked questions about Reemployment Assistance for residents whose incomes have been influenced by COVID-19.
Help from CareerSource Tampa Bay
Meanwhile, CareerSource Tampa Bay,supported by Hillsborough County, can help workers whose livelihoods are affected by COVID-19. Here’s how to reach CareerSource Tampa Bay by telephone:

Tampa: (813) 930-7400

Brandon: (813) 930-7832

Ruskin: (813) 419-5300

Plant City: (813) 930-7400; extension 5563

 

Pet Food Donation and Distribution Program

Updated March 25, 2020

Hillsborough County’s Pet Resource Center is working to help the many people in our county who suffer from food insecurity and who could also use some help to feed their pets in these difficult times.

We are offering free dog and cat food to citizens who are struggling to feed their pets. Homebound and elderly citizens who are unable to travel to the Pet Resource Center, can arrange for delivery of supplies of dog and cat food. Recipients must be Hillsborough County residents and qualify.

Please join me if you are able to help those owners and pets in need and donate a bag of pet food to the Pet Resource Center today.

This service is being offered to households in need of short term help with dog or cat food (for their owned animals) and that intend to keep their pets and not relinquish them. Bags of dog and cat food will be sanitized and delivered to those in need.

Needed:

  • Small to large bags (up to 15 pounds) of dry cat food (unopened only)
  • Small to large bags (up to 15 pounds) of dry dog food (unopened only)

Drop-Off Location:

Items may be dropped off at the Pet Resource Center at 440 N. Falkenburg Road in Tampa. The center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed on Mondays.

Phone:

(813) 744-5660

If you currently have pet food delivered, consider having a bag or two delivered to the Pet Resource Center to be distributed within our community.

Delivery Services:

Amazon

Instacart

Shipt

Walmart

Need help feeding your pet or know someone who does?

Contact Pet Resources at (813) 744-5660

 

First Community Collection Site Set to Open at Raymond James Stadium

Updated March 25, 2020
The testing site will open on Wednesday, March 25, at 8 AM

To help ensure the health and wellness of our community, Hillsborough County, working with its community partners Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, BayCare, Tampa General Hospital, AdventHealth, HCA Healthcare – West Florida Division, and the City of Tampa, is offering a drive-through COVID-19 coronavirus testing site for symptomatic residents.

Beginning Wednesday, March 25, at 8 AM, the testing site will open at Raymond James Stadium, located at 4201 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., to help expedite testing for COVID-19 coronavirus in symptomatic patients that have pre-registered through Hillsborough County’s call center. The drive-thru testing site will be open Wednesday -Saturday, from 8 AM to 2 PM or while supplies last. The site is in the parking lot south of the stadium bordered by Tom McEwen Blvd. on the north, Dale Mabry Hwy. to the west, and Himes Ave. to the east. Vehicles should enter from Dale Mabry Hwy. or Himes Ave. Entry will be marked with signage.

The site will be staffed by health care professionals in medical protective gear who are trained to test for COVID-19 coronavirus. Directional signage and law enforcement will help residents through the testing site in an orderly fashion.

The drive-through testing site will remain operational as long as there is a supply of collection kits available. At this time, approximately 200 tests are expected to be completed per day.

Pre-Screening and Pre-Registration Are Required:

  • Residents may get tested if they have been pre-screened and meet testing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health.
  • Residents also must be pre-registered through the Hillsborough County Customer Service Center at (813) 272-5900. The call center is augmented with health care staff Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM.
  • Persons who do not have a designated primary care physician or are uninsured are eligible for pre-screening and pre-registration through the call center.

What to Bring:

  • You must arrive in a personal vehicle. Due to the increased risk of contamination as well as current shortages of personal protective equipment, walk-ups are not permitted at this time.
  • Each person to be tested must be seated next to a working window.
  • Limit vehicle passengers to those needing a test.
  • Have a photo ID for all persons being tested with name, date of birth and photo (can be Florida driver’s license, state-issued ID, or passport).
  • Bring a printed copy of the testing confirmation email from the Hillsborough County Customer Service Center. Having this form with you will expedite the process.
  • Residents that are unable to print their confirmation number can provide a screen shot on their phone.
  • You will be asked to provide the following information:
    1. Full name
    2. Current address (where you are staying)
    3. Best phone number to reach you in order to receive test results

What to Expect:

  • You will be greeted by a health care provider in personal protective gear who will give you instructions.
  • You will be given a tissue to blow your nose. You will need to keep the tissue to dispose on your own.
  • A soft swab will be inserted deep into your nose to get the necessary sample. This may be slightly uncomfortable, but the test is quick and should take less than a minute.
  • Test results are not immediate. It may take several days. After the test, you will be given information on what to do while you await the results.
  • You will receive test results via the telephone number you gave at the time of pre-screening.

Persons who are experiencing a medical emergency should dial 9-1-1 immediately.

The opening of the testing site was unanimously approved by the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group (EPG) on Monday. The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group is comprised of three County Commissioners, the mayors from the cities of Plant City, Tampa, and Temple Terrace, the Sheriff, and Chairman of the School Board. Authority is granted by Article 8 of the Florida Constitution, Section 125.66 and Chapter 252, Florida Statutes. Hillsborough County enacted Hillsborough County Code of Ordinances and Laws Chapter 22, Article II, Sections 22-23 in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the County’s residents during declared emergencies.

Get Connected. Stay Alert.
For more information on COVID-19, and any other potential emergency in the county visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL Alert system. Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at FacebookTwitter, and Nextdoor for updates. For general County information, call (813) 272-5900, the County’s main information line. A list of County cancellations and closures can be found online.

 

Treasury, IRS and Labor announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave

Updated March 23, 2020

Key Takeaways
• Paid Sick Leave for Workers
For COVID-19 related reasons, employees receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and expanded paid child care leave when employees’ children’s schools are closed or child care providers are unavailable.
• Complete Coverage
Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to the Act.
o Health insurance costs are also included in the credit.
o Employers face no payroll tax liability.
o Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit.
• Fast Funds
Reimbursement will be quick and easy to obtain.
o An immediate dollar-for-dollar tax offset against payroll taxes will be provided
o Where a refund is owed, the IRS will send the refund as quickly as possible.
• Small Business Protection
Employers with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for an exemption from the requirements to provide leave to care for a child whose school is closed, or child care is unavailable in cases where the viability of the business is threatened.

Income tax filing deadline moved to July 15

Updated March 20, 2020

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the Trump administration has decided to push the income tax filing date to July 15 from April 15.

Mnuchin announced the decision in a tweet Friday saying that at President Donald Trump’s direction “we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

The administration had announced earlier in the week that it would delay the payments, a move that Mnuchin said would leave $300 billion in the economy at a critical time.

Income Assistance

Updated March 20, 2020

For residents that are currently out of work, Florida Reemployment Assistance Program can help you get monetary compensation while unemployed. For information on eligibility and the application process click here

 

Mental Health Support

Updated March 20, 2020

The following 24/7 crisis hotlines provide free, confidential emotional support:

    • Crisis Center of Tampa Bay: Dial 211 or visit crisiscenter.com/
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
    • Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or visit veteranscrisisline.net

COVID-19 Cancellations and Closures

Updated March 19, 2020

 In response to COVID-19 coronavirus, Hillsborough County government will be cancelling all its events and meetings, including public hearings, until April 13. The closure impacts all formal programming at Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries, Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation facilities, Aging Services’ Senior Centers, and scheduled events in County Conservation parks. See information about Hillsborough County Schools.

See the County calendar for more information.

Currently, regular operations of County government continue. Residents who can conduct business transactions online or over the phone are encouraged to do so at this time. The primary focus for Hillsborough County continues to be public safety. Residents should be advised that some day-to-day services may take a bit longer to process than usual as the county is under a local state of emergency.

Please note that hours and closures are subject to change. Check back for updates. See more details below:

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

All Household Hazardous Waste locations are suspending their Saturdays drop-off dates through the end of April. At this time, no other solid waste facility operations or hours are affected.

Public Utilities

As a precautionary measure and in the best interest of our customers and staff, Hillsborough County Public Utilities has temporarily suspended all customer walk-in service activities at the Brandon Service Center, Northdale Service Center, and Twiggs Administrative locations until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Payment Service Options:

  • The drive-through at the Brandon Service Center, 332 N. Falkenburg Road in Tampa, will remain open from 8 AM – 5 PM Monday through Friday
  • Payments can be dropped off in the night depository boxes located at the front of the Brandon and Northdale buildings
  • 24 hour online payment services HCFLGov.net/Water
  • Pay-by-phone at (813) 276-8526
  • Pay at any Florida AMSCOT location (invoice required)

For additional assistance with your water and/or wastewater account, please contact our Customer Service Center at (813) 272-6680.

Aging Services

  • Hillsborough County Senior Centers are closed
  • Seniors who attend dining centers/congregate meal sites, receive services through adult day care centers, or receive home delivered meals, please call (813) 272-5160, for information about the continuation of services

Consumer & Veteran’s Affairs

  • The Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans Museum, 3602 U.S. 301 N. in Tampa, is closed. Veterans Memorial Park remains open at this time.
  • All appointments and interviews for services offered by Consumer & Veterans Services will be conducted over the phone at (813) 635-8316

Head Start

Health Care

Libraries

Pet Resources

Hillsborough County is limiting the intake of dogs and cats at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center and making other changes to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The changes include the following:

  • Except for cases involving injury, severe neglect, or animal bites, the Pet Resource Center is suspending the intake of animals
  • Animal Control is suspending response to stray animal calls but will continue to respond to calls of injured or sick stray animals, and complaints of cruelty and neglect, bites, and dangerous and aggressive dogs
  • The Pet Resource Center will remain open to the public, including for pet adoptions, but with reduced hours. New hours are noon to 4 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and 2 to 6 PM on Wednesdays and Fridays. The shelter will be closed on Sundays and Mondays.
  • All adoption fees for dogs and cats are waived as are fees for reclaiming a lost animal
  • Residents can choose a dog or cat for adoption online and have the animal delivered to their home in Hillsborough County for free

Shelter officials also are putting out an urgent plea for pet foster parents who can commit to fostering a dog or cat for 2 to 4 weeks. Prospective volunteers should call the shelter at (813) 744-5660.

Parks & Recreation and Conversations & Lands Management

Social Services

Events

Get Connected. Stay Alert

For more information on COVID-19, and any other potential emergency in the region, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL Alert system. Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at FacebookTwitter, and Nextdoor for updates. For general County information, please call (813)-272-5900, the County’s main information line.

https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/public-safety/emergency-management/covid-19-cancellations-and-closures 

 

Changes at HART

Updated March 19, 2020

As we navigate through these challenging times, we want to ensure you that HART is doing the necessary to ensure the well-being of its patrons and employees.

Service Changes:

  • Route 60LX (Cross County) and Route 275LX (New Tampa/Pasco) will now serve Spruce Street/Westshore Boulevard in both directions.
  • Route 31 (South Hillsborough County) will have minor time changes for weekday service. Route will no longer turn into Gibsonton Walmart directly. Stops have been added on Gibsonton Drive near Circle K and Murphy USA.
  • After careful consideration, the number of bus stops will be reduced along Route 1 (Florida Avenue) to reduce travel time and improve on-time performance and safety.

Customers can find the new route maps and schedules on www.goHART.org or they can contact HART customer service at (813) 254-4278 for more details.

Communications Covid-19:

  • HART has sent out a letter to our HARTPlus customers delineating a few guidelines:
    • It is recommended that customers cancel any rides that are not necessary, and travel for emergency or essential purposes only.
    • Trips can be cancelled by calling Customer Service (813) 254-4278.
    • COVID-19 Response page at GoHART.org or call Customer Service (813) 254-4278 for the latest updates.
  • HART has a Pandemic Plan that provides guidelines to minimize service disruptions to customers while maintaining an environment that is safe for employees, customers, and the environment.
    • HART is practicing social distancing.
    • Hand sanitizer, gloves and disinfectant spray is being provided to operators.
    • An internal employee information line has been activated, and daily updates are sent out to all employees and posted in visible areas.
    • Committee/Public/Board meetings have been canceled through April 13, 2020; this date is subject to change.

 

Free Meal for Kids and Teens

Updated March 19, 2020

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have partnered with 2-1-1 to activate a text line and call center open 24/7, which families can contact to find free meals for children under 18 during the current COVID-19 school closures. This follows the Department’s recent activation of the Summer BreakSpot children’s meal locator website at SummerBreakSpot.FreshFromFlorida.com.

Find contact information for your local school district

From March 23rd through April 15th, Hillsborough Schools will establish Grab-and-Go feeding sites to ensure that students have accessibility to nutritious meals. Our Student Nutrition Services Department has identified 23 locations to provide meals – breakfast and lunch – at no cost to children 18 years and under.

Each location will start serving food to those 18 years old and under on Monday, March 23, at 9 a.m. and remain open until 1 p.m. daily. We encourage parents and caregivers to drive to our locations. We will also be accepting walk-ups. The food will be distributed directly from our school buses which will be set up in the designated car line at the designated schools.

Locations for Hillsborough County Grab-and-Go meals HERE

Florida Department of Education

Updated March 19, 2020

As schools complete their extended spring break each school district has been diligently working to implement a distance learning plan. When the extended spring break ends (list of dates below), school districts are prepared to implement this plan.

View the Plan HERE

Clerk extends fines and fees for 60 days

Updated March 19, 2020

TAMPA, FL (March 19, 2020)—In an effort to reduce the public’s exposure to COVID-19, the financial due dates set for March 18, 2020 through December 31, 2020 for all Criminal and Traffic cases have been extended for an additional 60 days, Hillsborough Clerk of Court & Comptroller Pat Frank announced Thursday.

“We hope this will ease the concerns many people have in our community as a result of the Coronavirus crisis,” Frank said. “It is also the latest attempt we have made to discourage the public from going to any of our offices. The safety of the public and my employees is my paramount concern.”

While many fines and fees can be paid online at hillsclerk.com, that is not an option for a large segment of our community who do not have bank accounts or credit cards. They are forced to pay in cash in person at one of our offices, risking exposure of themselves and our employees.

This decision comes just two days after Frank canceled wedding ceremonies and the processing of passports in an effort to reduce the number of people going to our offices. “It is important that everyone do their part to limit their exposure to others until this crisis has passed,” Frank said. “I thank everyone for their diligence and patience during this difficult period.”

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SBA South Florida Director to Host Coronavirus Webinar

Updated March 18, 2020

The South Florida District of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Florida Small Business Development will host two webinars to help small businesses navigate the economic recovery process from the effects of COVID-19.

Both webinars will cover how to apply, where to get help applying for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan, and answer questions.

WHAT: SBA South Florida Economic Injury Disaster Loan Webinar (Coronavirus)

WHEN:
Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.

WHERE:
Join Skype Meeting with your computer
Trouble Joining? Try Skype Web App

-OR-

Join by telephone:
Toll number: +1 (786) 749-6387,,590047996# (Dial-in Number)  English (United States)
Conference ID: 590047996

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership.To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

Social Distancing for Infectious Disease

Updated March 17, 2020

covid19_social_distancing

 

TAMPA ELECTRIC AND TECO PEOPLES GAS PROTECTING CUSTOMERS, EMPLOYEES

Updated March 17, 2020

Health and safety are No. 1 priority; Critical electric and natural gas service will continue

 At Tampa Electric and TECO Peoples Gas, the health and safety of customers, employees and the communities we serve is our top priority. The utilities are prepared for the coronavirus pandemic and are taking steps to help customers – and to prevent the virus’ spread as we continue to provide vital energy to the community.

Essential work will continue: For Tampa Electric, power plants, including solar facilities, will continue to generate electricity, and power outages will be restored. For Peoples Gas, natural gas service will continue, and the company will respond 24/7 to gas leak and emergency calls. For both utilities, employees stand ready to serve customers and provide customer support by phone and online.

But a few things will change until further notice:

  • Effective immediately, no customer’s service will be disconnected for non-payment, at least through the end of March.
  • Employees are reducing direct contact with customers, to allow appropriate social distance.
    • They will not participate in large community events.
    • Non-essential customer contact will be rescheduled, such as energy audits in customers’ homes and businesses.
  • The Manatee Viewing Center closed for the season on Friday, March 13.

“Reducing service to our customers is never easy, but our greater priority is the health and safety of our customers and employees,” said Nancy Tower, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. “Tampa Electric will continue to provide our 780,000 customers with safe, reliable and affordable electricity.”

“As we continue to monitor the situation, it is important for our customers to know that we’re here for them,” said T.J. Szelistowski, president of Peoples Gas. “We will continue to deliver safe, reliable and environmentally friendly natural gas to the more than 200 communities we serve across the state.”

The reduction in face-to-face visits is part of the companies’ comprehensive pandemic plan. The companies will continue to monitor the pandemic and will respond quickly as the situation changes.

Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 780,000 customers in West Central Florida. Peoples Gas System, Florida’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serves more than 400,000 customers across Florida. Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas are subsidiaries of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

 

Updated March 17, 2020

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19.

Designated Disaster Areas: All Florida counties statewide per Executive Order 20-52.

Qualified Applicant: Applications will be accepted by qualified for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintain a place of business in the state of Florida. All qualified applicants must have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and suffered economic injury as a result of the designated disaster. Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with 2 to 100 employees.

Amount: Up to $50,000 per eligible small business.  Loans of up to $100,000 may be made in special cases as warranted by the need of the eligible small business.

Term: 1 year.

Limitation: Only one loan may be made per eligible business. All previous bridge loans received MUST be paid in full.

Interest Rate: Loans will be interest-free for the loan term (1 year). The Interest rate will be 12% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter, until the loan balance is repaid in full.  Loan default is subject to a normal commercial collection process.

Application Period: Applications will be accepted by qualified Florida agricultural producers under this program through May 8, 2020, contingent on the availability of funds.

To Get Started:

  1. Review eligibility requirements and loan process.
  2. Download, complete and sign the application form.
  3. Gather required support documentation.
  4. Contact and submit completed and signed application and support documentation to your local Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Additional Services Available at https://sbdctampabay.com/coronavirus/

 

 

Hillsborough County Cancellations 

Updated March 16, 2020

In an abundance of caution and as part of mitigation efforts in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus, Hillsborough County is cancelling all meetings, including Land Use Hearing Officer (LUHO) and Zoning Hearing Master (ZHM) public hearings and the Board of County Commissioners Land Use Meeting, until April 13. The health and well-being of our citizens is our top priority. We will continue to diligently monitor the situation and take appropriate action as the need arises.

The closure impacts all formal programming at Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries, Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation facilities, and scheduled events in County regional parks. Libraries will remain open for normal use and plans are in place to provide online programming alternatives when applicable. Libraries will not be available for group or public meetings. Parks will also remain open.

Hillsborough County Senior Centers will be closed, which includes adult day care and congregate dining services. However, steps are being taken to increase the provision of in-home meals.

Currently, regular operations of County government continue. Residents who are able to conduct business transactions online or over the phone are encouraged to do so at this time. The primary focus for Hillsborough County continues to be on public safety. Residents should be advised that some day-to-day services may take a bit longer to process than usual as the county is under a local state of emergency.

Hillsborough County’s Office of Emergency Management is fully prepared to respond to any scenario that has the potential to cause disruption in our communities. We will continue to diligently monitor the situation and continue to take appropriate action as the need arises.

This virus has the potential to spread rapidly, but there are measures anybody can take to help protect themselves. The best ways to avoid this illness are the same measures taken against the common cold and flu. Wash your hands often and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after touching shared surfaces. Stay away from individuals who are sick. Most importantly, stay home if you are sick.

 

Hillsborough County Businesses Can Take Online COVID-19 Survey to Report Economic Losses

Updated March 16, 2020

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus on Florida’s local businesses, including those in Hillsborough County.

The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy. This will allow actions to implement economic relief programs for businesses to begin.

Visit floridadisaster.biz for more information.

COVID-19 in Hillsborough County and Florida

Updated March 16, 2020

Positive Cases of COVID-19
136 – Florida Residents
6 – Florida Residents Diagnosed and Isolated Outside of Florida
13 – Non-Florida Residents
Deaths
4 – Florida Residents
Number of Negative Test Results
684
Number of Pending Test Results
514
Number of People Under Public Health Monitoring
442 – currently being monitored
1,573 – people monitored to date