Hillsborough COVID-19 Coronavirus Mitigation Efforts Include More Service Impacts
Hillsborough County, Fla. (March 17, 2020) - Hillsborough County government continued to take a number of actions today as part of mitigation efforts in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill led a news conference this morning to discuss current actions. He called on residents to do everything they can, including social distancing, and urged businesses to have employees work from home if possible, in order to prevent the virus from getting a foothold here.
- 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.
- Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County business consultants are available to assist small businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges at no cost. Visit HCFLGov.net/FSBDC to request a phone or Skype appointment.
- The Pet Resource Center is limiting the intake of dogs and cats at the shelter and reducing operating hours. More information is detailed below
- If you or someone you know has returned from any international travel or a cruise within the last 14 days and have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, it is important to know the testing procedure for COVID-19. Angela Baird Minzer, Public Health Preparedness at the Florida Department of Health-Hillsborough County, provides this information in a video posted at HCFLgov.net/StaySafe, under Latest County Updates.
Changes for Pet Shelter, Animal Control
The Pet Resource Center, 440 N. Falkenburg Road, is limiting the intake of dogs and cats at the shelter and making other changes. These changes include:
- 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 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and 2-6 p.m. 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.
Hillsborough County Service Impacts
These previous actions are effective until April 13:
- All County events and meetings, including public hearings, are canceled.
- All scheduled events in County parks are canceled. This includes all shelter reservations, and no additional reservations are being accepted. Persons whose shelter reservations were canceled will receive full refunds.
- All Hillsborough County Senior Centers are closed, including adult day care and congregate dining services. Seniors who attend dining centers/congregate meal sites, receive services through adult day care centers, or receive home delivered meals, can call (813) 272-5160 for information about the continuation of services.
- All Hillsborough County recreation centers and splash pads are closed.
- All Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries are closed.
- All Community Resource Centers will close at the end of business today, Tuesday, March 17.
- All Head Start and Early Head Start centers are closed until at least March 27. This is in step with closing decisions made by Hillsborough County Public Schools.
- Until April 1, Code Enforcement will limit interior inspections to only those that are related to urgent life-safety issues. Exterior inspections will continue as usual.
What is Open
At this time, all other operations of County government continue. However, residents are encouraged to conduct business transactions online or over the phone whenever possible. 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 take appropriate action as the need arises.
What You Can Do
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, and stay home if you are sick. Angela Baird Minzer with Public Health Preparedness at the Florida Department of Health-Hillsborough County, provides additional information on these topics:
- social distancing
- COVID-19 symptoms
- the testing process
- the distinction between self-isolation and quarantine
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 Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for updates. For general County information, call (813) 272-5900, the County's main information line.