Hillsborough Emergency Policy Group Extends State of Local Emergency

COVID-19 coronavirus Update No. 11

Hillsborough County, Fla. (March 19, 2020) - The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group (EPG) today extended a state of local emergency in response to COVID-19 coronavirus.

By Florida statute, a state of local emergency can be in effect for only seven days, unless rescinded.

Under the state of local emergency, County Administrator Mike Merrill has the authority to carry out all emergency responsibilities delegated by the EPG, including taking whatever prudent action is necessary to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community.

Other actions during the meeting:

  • Testing sites - Merrill provided an update on the County's work with the Florida Department of Health-Hillsborough County and major health organizations to stand up large-scale, drive-through COVID-19 testing collection sites. Raymond James Stadium and the Florida State Fairgrounds have been selected as the initial locations. Persons would be required to have a prescription for the testing. Additional details will be announced.
  • Limits on gatherings - The EPG voted to further limit the number of people who can attend all public or private gatherings to no more than 10. This includes community, civic, public leisure, faith-based events, sporting events, concerts and any similar events. This prohibition includes fitness centers, health clubs, private clubs and theaters, but does not include venues that provide essential goods or services such as grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, gas stations, bank/credit unions, and shelters. It does not pertain to restaurants in which capacity restrictions are governed by the Governor's Executive Order 20-68.

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.

The EPG's next meeting is scheduled Monday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m.

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