Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group Approves “Safer-at-Home” Order

COVID-19 coronavirus Update No. 28

The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group (“EPG”) this afternoon unanimously agreed to issue a “Safer-at-Home” Executive Order in an effort to help curtail the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in our community.

The order will go into effect on Friday, March 27, 2020, at 10 p.m. The “Safer-at-Home’’ order will remain in place until it is rescinded by the Emergency Policy Group. Additionally, the EPG extended the local State of Emergency for seven days.

The “Safer-at-Home” order will include multiple components aimed at having residents stay at home whenever possible. Highlights approved by the EPG during today’s meeting include:

  • Allowing residents the ability to obtain necessary food, medicine, and essentials, as well as being outdoors and enjoying recreation.
  • Requiring essential businesses to have employees telecommute if possible.
  • Allowing businesses whose employees cannot telecommute to stay open if employees can maintain a 6-foot distance from customers and fellow employees. Workers who could not maintain 6-foot physical distance from customers could not work; those businesses that cannot by definition maintain the necessary physical distancing from customers would be required to close until further notice.
  • Requiring essential businesses to provide employment opportunities to those who lose jobs because of this emergency by working directly with CareerSource and other designated employment and job agencies.

The “Safer-at-Home” order will exempt persons who are doing essential work that cannot be performed at home, such as health care professionals, public safety employees, first responders, and food preparation and delivery. For a complete list, residents should visit

A state of local emergency is in effect in Hillsborough County in response to COVID-19.  Under this declaration, 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.

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 Emergency Policy Group is next scheduled to meet virtually at 1:30 p.m. Monday, March 30.

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For more information on COVID-19, and any other potential emergency in the county, visit 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.