Hillsborough Emergency Officials Encourage Residents to Follow CDC Advice on Face Coverings

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update No. 54

Hillsborough County, Fla. (April 6, 2020) - Members of the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group (EPG) today joined the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County in encouraging residents to follow a new Centers for Disease Control recommendation to wear face coverings in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

According to the CDC, recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms, and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. In addition to maintaining 6-foot social distancing, CDC is advising as a voluntary measure the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus, and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost.

For more information and a video about how to make a simple cloth face mask, go to the CDC's website.
In other action Wednesday, EPG members:

  • Received confirmation that, under an executive order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week, businesses considered non-essential must close their physical locations. These businesses may continue to operate if employees can work from home or other remote location. For a list of businesses and activities considered essential, go to
  • Asked County Administrator Mike Merrill to work with Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Daniel Ronald Ficarrotta and Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister to clarify issues of commercial tenant evictions for inability to pay rent, and if necessary, follow up with a letter to the governor to ask for leniency.
  • Expressed concern over the number of calls from residents who report that apartment complexes are raising rents at a time when tenants have lost their jobs or are furloughed because of the economic impacts of COVID-19, and agreed to elevate the issue to the governor and Attorney General Ashley Moody.


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 Thursday, April 9 at 1:30 p.m.

Other Hillsborough County News
Hillsborough County Extension Service is developing a directory of surplus produce available for sale by local farms. The directory will help local producers, impacted by market disruptions brought on by the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, connecting directly with consumers and community groups. Sales will be wholesale quantity, not typical grocery store quantity.

To be included, farmers wanting to sell produce and consumers interested in buying are required to complete a short form at the UF/IFAS website

For more information, email Monica Petrella or call her at (352) 871-7887.

Get Connected. Stay Alert.
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.