Hillsborough to Residents: Wear Masks in Public

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update No. 56

Hillsborough County, Fla. (April 8, 2020) - Hillsborough County continues to stress that residents should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommendation to wear a cloth mask, including homemade masks, in community settings.

It's easy to make your own face mask out of common household items. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams shows how to make one with a folded T-shirt and two rubber bands.

Widespread COVID-19 across the country, along with new information about how the coronavirus spreads, led the CDC to issue the advisory recommending the use of masks in public. It emphasizes that wearing a face mask does not eliminate the need to remain at least 6 feet from anyone else or to follow other preventive measures such as frequent hand washing.

The goal is to protect people around you if you are infected with COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than 2 years old or people who have trouble breathing. There are not enough surgical face masks for everyone, and available ones should go first to healthcare workers and first responders.

Other Hillsborough County News

Option Added to Report Safer-At-Home Violations. A new option has been added to report businesses not complying with the Governor's order. Potential violations now can be reported online to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulations or by calling (850) 487-1395.

For concerns about residents not adhering to social distancing regulations, call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office non-emergency line at (813) 247-8200.

Yard Waste Drop-offs Update. In response to COVID-19 and in support of Hillsborough County's Safer-at-Home Order, the County has suspended yard waste drop-offs by residential customers at the Falkenburg Road, Northwest County, and South County yard waste disposal sites until further safety procedures are put in place to protect residents and employees. Residents are not allowed to dispose of yard waste at any County facility at this time. The County is working on acceptable solutions to be in place shortly. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to utilize their weekly residential curbside yard waste collection.

Bristol-Myers Squibb announces expanded Patient Support Programs. These programs are designed to help newly uninsured patients impacted by COVID-19 coronavirus. The national programs are for eligible, unemployed patients who have lost their health insurance due to the pandemic. The expanded programs offer access to branded Bristol Myers Squibb medicine for free, including some of its most widely prescribed products, as well as those prescribed via telehealth services. The programs feature:

Immediate access for patients who have lost their employment and health insurance

  • A simple, single point of entry
  • Streamlined enrollment process
  • Vouchers to assist with continuity of care for several self-administered BMS medicines, for eligible patients

Hillsborough County residents, interested in learning more about these programs can call (800) 721-8909 or visit

Please don't flush it. After you wipe down surfaces in your home or office, make sure those disposable wipes make it to your trash can. Flushing wipes, even those labeled as "flushable," can create a costly plumbing mishap in your home later. Visit

Water conservation is more important than ever. With more people staying home, domestic water use is likely to soar unless residents conserve the resource, especially outdoors. Another incentive to save: water and sewer bills will be lower. Find current year-round water use restrictions and conservation tips at

Hillsborough County Extension Service updates
. 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

For more information, contact Monica Petrella, (352) 871-7887, or

Hillsborough County Extension Service is also offering online webinars and services to help residents navigate the latest financial information and offer assistance in response to the rapidly changing economic landscape due to the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. These resources are free and open to the public.

  • Managing Investments in Uncertain Times - This interactive webinar, presented by the University of Florida IFAS Extension Family and Consumer Sciences, in partnership with the Financial Planning Association of Florida, will provide answers to questions about managing investments in uncertain times, and will provide unbiased information to help residents make informed financial decisions. Thursday, April 16, 10-11 a.m. Registration is required.
  • Free Remote Tax Prep Assistance for Hillsborough County Residents - Beginning Wednesday, April 8, Hillsborough County Extension will be offering free tax preparation assistance for Hillsborough County residents who can connect via web meeting. During the web meeting, tax filers will be given access to tax filing software, and will receive one-on-one assistance from IRS trained and certified volunteers. Appointments for the free service are required, and may be made for the following times: Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m.-noon and 1-2:30 p.m. For more information, or to make an appointment, contact Denise Kantak, (813) 744-5519 ext. 54141 or