Officials Join Forces to Support Long-Term Care Facilities in Fight Against COVID-19
Hillsborough County, Fla. (May 14, 2020) - Local emergency officials, first responders, hospitals, and state public health officials have partnered to step up efforts to coordinate with nursing homes and similar long-term care facilities as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues to claim the lives of older residents, it was reported to the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group at their semi-weekly meeting today.
Florida Department of Health-Hillsborough County officials told EPG members today that approximately 20% of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hillsborough County, and 30% of deaths, have been associated with long-term care facilities. The majority of the 46 fatalities reported as of today were of people more than 65 years old.
Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa, DOH, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, and four hospital providers have joined forces to create the long-term care facility rapid response task force. The agencies are joining forces to ensure proper infection control practices in these facilities, widespread COVID-19 testing of residents and staff, rapid identification of positive cases, and transport to the appropriate hospital or another facility for recovery.
In other action during the meeting, EPG members:
- Extended a state of local emergency enacted in response to the pandemic. By Florida statute, a state of local emergency can be in effect for only seven days, unless rescinded. The declaration gives County Administrator Mike Merrill and emergency managers the ability to quickly take certain actions to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community, and provides a path for federal reimbursement of certain expenses.
- Requested legal clarification on state guidelines for reopening child care programs, including summer day camps.
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 next EPG meeting is scheduled Monday, May 18 at 1:30 p.m.
Other Hillsborough County News
Water Conservation - A dry spring and low rainfall expected through the summer is putting a renewed emphasis on conserving drinking water supplies throughout the Tampa Bay area. Residents can easily help do their part to ensure sufficient water supplies for everyone by only irrigating on allowed days and times, reporting suspected violations of the County's year-round water use restrictions, and quickly finding and fixing water leaks. Frequent outdoor leak culprits include broken pipes, irrigation valves, sprinkler heads, outdoor faucets, swimming pools, and garden hoses. Find more ways to conserve water and lower utility bills at HCFLGov.net/WaterConservation.
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.