Hillsborough Emergency Leaders Rescind Curfew, and Strongly Urge Use of Face Coverings
Members of the Emergency Policy Group (EPG) voted this afternoon to rescind a curfew which had gone into effect earlier this week.
EPG members acknowledged the curfew had been enacted with good intentions in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in the community, but felt the order may have confused some people. They agreed they could revisit the issue if the number of violations of safer-at-home directives increases.
Also, EPG members stepped up their appeal to residents to wear face coverings. In addition to maintaining 6-foot social distancing and limiting the size of gatherings, the Centers for Disease Control advises the use of 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. Medical grade masks are not needed for the general public and should be reserved for healthcare professionals. Simple cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost. For a video about how to make a simple cloth face mask, go to Hillsborough County's Official YouTube Channel.
In other action, EPG members:
- Extended a state of local emergency. By Florida statute, a state of local emergency can be in effect for only seven days, unless rescinded.
- Expressed support for the efforts of an Economic Recovery Task Force created by the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council in partnership with Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa. The task force will develop recommendations regarding accelerating economic recovery through re-employment and retraining of dislocated workers, supporting local businesses, and developing recovery strategies and programs.
- Received a report that Hillsborough County will be launching a community survey this week to gain insights into the attitudes of residents concerning COVID-19 testing. The information will be used to guide additional outreach and communications efforts.
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, April 20 at 1:30 p.m.
Other Hillsborough County News
Library Services expands its virtual help desk. Phone, text, email, and chat help is available for everything from applying for a library card, to technical help with electronic devices, to accessing library resources. The virtual help desk is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Customers can call (813) 273-3652, text (813) 352-1972 or (813) 352-1603, or ask questions online at AskALibrarian.org. Visit HCPLC.org for more information.
CareerSource Tampa Bay launches new podcast. CareerSource Tampa Bay (CSTB) is using their "What's working with Tampa Bay!" podcast to provide more information directly to job seekers and business leaders in the Tampa Bay area, including Hillsborough County. The podcasts feature a variety of topics for both employers and job seekers, including the April 13 edition on how to file unemployment or reemployment benefits in Florida. Listeners can access the podcasts on the CSTB website or by subscribing to the program by searching for the program title on Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts. Learn more about CSTB, visit CareerSourceTampaBay.com
Keeping people and pets protected. Mercy Full Projects donated adorable hand-made facemasks for those dedicated to the care and adoption of our community's pets at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center. Check out the video on Hillsborough County's YouTube site of heroes helping heroes. Be sure to subscribe to see more great videos important to Hillsborough County residents.
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.