Florida COVID-19 Call Center
- COVID-19 Call Center has been set up by the Florida Department of Health. If you have questions or need to find resources near you, the number is 866-779-6121.
- For residents that are currently out of work, Florida Reemployment Assistance Program can help you get monetary compensation while unemployed. For information on eligibility and the application process click here
- Need help with rent or utility bills? The City of Tampa has unveiled “The One Tampa: Relief Now, Rise Together” program. It provides financial help for both residents and businesses hit by the coronavirus closures.
- You can find more information on the government stimulus checks at irs.gov/coronavirus
Utilities, Rent, Etc.
- Tampa Eletric says they are suspending disconnections for non-payments through the end of March.
- Duke Energy will also not disconnect any customer’s service for non-payment, in order to give customers experiencing financial hardship extra time to make payments. The company will continue to read meters and send bills. Customers should pay what they can to avoid building up a large balance that will be harder to pay off later. Here is a list of additional actions Duke Energy is taking.
- United Way states that if you need food assistance, paying housing bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services to contact 2-1-1 or locate your local 211 help line via their website for support.
- If you have school-aged children, the Florida Department of Agriculture has activated its site to ensure that students don’t go hungry while school is not in session through the end of March.
- The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services, and the Division of Food, Nutrition, and Wellness launched a website to help families find the closest schools where they can pick up 2 meals per day during the school closures. Here is the link to the site. Over 930 locations are available to pick up from.
Children & Families
- Hillsborough County has prepared a list of resources to help prepare seniors and families for if they test positive for Coronavirus.
- For Seniors who attend dining centers or meal sites, or receive services through adult day care centers and home delivered meals should call (813) 272-5160 for information about the continuation of services.
- Head Start and Early Head Start centers are closed until at least March 27. This is in step with closing decisions made by Hillsborough County Public Schools.
- The State Department of Education has directed all Florida school districts to close schools for two weeks due to concerns over the coronavirus. This means our students and staff will not be returning to school until Monday, March 30.
- Hillsborough County will provide educational opportunities for all our students online through our eLearning Contingency Plan starting the week of March 23rd.
- Pinellas County Schools are closed through March 27th. The county also announced on March 17th, that the district will provide two meals to students from March 23rd-March 27th. Visit their website for the distribution locations and times here.
- The Humane Society of Tampa is providing dog and cat food to the public through food assistance and their Animals program as needed.
Support for Small Businesses
Small Business Administration Updated Disaster Assistance Loans (As of March 17th, 2020)
- The S. Small Business Administration has updated their Disaster Assistance Loan criteria to support more small business. According to a recent press release from the SBA, the following criteria will have two immediate impacts:
- Faster, Easier Qualification Processes
- Expanded, Statewide Access to the SBA Disaster Assistance Loans.
- For more details on the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Loans visit their website here.
- Pinellas County has created a page that has disaster prep and recovery resources for small business. Read more here for the full details.
- St. Petersburg is helping out businesses and their employees who’ve lost money due to the coronavirus outbreak. The “Fighting Chance Fund” is an emergency grant for “about 1,000 restaurants, bars, retail and service-based businesses.” A business can get a $5,000 grant. Eligible employees get $500. For more info and to see if you can get some money out of this, to StPete.org.
Mental Health Support
- The following 24/7 crisis hotlines provide free, confidential emotional support:
- Crisis Center of Tampa Bay: Dial 211 or visit crisiscenter.com/
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
- Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or visit veteranscrisisline.net/
Florida Price Gouging Hotline
- According to the state of Florida, price gouging is measured by comparing the average price charged over a 3-month period. If there is a “gross disparity”, the state considers it to be price gouging. If you believe you’ve seen price gouging, you can call the state at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM or visit MyFloridaLegal.com
If you’d like to get updates via text, text TAMPAISREADY to 888-777 for updates. You can also email COVIDemail@example.com.