As Largo begins to open up, please observe social distancing and wear a mask as you move about the city. You can find information about Largo’s Phase 1 reopening schedule here.
The Tampa Bay Partnership has put together a COVID-19 Regional Re-Opening Dashboard with real-time data so that we can monitor how our public health metrics are doing as we take steps to get our economy moving again. You can find that dashboard here.
Perhaps the most important thing we can do is follow the recommendations of the CDC to control the spread of this virus. You can find the CDC guideline book here. Among other items, it includes guidelines for schools, bars, day camps, restaurants, businesses with employees at risk, mass transportation administrators, and child care programs.
Remember that even young and healthy individuals are being hospitalized. They also carry the disease and infect our seniors and immunocompromised people in our community – for everyone’s safety, please do the right thing as we navigate this crisis. Recommendations will change as scientists measure the spread of the virus. Refer to www.CDC.gov for updated information about how to protect yourself and our community.
Support for Seniors and Families
While the health and safety of our community is the #1 concern, we need to prepare and adapt to the financial strains this is putting on the economy. This will hit our most at-risk neighbors the hardest.
If you have fallen behind on your rent, mortgage, or utility payments because of the pandemic, Pinellas County has established the Pinellas CARES Financial Assistance program to help you.
If you know a senior in need, you can make a request on their behalf for help during this time. More information is available at neighborly.org/nutrition/#wheels.
Families, especially those with young children, will also be under additional strain. RCS Pinellas is a great resource for food banks, emergency housing, and basic needs like hygiene products and clothing. More information is available at https://rcspinellas.org/help/.
You can also refer to the Area Agency on Aging for Pinellas/Pasco. The agency’s website is: http://agingcarefl.org/
If you have concerns about your pets during the crisis, please consult the American Veterinary Medical Association website here: https://www.avma.org/
Small Business Support
This crisis is putting our small businesses in a terrible position. Uncertain timelines, bans on public gatherings, and severely reduced demand are forcing many local businesses into layoffs and even bankruptcy. Local governments (as well as the state and national governments) have established grants and loans to ease some of the pain.
Applications for bridge loans can be made through the state of Florida at https://floridadisasterloan.org/.
The Small Business Administration is offering a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), SBA loans that help businesses keep their workforce employed during the coronavirus crisis. You can learn more here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp
You can also go to these websites for information and to apply for assistance:
Because there’s so much uncertainty right now, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Reach out to us using our Contact Eric page and we’ll try to connect you with the resources you need.
Above all, remember that we’re in this together and we’ll navigate this problem together. Please be safe and stay in frequent contact with your friends and family by phone, text, and email to reassure them.