Tampa's city government adapts to coronavirus 'new normal'

The roads are nearly empty, and the parks are closed.  But Tampa’s city council chairman says it’s the work being done behind the scenes that’s making all the difference. 

“The city of Tampa is working around the clock, overtime, all hands on deck, all feet on deck and all hearts on deck to serve our constituents,” Luis Viera said. 

On a conference call this morning, several members of Mayor Jane Castor’s administration gave updates to the city council.

One of those was Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan, who’s monitored 68 employees since March 13.

“Forty-one of them have been cleared back to work,” Dugan said. “We currently have 27 under monitoring, and 21 of them are quarantined.”

Only one officer tested positive for the virus. 

On the construction front, workers in this field are deemed essential, and officials say all projects remain on schedule.

“I think that so long as measures can be taken to promote safety of workers, and those workers will then go home to communities and not infect them, I think that’s certainly something that’s permissible. But it all has to be taken on a case-by-case basis,” Viera said. 

Viera says councilmembers are working to stay connected with constituents through this time.

“I recently had a small business town hall with the city of Tampa to outreach to business owners,” he said. “On April 6, I am also going to be having a town hall with my friend Steve Kona, who’s on the school board, that will be geared toward families raising children with special needs.”

He hopes efforts focused on a wide range of residents will reach just about everyone during these uncertain times.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to covid-19@flhealth.gov. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know

AROUND THE WORLD: CoronavirusNOW.com

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