Thousands have called Pinellas County Sheriff's Office to report 'stay at home' rule-breakers

'Stay at home' orders are giving law enforcement officers new rules to enforce and to handle the extra workload, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has a dedicated team responding to the calls.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says the tipline used to report violators of Florida’s 'stay at home' order is receiving thousands of calls.

The tip line, 727-582-TIPS (8477), is staffed from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. by 18 deputies, seven days a week.

Sheriff Gualtieri says they get an average of 300 calls a day, mostly from people who have questions about everything from social distancing rules to the definition of essential business.

Others are calling to report those not following the 'stay at home' order. Some have reported crowded public spaces and apartment complex pools. 

Others have called out businesses that should have closed, but didn't.

“Complaints about businesses that shouldn’t be open, some of it is about pools, some of it is having to do with the distancing guidelines -- you’ve got crowds in places,” Gualtieri said.

Sheriff Gualtieri said overall, businesses and residents in Pinellas County are cooperating.

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 Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

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