Hillsborough County Coronavirus Update: Death Toll Passes 40

D'Ann Lawrence White

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL — Three more Hillsborough County residents who tested positive for the coronavirus have died. This brings the number of deaths to 41.

The latest to die were an 87-year-old woman, a 67-year-old and a 70-year-old woman.

To date, the oldest person to die of the coronavirus in Hillsborough County was 100 years old and the youngest was 35 years old.

As of May 12, Hillsborough County has had 1,473 cases of the coronavirus with 302 people hospitalized. The ages of those who tested positive range from infant to 104. Of those cases, 672 were male and 476 female.

Click here for more information about this data.

Here's the breakdown of wear the positive cases have occurred:

  • 936 in Tampa
  • 103 in Plant City
  • 89 in Riverview
  • 73 in Brandon
  • 34 in Ruskin
  • 29 in Wimauma
  • 29 in Valrico
  • 18 in Lutz
  • 17 in Seffner
  • 16 in Sun City Center
  • 15 in Apollo Beach
  • 12 in Odessa
  • 10 in Thonotosassa
  • 8 in Temple Terrace
  • 8 in Lithia
  • 7 in Dover
  • 6 in Gibsonton
  • 1 in Westchase
  • 1 in Tampa Palms

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Free Testing Continues

More than 10,000 Hillsborough County residents have been tested for the coronavirus since the community testing initiative launched on March 25.

According to the county, samples for 10,105 tests had been collected at the testing sites at Raymond James Stadium and County Community Resource Centers in east Tampa, Plant City and SouthShore, as well as via an at-home program for certain residents unable to travel.

Appointment requests have increased significantly since testing criteria was expanded two weeks ago to include people who do not feel ill or have coronavirus symptoms. The tests are free, and insurance is not required. Pr-registration is necessary. Residents call 813-272-5900 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to make a reservation.

Library Services

The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative is taking steps to restore library service to customers in a gradual and safe manner. As of Monday, May 11, the library opened book drops at nine designated locations to accept returns. Book drops will be open Monday through Friday.

Items can be returned to any of the designated locations regardless of the branch from which they were borrowed. Returned items will be placed into quarantine, and will still appear as “checked out” on the account. They will be checked in when safety and staffing permit.

For updates, click here.

Barbershops, Hair Salons Open

As of Monday, Hillsborough County residents may resume getting professional haircuts ,manicures and similar personal cosmetology services under a new executive order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The order allows holders of state-issued barber or cosmetology licenses to provide services at establishments that adopt appropriate social distancing and precautionary measures. These licenses include Barber, Restricted Barber, Cosmetologist, Nail Specialist, Facial Specialist, Full Specialist, Hair Braider, Hair Wrapper and Body Wrapper.

  • All services are by appointment only.
  • Establishments must allow 15 minutes between appointments for proper disinfecting.
  • No group appointments are permitted.
  • Masks must be worn by all employees while performing personal services.

In addition, barbershops, cosmetology salons and cosmetology specialty salons are encouraged to thoroughly clean and disinfect prior to reopening, consider providing unworn masks to clients for use during their appointments and remove all unnecessary, frequently touched items like magazines, newspapers, service menus and any other unnecessary paper products and decor from customer service areas.

The next Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group meeting will take place Thursday.

New Hours For Medical Supply Donations

Starting Tuesday, Hillsborough County's medical donations site has new hours of operation but the same mission: collecting badly needed supplies to protect health care workers and others dealing with the coronavirus.

As the county begins to carefully reopen services and locations, the site has adjusted hours to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The site is accepting new, unused medical-grade personal protection equipment: face shields, surgical masks, N95 masks, Tyvek suits and exam gloves. Also, homemade masks in all sizes are needed for nonclinical staff and patients.

Supplies can be dropped off at the former Sears Automotive shop at 250 Westshore Plaza in Tampa.

Pet Resource Center Seeks Face Masks

The Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center is requesting donations of cloth face masks at the pet shelter, 440 N. Falkenburg Road in Tampa. The masks will be used by on-site staff who are caring for the pets at the shelter.

Bins are available at the shelter for residents to drop off donations.

While the shelter population has decreased, there are still pets available for adoption. If you would like to adopt or foster through the Foster Express program, visit PRC's online kennel. Once a pet has been chosen, residents can schedule an appointment by calling 813-744-5660 or submitting a request via the website.

Southshore Tax Office To Reopen

Hillsborough County Tax Collector Doug Belden announced he will reopen one additional office in the south county area on May 14 to customers with appointments only.

The Southshore office at 406 30th St. S.E. in Ruskin will open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Wednesdays when it will open at 9 a.m.

Southshore is now the third office to open in Hillsborough County, The Brandon and Drew Park branches opened last week. The gradual reopening of offices is part of the Tax Collector's coronavirus business continuity plan.

As part of our phased-in approach, Vehicle for Hire customers will be served by appointment only at the East Tampa office at 2814 E. Hillsborough Ave. The East Tampa office is only offering Vehicle for Hire services at this time.

Services at the Brandon, Drew Park and Southshore offices will be available by appointment only; customers are encouraged to conduct business online when possible.

Services provided are:

  • Driver's licenses and ID cards services, except for road testing
  • Commercial driver's licenses - CDL
  • Written driving tests
  • Vehicle, vessel and mobile home tag and title
  • Property tax payments
  • Disabled parking placards
  • Hunting and fishing licenses
  • Birth Certificates

All offices will adhere to strict social distancing policies that every customer must follow:

  • Only customers with appointments will be allowed in the office.
  • Customers will be asked a series of screening questions and have their temperature taken before they enter the office per CDC guidelines.
  • Customers with a fever exceeding 100.4 will not be permitted to enter.
  • All customers are strongly encouraged to wear face masks.

"We will continue to make decisions based on local health officials and the latest science-based information," Belden said.

To make an appointment and get the latest updates regarding the Tax Collector's office, visit the website.

Online Finance Classes

The Extension Service is offering free, interactive webinars and an online class to help county residents manage their budgets and navigate finances during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Managing Money in Uncertain Times" will discuss prioritizing expenses, coronavirus federal economic assistance policies and local community resources. This session is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 27. Registration is required.

"Developing Your Financial Plan" is a four-part series that will provide tools to help residents achieve financial goals. Sessions are scheduled each Wednesday in June from noon to 1 p.m. Registration is required.

  • June 3, Analyzing Your Situation & Establishing Goals
  • June 10, Cash Flow Management
  • June 17, Debt Management
  • June 24, Saving & Investing for Future Goals

A "Building Financial Stability" online class will be presented by the University of Florida Hillsborough County Extension and will feature videos, case studies, infographics and easy-to-use worksheets. Register here.
Topics are as follows:

  • Goals, Spending and Saving
  • Facts about Subprime Loans
  • Truth about Credit Scores and Credit Repair

For more information or questions on this or any of the webinars, contact Lisa Leslie, 813-744 -5519, Ext. 54143, or lesliel@HCFLGov.net.

Residents Invited To Take Coronavirus Survey

Hillsborough County wants to continue to improve its delivery of services and resources to residents during the coronavirus pandemic, and the county is seeking the public’s input to guide its mission.

The county is asking residents to complete an anonymous survey to help staff learn how to better serve the public. The survey is available in English and Spanish by clicking here.

Residents can also take the survey by texting StaySafe to 73224 for English or texting StaySafeEspanol to 73224 for Spanish.

Remote Tax Assistance

The Hillsborough County Extension Service is offering free tax preparation assistance for county residents who can connect via web meeting through July 15.

During the web meeting, tax filers will be given access to tax filing software and will receive one-on-one assistance from IRS trained and certified volunteers.

Appointments for the free service are required and may be made for the following times: Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m.-noon and 1-2:30 p.m.

For more information, or to make an appointment, contact Denise Kantak, 813-744-5519, Ext. 54141, or Kantakd@HCFLGov.net.

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This article originally appeared on the Tampa Patch