“The misconception in our community is people can go to their doctor and get tested,” Savage says. “That’s not happening in our community yet. It’s not set up to facilitate that yet.
“The state is changing the guidance on whom we can test.”
Avi Schiffmann's website tracking coronavirus has become one of the most vital resources for people seeking accurate and updated numbers on the pandemic. He's a 17-year-old high school junior from Mercer Island outside Seattle, who started the site in late December, when coronavirus had not yet been detected outside of China. Now the site has been visited by tens of millions, from every country on Earth. It tracks deaths, numbers of cases locally and globally, and provides an interactive map, information on the disease, and a Twitter feed. The resource updates every minute or so, and pulls information from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and elsewhere.
A Sarasota-specific call center for questions and concerns about COVID-19 is now available through the Department of Health in Sarasota County
941-861-2873. Subject matter experts are available Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.
COVID 19 RESOURCES -- NEW as of 3/31/20
Food for Kids
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried activated a text line and call center to find free meals for kids during the school closures. Text FLKIDSMEALS to 211-211 to find the closest participating Summer BreakSpot location with meals available. Residents can also call 2-1-1 to speak with a live operator for additional information. https://summerbreakspot.freshfromflorida.com
Hoopla, Hooray! Sarasota County Libraries has temporarily increased all Hoopla checkouts to 10! Get instant access to all your favorite movies, shows, music, books and audiobooks!
The Critical Times team is committed to coming together in this time of stress and anxiety, as it is clear that one of the most important things we can do as a community is take care of each other. Across the country, and the world, we have seen what is possible when we come together to share resources, knowledge, and creativity. Our job is to keep our community informed of critical news developments, and that is what we will continue to do. Below are some community-centered resources, compiled by the Urbana-Champaign Indy Media Center.
Additional suggestions to stay connected and engaged can be found in Pandemic Preparation and Positive Steps to Take, which is also long, leading with a lot of COVID-19 info. Towards the bottom, look for this list, which will provide details under each heading:
What should I do if I have symptoms or have been exposed?
According to the Florida Department of Health, a person who is tested will have three specimens taken: oral, nasal, and saliva. The samples will be given to the county health department, who will then either ship or deliver them to the closest state laboratory. If a specimen is tested positive, it will be identified as ‘presumptive positive’ until the result is confirmed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For more information on COVID-19 testing see CDC Tests for COVID-19.