The COVID Racial Data Tracker is a collaboration between the COVID Tracking Project and the Antiracist Research & Policy Center. Together, we're gathering the most complete race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 in the United States.
The National Conference of State Legislatures brings you up-to-date, real-time information about bills related to and responding to COVID-19 that have been introduced in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The governor said Florida would reopen in three phases in-line with the guidelines released by the White House under President Trump’s reopening America plan. Read the Governor’s Executive Order here.
We are currently in Phase 2 of reopening. Here's what that means:
SOCIAL DISTANCING & MASKS
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.
NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:
Test will take place 7 days per week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, or until capacity is reached.
Click here for information about the type of testing available at this location.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management is operating a walk-up COVID-19 test center at Lincoln Park.
The site will operate daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (or until they reach the max. of 500 test kits/day).
The Orioles will host food distribution at Ed Smith Stadium in partnership with All Faiths Food Bank.
The events will take place on the second Saturday of each month from September through December, with the first event being held on September 12. Future events will be held on October 10, November 14, and December 12.
Each distribution event will take place in the East Lot and is first-come, first-served, beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until food runs out or 11:30 a.m. All the events will be staffed by All Faiths Food Bank volunteers and staff, and several of the events will also be staffed by Orange & Black Gives Back, the Orioles employee volunteer program. To donate or to learn more about upcoming food distributions, please visit AllFaithsFoodBank.org.
All Faiths Food Bank is the only food bank and the largest hunger relief organization in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Food Bank is committed to providing hunger relief to the many families who have been affected by this crisis.
This Tuesday, the Sarasota Office of Housing and Community Development began accepting applications for their Coronavirus Relief Fund Rental Assistance Program.
The program aims to provide rental assistance to those who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Assistance is offered through the Jurisdiction.
Those who are eligible can request up to five (5) months of rental assistance for a rental unit in Sarasota County and can receive up $9,000 total through the program. Applicants may request up to five (5) months of rental assistance (current rent or rental arrears) for a rental unit in Sarasota County, with a maximum of $9,000 total in rental assistance offered on a first-eligible, first-served basis. Household income must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income based on limits published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, adjusted by household size.
OHCD will accept applications September 8, 2020 through September 30, 2020 and will determine applicant assistance eligibility. Applicants may access the application (external) beginning September 8, 2020.
A limited number of hard copies of the application will be available at each public library, the City Hall Annex at 1565 First Street, Sarasota, FL 34236, and the City of North Port Family Services Center at 6919 Outreach Way, North Port, FL 34287 on September 8, 2020 at 10 a.m.
Paper applications must be sent by mail to the Office of Housing and Community Development at 111 South Orange Avenue, Suite 103, Sarasota, FL 34236.
Payments will be made to landlords or property management companies, not to individual applicants. The landlord must agree to participate in this program and will be responsible for providing a current lease with the applicant, a notice of delinquent rent (if applicable), as well as a completed W-9 form. To learn more about the program and find all of the required documents, visit Sarasota County's website here.
COVID 19 RESOURCES -- NEW as of 9/12/20
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.