What if I feel sick?
Call your healthcare provider. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and develop a fever or other symptoms, such as cough, sore throat or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider for medical advice. Please make sure to call any health care provider or facility ahead of time before attempting to visit in person.
If you do not have a regular health care provider and are experiencing symptoms, please call the Florida Department of Health at 305-324-2400. For questions about COVID-19 in Florida, please call the Florida Department of Health at 1-866-779-6121. You can also access a CDC self check service online here or you can download the Apple COVID-19 Screening Tool mobile app created in conjunction with the CDC to help you conduct a remote screening.
If you are feeling ill, you should separate yourself from loved ones and pets within your home. You should stay in a specific “sick room” if possible, and use a separate bathroom, if available. Learn more on CDC recommendations to self-isolate.
How can I protect myself and my loved ones?
Taking these actions at home can help you protect yourself and your loved ones and prevent the spread of Coronavirus:
- Clean your hands often. Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or longer.
- Avoid sharing personal household items.
- Frequently clean all “high-touch” surfaces in your home, and avoid touching unnecessary surfaces in public places/stores.
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Abide by state, as well as local, emergency orders to stay at home and only leave for essential needs such as buying groceries, visiting a health care provider, going to a pharmacy, performing “essential” work duties, or exercising. Follow social distancing orders to remain at least six feet apart from others when outside your home.
- Wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth when outside your home. Watch this CDC video to learn how to make a mask from a t-shirt, no sewing required.
Get more information and resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How is Florida responding?
The Florida Department of Health advises all residents to wear masks in public and socially distance.
Your local city or county government may have taken additional steps to further protect Floridians, so please check your local government websites to learn more. Many cities and counties have emergency updates that you may sign up for via email or text.
What do we need to protect Floridians and their families?
Our state and country face not only a public health but an economic crisis. Nearly a million Floridians filed for unemployment since the state entered coronavirus lockdown – and the number continues to rise. We must come together and take bold action to prevent Floridians from falling into financial hardship, and help those who are struggling to get back on their feet faster.
• We urgently need to strengthen Florida’s unemployment insurance system to keep money in people’s pockets and speed up our economic recovery.
• We need policies like expanded health care and paid sick leave that help keep all our friends, family, and neighbors healthy and safe.
• It’s also important that we make it easier for Floridians to participate in our democracy, especially during a pandemic, by expanding access to vote by mail and early vote times.
Sign our petition asking Florida’s leaders for urgent action to help regular Floridians through this crisis, and learn more about how you can get involved.
The state of Florida put a moratorium on all evictions and foreclosures through August 1. Learn more from the Community Justice Project.
FPL has announced they are suspending disconnections through the pandemic. Learn more.
Many cell phone carriers and internet providers are waiving late fees and suspending cut-offs during this crisis. Learn more or contact your provider directly.
If you think you are experiencing price gouging or want to report price gouging please call the Price Gouging Hotline 1-866-966-7226 or file a report online.
Verizon, AT&T, and Xfinity have also agreed to waive late fees and not terminate the service of any customer who can’t pay their bill because of the pandemic.
T-mobile is giving all current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers unlimited data for the next 60 days (excluding roaming), an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot/tethering service, and free international calling to any country listed as a Level 3 during the pandemic.
Schools across Florida are providing free hot meals for students and families who normally receive school meals. Find the site nearest you here, text FLKIDSMEALS to 211-211, or call 2-1-1 to speak with an operator.
Work requirements are being waived for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. Apply for benefits.
Farm Share provides food distributions to families in need across the state. Find upcoming distributions.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federally funded nutrition program that provides healthy foods, nutrition education, referrals for health care and community services, and more at no cost. Find the office nearest you or call 1-800-342-3556 to apply.
The IRS has extended the tax filing deadline from April 15, 2020 deadline to July 15. Florida’s Governor has also instructed the Department of Revenue to allow flexibility with sales tax and corporate income tax deadline. If possible, families are urged to file before the July to claim any refund they are eligible for as soon as possible. File your taxes online for free with the IRS.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax benefit for working people with low to moderate income. EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may give you a refund. Find out whether you qualify for the EITC.
The Florida Department of Revenue has established a dedicated team to address local and state tax-related issues pertaining to COVID-19. Taxpayers can email COVID19TAXHELP@floridarevenue.com directly with questions and concerns, and are encouraged to use the e-services applications to file and pay taxes or contact the call center at (850) 488–6800.
If your employment has been impacted by coronavirus, visit the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity COVID-19 website to learn more and apply for unemployment insurance. Florida’s eligibility requirements recently changed to reflect the federal CARES Act (stimulus package), which increased state weekly payments by $600, added an additional federally funded unemployment insurance benefit for 13 more weeks, and allows part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers to access unemployment insurance. In addition, Florida has waived the job search requirement.
Florida’s online unemployment system has been overwhelmed with applicants; please keep trying if you aren’t able to get through. You can also apply via phone by calling 1-800-204-2418 or by mailing in a paper application. Download the paper application in English, Spanish or Creole online here and return the completed form to:
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
P.O. Box 5350
Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350
FedEx is also providing paper applications at over 100 locations across the state and offering free shipping for those who need it. Find your nearest FedEx (call ahead to ensure your location offers applications).
The CARES Act stimulus package passed by Congress includes direct relief checks to Americans. Most adults making less than an adjusted gross income of $75,000 annually (based on your 2018 or 2019 tax returns) will receive a $1,200 one-time payment. Couples who filed jointly and made less than $150,000 will get $2,400. Qualifying parents with children will also receive $500 each for each child under 17.
The IRS urges anyone who has not filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 but is required to do so to file as soon as they can and elect to receive their refund via direct deposit, in order to receive an economic impact payment as quickly as possible.
Parents who lost wages because their kids are out of school, self-employed and gig workers, people too sick to work due to COVID-19, and others may all be eligible for special benefits unders the CARES Act.
Support for Small Businesses
The CARES Act includes multiple provisions to support small businesses, including a Paycheck Protection Program, emergency grants, and more. Download this guide to understand the programs available to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides short-term, interest-free loans to small business owners in Florida counties statewide impacted by coronavirus. Learn more and apply.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. Learn more and apply.
Florida also offers paycheck protection programs to help small businesses keep their workers on payroll. Learn more.
The Florida Business Damage Assessment Survey will help to mobilize resources to support impacted businesses across the state. Take the survey.
Health Resources for People without Insurance
Education and Other Resources for Parents
Parenting is challenging, but even more so in the midst of a public health and economic crisis. Get connected to regular parenting tips and resources for navigating these difficult times through our partners at Parents Together.
The Florida Department of Education has put together a comprehensive list of resources for students and families in K-12 Education to support the shift to distance learning.
All remaining assessments for school readiness and voluntary prekindergarten and all testing requirements for K-12 have been cancelled for the 2019–2020 school year. Requirements for graduation and promotion and final course grades will be evaluated as though those assessments did not exist. Parents will also be able to keep their children in the same grade for the 2021 school year, if they choose.
Additional Resources for Miami-Dade Residents
Miami-Dade County Government Updates
For the latest information on Emergency Orders issued for Miami-Dade County by Mayor Carlos Gimenez, visit the county’s Coronavirus website.
The Axis Helps one-stop portal helps families and small businesses in South Florida easily navigate state and local resources.
COVID-19 Testing Options
Miami-Dade County is offering at home testing for or senior citizens and adults with disabilities over the age of 18. The tests are free to anyone exhibiting symptoms and will be performed by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units. For appointments, call 305-499-8767.
The City of Miami is offering at home testing for residents ages 18 and older who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. You must be a resident of the City of Miami to be eligible. To request an appointment, call 305-960-5050.
Miami Pandemic Response Fund: The United Way has established the Miami Pandemic Response Fund in order to address the short-term economic disruptions on working families. Apply for assistance through the fund.
The Miami Foundation has established the Community Recovery Fund to provide critical help to Miami-Dade nonprofits whose operations are severely impacted and supports their long-term recovery, resilience and financial stability. The Miami Foundation has seeded the Fund with a $300,000 contribution. Nonprofits can learn more and express interest for support by completing this form.
Meals for seniors: Miami-Dade County delivers meals to all seniors 65 years and older in need of food assistance. Call 3-1-1 to enroll.
Meals on Wheels: Eligible Meals on Wheels participants receive seven free frozen meals each week at their residence, along with fresh fruit, milk and other food items. Recipients must be at least 60 years old with a disability or homebound. Individuals under age 60 with disabilities who live with an eligible recipient, and are dependent for care, can also receive meals. Call 786-469-4707 to determine eligibility.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools has established multiple food distribution sites throughout the county offering meals for students and their families. Grab and Go Meals can be picked up from 4-7 PM during the week at these locations.
Evictions in Miami-Dade County are suspended throughout the state of emergency, and Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department has also halted service cut-offs for unpaid bills and suspended late fees.
The Miami-Dade Public Library System is providing paper unemployment applications at 26 libraries across the county. Unemployment applications in English, Spanish and Creole and envelopes to return them in will be available for pickup at tables outside the library entrances from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Learn more.
CareerSource South Florida is assisting job seekers and the general public through a variety of services that do not require individual visits to one of their career centers. CareerSource South Florida will continue to provide needed services on-line and via phone at 305-929-1547, Monday thru Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm. Learn more.
Additional Resources for Tampa Bay-area Residents
The City of St. Petersburg created the Fighting Chance Fund to provide grants to small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Pinellas County Schools is providing meals during the week at select locations for students ages 18 and younger through May 1st. Find available locations and times
Feeding Tampa Bay has several programs and food distribution sites that families in the Tampa Bay Area can bring food to the table. Here is a list of the available resources:
- Mobile Pantries: Mobile Pantries bring nutritious foods to communities that need it most. Pre-packaged boxes of groceries will be offered free of charge. Find available locations and times.
- Breakspot Meal: Breakspot Meal Sites will be open to children 18 and under. Sites will serve daily Monday-Friday (unless otherwise noted), in a drive-thru type model to keep the health and safety of all parties at the forefront. Each child will receive a free to-go meal for today and breakfast for tomorrow. Sites only open once a week will provide 5 takeaway meals on the day they serve. Find a complete list of sites and times.
- Trinity Cafe: Anyone in need of a meal can stop by Trinity Cafe locations to collect up to 4 to-go meals for the week. Find a list of locations and times.
- Publix Community Market: Feeding Tampa Bay’s on-site food pantry allows you to pick up a box of fresh produce and other perishable items, free of charge. Appointments are required to shop in the Publix Community Market. Call 813-254-1190 to make an appointment.
Groceries for Seniors: Many retailers throughout the Tampa Bay Area are offering special times for seniors to acquire necessary items. Here is a full list of participating retailers and times.