Prevent the spread
Help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
Source: Florida Department of Health
Get lawn and garden advice
Working on the yard? Expert advice for lawn or garden issues is now just a click away thanks to new Virtual Plant Clinics with UF/IFAS Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service. Meet online with a master gardener on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at bit.ly/pascoplantclinic. Master Gardeners can help with pest identification, weed control, spring growing tips and more.
Don’t cause plumbing headaches
If you’re using wipes to clean surfaces in your home and office, be sure not to flush them.
Flushing wipes, even those labeled as “flushable,” can create a costly plumbing mishap in your home later. Visit HCFLGov.net/DontFlush for more information.
Food pickup points
The YMCAs of the Tampa Bay are teaming up with community partners to feed families and fight food insecurity during these unprecedented times. The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, YMCA of the Suncoast and YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg are working with Feeding Tampa Bay, local school districts and other organizations to help provide fresh food to families across Greater Tampa Bay.
FEEDING TAMPA BAY MOBILE PANTRY
Anyone can receive a free pre-packaged box of groceries in a drive-thru type model.
Mondays, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the James P. Gills Family YMCA, 8411 Photonics Drive, Trinity.
PASCO COUNTY SCHOOLS
School buses deliver free bags of food, which include breakfast and lunch for five days for each student.
East Pasco Family YMCA, 37301 Chapel Hill Loop, Zephyrhills
Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
For additional food pickup locations and information, visit the Pasco County Schools website (Pasco.k12.fl.us) and the Hillsborough County Schools website (SDHC.k12.fl.us).
Con artists are trying to take advantage of the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Better Business Bureau urges you to protect yourself from these common scams:
- Phony cures and fake masks: The BBB Scam Tracker has received numerous reports of people receiving emails and messages claiming that, for a price, they can buy products the government is supposedly keeping secret – ways to prevent or cure coronavirus. Medical experts are working hard to find a coronavirus vaccine, but none currently exists.
- Economic impact payment (Stimulus Check) scams
As soon as stimulus packages were announced and approved, scammers quickly got to work sending out fake economic impact checks and asking consumers to pay fees to get their money earlier than what the IRS has promised. These claims are false and open consumers to the risk of identity theft and outright theft of the funds in their bank account.
- Phishing Scams
As more people work from home, con artists have stepped up phishing scams. They may claim to be from an official department of the employer to offer IT support or claim the company issued computer has a virus. They may use scare tactics, stating the computer will crash if you don’t act immediately, all in an attempt to gain access to your computer remotely, or to your personal or company’s information.
- Government Impersonation
Another common phishing scam brought on by the coronavirus pandemic is fake emails and text messages claiming the government needs you to take an “online coronavirus test” by clicking a link they provide. No such test currently exists, but if you click on the link, scammers can download malware onto your computer and gain access to your sensitive personal information.
- Employment Scams
Many people are looking for work online in the wake of coronavirus shutdowns. Fraudsters find ways to take advantage of this by posting phony work-from-home jobs promising remote work with good pay and no interview required. These cons often use real company names and can be convincing.
After you are “hired,” the company may charge you upfront for “training.” You may need to provide your personal and banking information to run a credit check or set up direct deposit. You may be “accidentally” overpaid with a fake check, and asked to deposit the check and wire back the difference. Or, you are asked to buy expensive equipment and supplies to work at home.
- Shortage Scams (price gouging)
Supplies such as hand sanitizer, face masks and toilet paper are selling out in stores across the U.S. and Canada. Scammers take advantage of this situation and stockpile items in high demand. Then, they seek out potential clients, online and in person, and sell the products at extremely high prices. Price gouging is illegal and high demands for products can lead to con artists selling products that are used, defective or otherwise mishandled. In some cases, scammers will con people out of their money by accepting payments for products that don’t exist.
This has been an issue with face masks. Masks are sold out in most local stores and major online sellers. Instead, consumers are turning to unfamiliar online shops. Unfortunately, phony sellers abound. These scam online retailers take shoppers’ money – as well as personal information – and never deliver the masks.
As people spend more time at home and outdoors, during the pandemic, these tips from Hillsborough County’s Management Services, may be useful. Following them can help reduce the population of mosquitoes on a property, and reduce the potential for being bit. Here are the pointers:
- Empty water containers at least once per week
- Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
- Properly apply an approved repellent, such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon-eucalyptus or any other EPA-registered repellent
For more information about mosquito protection and breeding prevention, visit HCFLGov.net/Mosquito.
These websites offer a wealth of information:
Pasco Economic Development Council Inc.: PascoEDC.com
North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce: NorthTampaBayChamber.com
Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce: GreaterPasco.com
Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce: ZephyrhillsChamber.org
Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce: DadeCityChamber.org
Hillsborough County government: HillsboroughCounty.org
Pasco County government: PascoCountyFl.net
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC.gov
Florida Department of Health: FloridaHealthCovid19.gov
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity: FloridaJobs.org
U.S. Small Business Administration: SBA.gov
Pasco County Schools: Pasco.k12.fl.us
Hillsborough County Schools: SDHC.k12.fl.us
Published April 15, 2020
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