Updated: Mar 20
As the world grapples with a new normal -- life with coronavirus -- Floridians are being inundated with a steady stream of stories, news and information. It can all begin to feel a bit overwhelming.
As a state representative, your constituents may be looking to you as a trusted source of guidance on how to cut through the noise and find accurate information. The House Majority Office has compiled the following list of go-to coronavirus resources to help you communicate with members of your community in newsletters, on social media, and in local media interviews and events if you have an opportunity.
This list may be updated with new resources as they arise.
1) Centers for Disease Control: Coronavirus Landing Page
The CDC remains the No. 1 source for health information about coronavirus in America. Access the CDC's coronavirus landing page easily by going to coronavirus.gov.
For information regarding the national government's ongoing response, visit usa.gov/coronavirus.
2) Florida Department of Health: Interactive Map, Call Centers and More
The Florida Department of Health launched an interactive map and dashboard with the most up-to-date numbers and cases of coronavirus across the state. View it here: https://fdoh.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/8d0de33f260d444c852a615dc7837c86
The Department is working a COVID-19 Information Call Center 24/7. Anyone can dial 866-779-6121 or email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org to get answers to their questions.
The Florida Department of Health has several fact sheets available for download -- those can be shared in newsletters, online, printed and placed in communities, etc. See them all here: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/resources/
3) Florida School Closures & Online Learning
In keeping with the CDC's guidance, schools across Florida and the United States are on extended breaks in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Find statewide school closure updates here: www.fldoe.org/em-response/index.stml
View the Florida Department of Education's list of resources for families on distance learning: www.fldoe.org/em-response/resources-families.stml
4) Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Children's Meals Website
On Sunday FDACS activated its Summer BreakSpot website, where families can find free meals for children younger than18 during coronavirus school closures. The meal locations can be found at SummerBreakSpot.FreshFromFlorida.com.
5) Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Small Business Loan Program & Re-Employment
Governor DeSantis announced Monday that Florida will offer $50 million in loan programs for small businesses being adversely impacted by coronavirus. DEO is administering the program with the Florida Small Business Development Center. Find more information at www.floridadisasterloan.org.
Floridians looking for re-employment assistance can get help online at www.floridajobs.org/Reemployment-Assistance-Service-Center/reemployment-assistance/claimants.
6) Price Gouging Hotline
The Florida Attorney General's Office hotline is now available for anyone to report price gouging of essential commodities during the coronavirus crisis. These include protective masks; sanitizing and disinfecting supplies, such as hand sanitizer, gel, wipes, cleaning supplies for surface cleaning, and all commercial cleaning supplies; and personal protective equipment, including gowns, booties, gloves and other protective gear.
To report price gouging to the Florida Attorney General’s Office online, visit MyFloridaLegal.com. To call the Attorney General’s Price Gouging Hotline, dial 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or 1-866-966-7226.
7) Coronavirus Tax Relief
Tax day has been extended to July 15. The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. Read more here: www.irs.gov/coronavirus.
8) Executive Branch: News Conferences, Fact Sheet & Newsletter
The White House recently released a fact sheet and video, "The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America," that explains why we need the closures of schools, bars, and other populated places to help slow the spread.
Download the fact sheet here.
Find the video here.
President Donald Trump has been hosting daily press conferences that are livestreamed on most major network TV news stations and on The White House's YouTube channel. Recaps of those news conferences are sent out via the White House’s newsletter, the 1600 Daily. Subscribe here: whitehouse.gov/1600dailysignup/
Governor Ron DeSantis has also been hosting daily news conferences, which are livestreamed from his Facebook page.
The Florida House Majority Office will continue posting information about coronavirus-related updates regarding your duties as a lawmaker and Thursday's floor vote. Continue to find those updates at bit.ly/FLGOPCOVID19.