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HERNANDO COUNTY GOVERNMENT COVID-19 UPDATES 
CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.HERNANDOCOUNTY.US/COVID19

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Emergency Management
18900 Cortez Boulevard
Brooksville, FL 34601

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Phone (352) 754-4083
Fax (352) 754-4090
Recorded Message Line (352) 754-4111

Community Resources

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Updated 5/29/2020

Automated Community Connection to Economic Self Sufficiency (ACCESS)

To apply for food assistance, Medicaid, and/or cash assistance, or to manage your benefits and receive information, visit https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/ or login to your MYACCESS account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Beginning on April 18, 2020, ACCESS Call Center hours will be expanded to include Saturdays (8 am - noon) AND Sundays (1 – 5 pm). Call us at 866-762-2237 or 850-300-4DCF.

With a MyACCESS account you can: apply for benefits, check the status of an application, report changes, receive information faster by opting-in to receive electronic notifications, and upload documents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Log into your MyACCESS account here: https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/.


United Way of Hernando County

The health and safety of our community is a priority of United Way in Hernando County. Please visit https://www.unitedwayhernando.org/COVID19 for information on how you can help or get help in Hernando County. 


Behavioral Health & Wellness

BayCare

As the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, BayCare Behavioral Health is determined to do its part to keep the local community informed about preparation, protection and potential impact. For direct information, visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center.

Premier Community HealthCare

If you are experiencing fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath, please call prior to entering a Premier Community Clinics. Direct extensions are listed on the front doors and parking lot signage.

Premier is proud to offer Telehealth for existing Family Medicine patients. Receive care in the comfort of your home. Visit PremierHC.org or call 352-518-2000 to request your Telehealth appointment. 

We know social distancing, quarantine and the uncertainty of the coming days may cause stress and worry. Our Behavioral Health Services team is ready to assist you and your loved ones with coping. Call 352-518-2000 to schedule your appointment today.

SAMHSA

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recognizes the challenges posed by the current COVID-19 situation and is providing guidance and resources to assist individuals, providers, communities, and states across the country. Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517) 

NAMI Hernando

NAMI Hernando is offering online peer support groups using Zoom to help you manage your mental wellness while social distancing. Individual support is also available by phone at (352) 684-0004, from 9am-3pm M-F. After-hours assistance/support call (352) 316-7783. 

More Resources on Mental Health & COVID-19


CareerSource Pasco Hernando

Although offices remain closed to the general public, Career Source Pasco Hernando continues to assist both employers and job seekers through remote operations.  This assistance includes: 

  • Registering for re-employment financial assistance and the CARES stimulus program.
  • Providing guidance and information regarding valuable public assistance services to assist displaced workers.
  • Helping employers and job seekers identify and fill critical positions.
  • And many more essential services to sustain and rebuild our local economy.

For Reemployment information and COVID19 updates, visit www.careersourcepascohernando.com/pages/covid19


Child Services

Center for Disease Control

Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT)

P-EBT is a supplemental benefit for households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. Learn more about this program through the Florida Department of Children and Families FAQ list

No Cost Breakfast & Lunch

While school are closed Hernando County Public Schools will be providing NO COST meals to ALL CHILDREN ages 18 and under. Each day children will receive lunch and breakfast for the next morning. Use this list of school sites, bus stops and other sites providing free meals. Child must be present to receive meal. Visit www.hernandoschools.org for school closure updates and more regarding COVID-19.

Free Meals for Children Under 18

For information about free meals for children under 18 when school is out, families can text the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at FLKIDSMEALS to 211-211 to find their closest participating Summer BreakSpot location, and can also call 2-1-1 to speak with a live operator 24 hours a day for additional locations. Families can also use the Summer BreakSpot children’s meal locator website at SummerBreakSpot.FreshFromFlorida.com.

Florida KidCare

Florida KidCare includes free, subsidized, and full-pay options for health and dental insurance for Florida children ages 0-18. There are four KidCare programs: Medicaid, MediKids, Children’s Medical Services, and Florida HealthyKids. For more information on these programs, please visit the FloridaKidCare website at: https://www.floridakidcare.org/.

Child Support Program

The Department of Revenue has a dedicated COVID-19 webpage for child support customers and alternative options for handling many child support case activities without visiting an office.


Churches, Community- & Faith-based Organizations

CDC Guidance for Community- & Faith-based Organizations (CFBOs)

This guidance is intended to help CFBOs prevent the transmission of COVID-19 within their facilities and communities. CFBOs need to be able to react quickly if there is a confirmed COVID-19 case among staff, volunteers, the people they serve, or visitors. This guidance includes considerations to help administrators and leaders plan for the continuity of services depending on level of community spread of COVID-19.


Elder Services

Center for Disease Control

Elder Helpline

For information regarding elder services and activities, such as food and nutrition, health and wellness, housing, legal services, long-term or home care, or other support services, please call the Florida Department of Elder Affair’s Elder Helpline: 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337).

Protective Services

For questions or assistance regarding adult protective services, such as the placement of seniors at assisted living facilities, nursing homes, etc. please call the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Office of Adult Protective Services: 850-488-2881.

Florida Abuse Hotline

To report any known or suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect of vulnerable adults (elderly or disabled), please call the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Florida Abuse Hotline which receives reports 24 hours a day: 1-800-962-2873. Reports are also accepted online at: https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us/.

Therapeutic Robotic Pet Initiative

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) began delivery of Robotic Companion Pet Guides as part of its Therapeutic Robotic Pet Initiative to older adults and Families living with Alzheimer’s Disease or a Related Dementia throughout Florida. The application form is available through Livable Florida.


Employee Rights

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.


Food Pantries

See a list of food pantries in Hernando County with COVID-19 updates.


Free Transit Services (TheBus)

Hernando County Transit Services (TheBus) extended suspension of fare collection on all fixed routes and demand response service until May 31, 2020. Any future changes to service and service updates will be posted on all buses themselves and at www.HernandoBus.com

Contact the Hernando County Transit Service Administrative Office at (352) 754-4444 should you have any questions.


Homelessness

The Office of Homelessness contracts with local entities that provide a comprehensive array of emergency, transitional, and permanent housing, and supportive services to address the varying needs of the persons who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. For more information about this program, including locating a local provider, please visit our web page at https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/homelessness/.


Job Search Resources

These job search resources will help you research job openings, create a great resume, apply for jobs, and research labor market trends. This includes assistance for veterans, military families, seniors and persons with disabilities.


Online Grocery Purchase Pilot Program

On April 14, 2020, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) announced Florida will pilot a program for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase groceries online with the use of an EBT card. SNAP participants are automatically eligible to participate in this program and do not need to apply.

The pilot program will launch in Tallahassee on April 16 expanding statewide on April 20, 2020. On April 21, both Walmart and Amazon online purchasing will be available statewide. Walmart already accepts SNAP benefits at all its brick and mortar locations in the United States. Customers will be able to use their EBT cards and opt for curbside pick-up. Utilization of food assistance benefits remains limited to the purchasing of eligible grocery items and cannot be used to pay for delivery services.

 For more information about the online purchasing pilot, please visit https://myflfamilies.com/covid19/access.shtml.


Reemployment Assistance (RA) Benefits

Reemployment Assistance provides temporary wage replacement benefits to eligible individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. If your employment has been negatively impacted as a result of the mitigation efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive RA benefits.

  • The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) will be conducting nightly maintenance to the CONNECT system to help with processing claims. CONNECT will only be available from 8 a.m. – 7:59 p.m. daily.
  • Importantly, this will not affect individuals that are filing a new claim. Individuals can file a new claim 24 hour a day, seven days per week. If you are a NEW claimant applying for Reemployment Assistance benefits, apply online here.
  • If you are having trouble accessing the application, download the form directly here.

Important Update: individuals do NOT have to log into CONNECT every two weeks to claim your weeks of reemployment assistance. Governor DeSantis has suspended the bi-weekly reporting requirement. Governor DeSantis has waived the work search and work registration requirements for individuals requesting Reemployment Assistance benefits, as well as the waiting week for receiving benefits. For more information, see the Reemployment Assistance Frequently Asked Questions.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is now accepting physical applications for Reemployment Assistance. Download the form for Reemployment Assistance. Once completed, mail to: P.O. Box 5350, Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350.

People who need assistance filing a claim online because of legal reasons, computer illiteracy, language barriers, or disabilities may call 1-800-204-2418 or visit FloridaJobs.org.


Pandemic Unemployment Assistance:

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program provides unemployment benefits to those that may not otherwise be eligible under Florida’s state Reemployment Assistance program, including independent contractors and individuals who are self-employed. Individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19 and believe they may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, can visit www.FloridaJobs.org and select "File a Claim" to apply and be considered for PUA.

Applicants should utilize the following criteria when applying for PUA:

Individuals who applied for the state’s Reemployment Assistance benefits on or after April 5,2020, and were deemed ineligible for state Reemployment Assistance benefits will receive additional application information from the Department. They can also visit www.FloridaJobs.org/cares-act for more information regarding these programs.

Those who are self-employed, contract employees, gig workers, or others who applied for the state’s Reemployment Assistance benefits on or before April 4, 2020, should apply at www.FloridaJobs.org and select “File a Claim” to request PUA.

Unemployed Floridians who have not yet applied for any benefit should apply at www.FloridaJobs.org and will be considered for all existing programs, including PUA.


Resources for People with Disabilities


SNAP, TANF & Medicaid Programs

  • At the request of Governor DeSantis, and in accordance with the federal Families First Coronavirus Act, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) will waive work requirements for individuals participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. 
  • The DCF temporarily closed all storefronts and lobbies to safeguard the public and employees from the spread of COVID-19. While these facilities are used to serve customers, the department continues to use technology to ensure continuity of service.
  • Beginning on April 18, 2020, DCF is extending ACCESS Call Center hours to include Saturdays (8 am - noon) AND Sundays (1 – 5 pm). Call us at 866-762-2237 or 850-300-4DCF.

Read more on DCF's COVID-19 response: www.myflfamilies.com/covid19/


Temporary Layoff Program

A Temporary Layoff occurs when the employee is separated from their job due to lack of work, and the employee has a return-to-work date within eight weeks of the separation. An employee that is temporarily laid off from work may be eligible for RA benefits. You can file your claim by accessing CONNECT through www.floridajobs.org.

People who need assistance filing a claim may call 1-800-204-2418 or visit FloridaJobs.org


Take-Out & Delivery Restaurants

Help support local restaurants with this list of Take-Out & Delivery Options.


Veterans' Affairs

  • Veterans who are concerned they may have symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), flu or cold should contact the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center at 1-877-741-3400 (toll free) before coming to a VA facility.
  • Clinical staff are available to provide 24/7 virtual care and support, including nurse advice and triage. This service is available at no cost to Veterans enrolled for care in VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8).
  • For Veterans in crisis or those who are concerned, help is available at the Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, and press 1, or text 838255, or chat at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net.

For more information about VA’s overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how procedures have changed at your local VA, click here.