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Hillsborough coronavirus: County creates survey for residents amid COVID-19 spread

Coronavirus

A man gets tested for COVID-19 at a drive-thru testing site at Cone Health Ambulatory and Physician Services in Greensboro, N.C., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (Khadejeh Nikouyeh/News & Record via AP)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – With only about 1 percent of Hillsborough County residents tested for coronavirus, county officials are asking residents how to best serve them.

An anonymous survey available to all county residents will use responses to help determine the best way to communicate and offer COVID-19 testing resources and safety guidelines to those who may not have access to testing.

Hillsborough County has been hit particularly hard by the virus, with 940 positive residents and 20 deaths as of Wednesday morning.

While the survey is for all county residents, officials are hoping to gain input particularly from residents who may not have access to testing or updates.

“A goal of the survey is to reach residents who may not be taking advantage of county government resources and aren’t accessing the COVID-19 assistance that the county provides,” said Hillsborough County spokesman Jose Patino. “We want to make certain all the communities have been reached to take the COVID-19 test and to access programs and initiatives the county offers during the pandemic.”

Respondents will be asked questions about how seriously they are taking the COVID-19 pandemic and if they practice preventative measures such as washing hands, wearing a mask, social distancing and remaining home.

The survey also asks what prevents the respondent from getting tested for COVID-19. Hillsborough County is providing COVID-19 testing for free at four County locations. Before testing, residents must contact the Hillsborough County call center at (813) 272-5900 for pre-screening and registration. Insurance is not required. The call center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Other questions on the survey include what information residents think would be helpful to be better prepared, such as how to access and make food supplies last, the latest guidelines to stay safe and steps to take if someone in the household develops symptoms.

Hillsborough County will conduct the survey over eight weeks. It is available in English and Spanish here. Residents can also take the survey by texting “StaySafe” to 73224 for English or texting “StaySafeEspanol to 73224 for Spanish.

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