Hillsborough’s Emergency Policy Group extends local state of emergency, discusses coronavirus response

Hillsborough County

Could this be one of the EPG's final meetings regarding coronavirus?

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group met Thursday to discuss its ongoing coronavirus response efforts.

During the meeting, EPG members received updates from the Hillsborough County Emergency Management Director Tim Dudley and the Florida Department of Health Hillsborough County Director Doug Holt.

Below are some of the updates received during the meeting:

  • Estimated number of people recovered from COVID-19: 10,032
  • Rolling 14-day average of cases is 518 and represents an decrease of 17 percent
  • Rolling 14-day daily positive rate is 13.22 percent
  • 7-day average of COVID-19 hospital admissions is 33 and is a 5% decrease from the previous 7-day period

Dr. Holt also provided several updates regarding contact tracing in the area. He mentioned staff members will soon focus on K-12 schools and universities as well as have some tracers monitor long-term care facilities.

The group also extended the local state of emergency, which is in accordance with Governor DeSantis’ executive order that extends the state of emergency through Sept. 4.

The Emergency Policy Group (EPG) is the authority on the county’s response to disasters, pandemic and other emergency occurrences. They have been tasked with ordering mask mandates and curfews. The group consists of three commissioners, the mayors of Tampa, Plant City, Temple Terrace, the sheriff and the Hillsborough County School Board chairwoman.

Thursday’s meeting, however, could be one of the group’s last meetings regarding coronavirus.

On July 15, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners voted 7-0 to abolish the EPG and to shift its focus from coronavirus and back to its typical role in dealing with hurricanes.

A public hearing will be held on Aug. 5 to discuss the abolishment of the group’s pandemic response and following the meeting, commissioners are slated to make a final vote.

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