Coronavirus in Tampa Bay: Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas counties issue local state of emergency for 7 days

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A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group, Pasco Board of County Commissioners and Pinellas County Commissioners have issued a local state of emergency in each county as a proactive measure against the spread of coronavirus.

According to county officials, the declaration allows county administrators and emergency management directors to waive everyday procedures and do what they feel is necessary to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the community. This would include performing public work, making emergency purchases, renting equipment, hiring workers, using volunteers, etc.

The state of emergencies will be in effect for seven days or until rescinded by the respective county.

According to Hillsborough County, the executive order now prohibits all local businesses, vendors, merchants and any other person operating a retail business in the county from charging more than the normal average retail price for any goods, materials and services sold.

The Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center was partially opened on Tuesday. The Pasco County Emergency Operations Center is operating at a level two activation status.

Residents are being asked to wash their hands with soap and water, to cover their sneezes and coughs with their arm, and if they are sick, to stay home and avoid crowds.

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