From Darren Soto <[email protected]>
Subject COVID-19 Resources for Central Floridians
Date March 21, 2020 4:02 PM
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Hi John,

As cases of COVID-19 continue to appear across the country, it is important to stay well informed and equipped with the appropriate resources to keep you and your family safe during this difficult time.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or recently came into contact with someone who has tested positive, it is important that you call your healthcare provider or local health department in order to take appropriate precautions.

You can reach the Florida Department of Health's dedicated COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. The Call Center is available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Residents can also send questions via email at [email protected]
Click here: [email protected]

For additional information, visit the Florida Department of Health's dedicated COVID-19 webpage here.
Click here: [link removed]

Food Resources:

If you are in need of food, you can find local food banks near you here.
Click here: [link removed]

All Florida schools are closed until at least April 15, but that doesn't mean that our children will go hungry. Osceola (Click here: [link removed]), Orange (Click here: [link removed]) and Polk County ([link removed]) Schools will be distributing free pack-and-go meals at designated locations. Additionally, Toasted Restaurant (Click here: [link removed]) is offering a FREE Kids Grilled Cheese meal Monday - Friday from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM to all students, who must be present at the time of ordering.

Seniors are particularly susceptible to the virus and have been advised to stay home. Meals on Wheels is committed to delivering meals to those in need -- depending on the geographical area -- for $8.00 per meal. For anyone, 60 and over, who is physically or mentally unable to prepare a balanced meal and has no one to prepare a meal for them, there are several programs that assist with the cost. If interested, please contact Wilda Belisle at 407-847-2144 or [email protected]
Click here: [email protected]

In Orange County, Meals on Wheels can provide 30 days of meals during a crisis situation. Seniors can purchase meals or apply for free meals in Orange County by calling 407-615-8987. In Polk County, daily meals can be delivered to those in need for $5.00 a meal. If interested, please call 863-299-1616, email [email protected] (Click here: [email protected]) or apply online here. (Click here: [link removed])

Workers and Small Businesses:

Sudden closures have also impacted workers and small businesses drastically. If your small business has been impacted, you can apply for a loan through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program (Click here: [link removed]). You can also apply for a low-interest disaster loan from the Small Business Administration here ([link removed]).

Workers who have been laid off can also apply for Unemployment Insurance here.
Click here: [link removed]


Florida is also waiving some long-standing Medicaid rules and regulations as the state prepares to treat poor, elderly and disabled residents who become infected with COVID-19. To see if you're eligible for Medicaid under these new guidelines click here.
Click here: [link removed]


If you are a veteran and you are experiencing symptoms, call your VA medical facility or call MyVA311 (844-698-2311, press #3 to be connected). Veterans can also send secure messages to their health care providers via MyhealtheVet, VA's online patient portal. VA clinicians will evaluate veterans' symptoms and direct them to the most appropriate providers for further evaluation and treatment. This may include referral to state or local health departments for COVID-19 testing.


If you need anything during this time, please do not hesitate to reach out by replying to this email or sending a separate message to [email protected] (click here: [email protected]). I know that the uncertainty of the situation is scary, but by working together and practicing social distancing, we will overcome this and move forward.

Darren ----

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