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CORONAVIRUS UPDATES



MASKS!
Hillsborough Emergency Policy Group Votes to Require Face Coverings Inside Places of Business. A majority of the members of the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group voted to require the wearing of face coverings, with certain exceptions, inside businesses that are open to the public and where employees and customers aren't able to maintain social distancing.  
*Non-profit organizations that supply goods and services are now added to the list of businesses  must require employees and customers to wear face coverings inside their place of business. 
* The age exception requiring children to wear face coverings is increased to those under the age of 8. 
* And all children under the age of 18 do not have to wear face coverings if they are participating in organized youth sports, summer camps and childcare programs. 


COVID TESTING LOCAITONS LATEST UPDATE
SUN CITY CENTER OR WIMAUMA? - NEW NUMBER! CALL 888-513-6321
Starting this week, Hillsborough County will dramatically increase the number of appointments available for residents at three County COVID-19 test sites at Community Resource Centers, expanding hours and offering weekend availability.
Three of the eight free COVID-19 test sites in Hillsborough County are at Community Resource Centers in East Tampa (Lee Davis), Plant City, and Ruskin (SouthShore). Since opening in mid-April, almost 30,000 tests have been conducted at those sites in conjunction with health care partners.
Capacity at the Lee Davis, Plant City, and SouthShore COVID-19 testing sites will increase from about 2,700 total tests per week to 9,000 tests per week. The testing expansion is made possible over the next two weeks due to the transition from volunteer medical personnel at the three sites to contracted support being temporarily provided through the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
The three community testing sites will be extending hours for scheduled appointments three days a week and will be setting aside two days a week specifically for targeted mass testing for first responders, health care workers, and other critical industries. The Hillsborough County Office of Emergency Management is working directly with the identified industry employers to coordinate testing access on the dedicated days.
Emergency Management officials are assessing and developing a plan for staffing these three sites after the temporary assistance provided through the state ends.
For the next two weeks, test sites at Lee Davis and Plant City will continue testing for residents with expanded appointments and hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The test site at the SouthShore Community Resource Center in Ruskin is changing operation days for residents to Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in order to offer more weekend testing capacity.
As a reminder, all residents can make an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling (888) 513-6321 or by registering online here.
Hillsborough County offers COVID-19 testing by appointment at eight test sites across the County from Town ‘N Country to Wimauma with daytime, evening, and weekend appointments available. Residents with appointments are welcome to come to the drive-through test site on foot or by bicycle if necessary. Homebound residents or people with no access to transportation can make an appointment for an in-home test through the call center at (888) 513-6321.
Free testing sites in Hillsborough County include the following:
Lee Davis Community Resource Center, 3402 N. 22nd St., Tampa
Plant City Community Resource Center, 307 N. Michigan Ave., Plant City
SouthShore Community Resource Center, 201 14th Ave. SE, Ruskin
Tampa Family Health Centers, 12085 W. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa
Suncoast Community Health Centers, 313 S. Lakewood Drive, Brandon
Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa
Redeemer Lutheran Church, 701 Valley Forge Blvd., Sun City Center
Wimauma Opportunity Center, 5128 SR 674, Wimauma
Hillsborough County’s call center, (888) 513-6321, is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  
COVID-19 coronavirus testing is a collaboration among Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa, the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, the University of South Florida, and medical groups in the region including BayCare, Tampa General Hospital, AdventHealth, HCA Healthcare – West Florida Division, Tampa Family Health Centers, Inc,  the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay/Transcare, and Suncoast Community Health Centers, Inc. Locations for some test sites have been offered by Redeemer Lutheran Church in Sun City Center and Enterprising Latinas in Wimauma.
Pre-Registration is Required: 
There is NO CHARGE for the test administered at Hillsborough County locations.
Residents are NOT REQUIRED to have health insurance to get tested.
Should a test be scheduled for you, you will be informed of time, date, and testing location during this call.
What to Bring: 
Personal vehicles MUST BE under the maximum height of 8 feet.
Limit vehicle passengers to those getting a test.
Have a photo ID with name and date of birth for all persons being tested (can be Florida driver’s license, state-issued ID, or passport).
Bring the CORRECT confirmation code provided by the call center; this can be a printed copy of the testing confirmation email received from the call center, a screenshot of the confirmation number, or the code may be provided verbally. A printed code or screenshot on the phone helps the process, but is not required.
You will be required to provide the following information:
1. Full name
2. Current address (where you are staying)
3. Best phone number to reach you in order to receive test results
What to Expect: 
You will be greeted by a health care provider in personal protective gear who will give you instructions.
A minimally invasive test will be administered.
Test results are not immediate. Most people will receive results within 10 days. After taking the test, you will be given information on what to do while you await the results.
You will receive test results via the telephone number you gave at the time of pre-screening.
Please be patient – calling back to check on your results will not expedite the process.
Testing sites are staffed by health care professionals in medical protective gear who are trained to test for COVID-19 coronavirus. Directional signage and law enforcement will help residents through the testing site in an orderly fashion. People who are experiencing a medical emergency should dial 9-1-1 immediately.


FLORIDA SURGEON GERNERAL NOTICE:
Avoid the “3 Cs” Closed Spaces, Crowded Places & Close-Contact Settings & wear a mask. More - FloridaHealth.gov 


IMPORTANT - HOW TO PROTCT YOURSELF & OTHERS (Info from CDC) now how it spreads
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
EVERYONE SHOULD
Wash your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
AVOID CLOSE CONTACT
Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
Do not gather in groups.
Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
COVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE WITH A CLOTH FACE COVER WHEN AROUND OTHERS
You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
COVER COUGHS AND SNEEZES
If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
CLEAN AND DISINFECT
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectantsexternal icon will work.
MONITOR YOUR HEALTH
Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.


FROM HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY:
13 THINGS YOU CAN DO ONLINE:
A list of County business you can conduct online:
As the community moves towards preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, residents are encouraged to conduct business online whenever possible. When it comes to handling business with Hillsborough County, there are several things you can do online, including  paying certain bills and registering to vote.
Here are some examples of County-related business you can do online:
1. Change your address
2. Pay Traffic Tickets
3. Pay Medical Examiner fees
4. Look up your Permit Status
5. Pay Library Fines & Fees
6. Pay your Water Bill
7. Purchase a Conservation Pass and Boat Launch Pass
8. Get your Drivers License Renewed
9. Renew Auto Tags & Car Registration
10. Register to Vote
11. Pay your Property Taxes
12. File a Homestead Exemption
13. Request to Stop or Transfer Water Service
Get Connected. Stay Alert.
For more information on COVID-19, and any other potential emergency in the region, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL Alert system. Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for updates.


SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home. The CDC recommends continuing social distancing while in public, avoiding groups of 10 or larger and using face coverings in public when you can’t maintain 6 feet away from others.
REDUCE YOUR RISK
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and toss used paper towels in the trash.
Wash after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Wash after touching someone.
If you don’t have soap and water, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
Cough and sneeze into your bent elbow or a tissue. Throw used tissues in the trash.
Health officials are recommending people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth when in community settings. 


SOUTH BAY HOSPITAL TEMPORARY VISITOR POLICY
South Bay Hospital is implementing a new visitor policy on Thursday, June 25, 2020,  as a result of the increase in the community spread of COVID-19 in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.  No visitors will permitted for admitted patients to help ensure the safety of our patients and caregivers, and one visitor may accompany patients who are arriving for outpatient surgery and for emergency needs.  
The policy is as follows: Temporary Visitor Policy
In order to protect our patients, visitors, physicians, and caregivers from the spread of the coronavirus (COVID)
Inpatient Units – No visitors are permitted. 
Exceptions must be approved by the hospital Administrator on Call (AOC) or administration and can be made for:
end-of-life situations
labor and delivery
one visitor is allowed
post-partum unit, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and pediatrics unit
two visitors are allowed and may stay overnight
behavioral health units
a patient’s attorney of record, a state of federal representative on official duty, and end-of-life situation visitors are allowed 
EMERGENCY ROOM
One visitor is allowed per patient in the ER. 
Once a patient is admitted to the hospital, the visitor must leave as visitors are not allowed in inpatient areas.
Outpatient Procedures – One visitor is allowed per patient who is having an outpatient surgery or other outpatient procedure requiring sedation. 
Visitor must remain in the designated waiting area. If the patient is admitted as an inpatient, the visitor must leave as visitors are not allowed in inpatient areas.
Anyone under the age of 18 will not be considered for visitation unless they are the parent of a hospitalized child.
All persons authorized to enter the hospital must wear a mask at all times, including in a patient’s room and practice hand sanitization upon entering the hospital and upon entering and exiting a patient’s room. They will have their temperature taken, be screened for illness, and asked the following questions:
Have you had a fever and signs/symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, flu-like symptoms, or shortness of breath)?
Have you traveled outside the country within the last 14 days (including a cruise)?
Have you traveled by plane or train in the past 14 days? 
Have you been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 without wearing the proper protective equipment?
Are you currently being tested for COVID-19?
If you answer positive (yes) to any of the above – we will not allow entrance to the facility unless seeking emergency medical assistance.
Patients may consider using phone, Skype, or FaceTime to communicate with family and friends during this time. 


COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION UPDATES: WHAT'S NEW WITH THE CA?



BOARD OF DIRECTORS UPDATES:

NOTICE OF RESIGNATION
Mr. Jerry Gibson, Vice President, has announced that on July 1st he received the resignation of President Sam Sudman for personal reasons effective immediately.
The Board members met today and elected Director Bob Sullivan as President to finish out Sam's term ending January 6, 2021.
We wish Sam well and thank him for his years of service to the Board and his continued dedication to the community.


NEWLY APPOINTED BOARD OF DIRECTOR:
On June 1st, the Board of Directors, in an Action without a Meeting, voted to appoint Kim Roush as a Director to fill the vacant term on the Board which will run to January 6, 2021. Kim recently was a member of the SCCCA Long-Range Planning Committee.  She and her husband are full-time residents of Sun City Center and have lived here since 2011. 
We did receive eight (8) applications to fill the interim Board vacancy.  As expected, those members stepping forward were well credentialed.  Thanks to all of them for their interest in our community. We urge them to consider submitting an application to run for one of three positions that will be open for the three-year term beginning January 6, 2021.


GENERAL UPDATES

CONNNECT TO INFORMATION WITH YOUR COMPUTER ON ZOOM!
The Apple Users Group and the Computer Club will be happy to help you get CA members devices ready for a ZOOM meeting.  The contact person will be able to answer your questions and assist you with your sign in and usage of ZOOM on your devices. Apple User Group, Ed Blecher  sccmacclub@mac.com  -  Computer Club, Bob Dealmeida  Help@scccomputerclub.org 


ENTERTAINMENT SERIES CANCELLATION NOTICE 
In an abundance of caution, the SCCCA 2020-2021 Entertainment Series is cancelled.  To ensure the health and safety of our members, both the Friday night dance series and the Sunday show series will not occur.   


FUTURE CA ROOM USE UNDER COVID:
The CA Board and staff have been monitoring COVID-19 activity as reported daily by health professionals at the CDC, NIH, Florida and county health departments; we are concerned with the observed "relaxing of safety practices" that have been in place during the COVID-19 quarantine period.  Masking and social distancing, while still encouraged is being used less frequently.  Talk of a "second wave of illness", as an increase in case numbers is being seen, is on the minds of health professionals. We have decided that our community will move much more cautiously than the rest of surrounding society for the remainder of 2020 and possibly into 2021; we will NOT open the facilities for larger-group gatherings, such as seminars, dances, member-room-rentals for special events, entertainment and club gatherings at which meals are provided, catered or otherwise, and that may be attended by non-members.  We are also concerned with the return of our snowbirds and what real risks of infection that may bring. Please remember that our 11,400 +/- members are at the highest risk of developing symptoms and experiencing the extreme consequences of COVID-19 illness; our health and safety are the highest priority.  Our obligation is to prevent a health disaster.  We will continue to monitor all professional guidance daily and if indicated, we will revisit this decision and apprise you of any changes.


LAP SWIMMING IN THE OUTDOOR POOL, SCC. Per SCC CA 
Lap Pool Opening Friday, July 17th at 7:30 a.m.
Guidelines as follows:
Lap Swimmers will be limited to 4 total at a time, 
due to 50 % rule.
Inside Spa will be limited to 4 at a time, due to 50% rule.
Will be open the same hours as all other CA Facilities,  
7:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.


MASKS - FREE! (LIPS ARE VISIBLE IN THESE CLEAR MASKS)
The Hearing Loss Association is offering free clear masks available starting Monday, July 27th at the  Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce located at 1651 Sun City Center Plaza. Please call 813-634-5111 to check for availability and/or an appointment to pick up a mask. If you have questions regarding the hard of hearing masks please contact the Chapter Leader, Eloise at 414-807-4373.


NEXT OPENING PHASE FOR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION FACILITIES
As of June 15th, 2020 we transition to opening the Community Association Designated Club Rooms listed below:
Amateur Radio, Apple Users, Art Club, Billiards, Bunka Art Stitcher’s, Ceramics, China Painters, Computer Club, DAV, Dollhouse Miniatures, History Society, Lapidary, Model Railroad, Needlecrafters, Photo Club, Potter’s Wheel, Sawdust Engineers, SCC Travel Club, Sew N sews, Shell Crafters, Stained Glass, Seniors VS Crime Office, Weavers and Woodcarvers.
In addition, the Outdoor Pool, Walking Pool and Atrium Walking Path will now operate without the session closures. The Outdoor Pool Usage Clubs (Deep Water/Shallow Water Aquasizers and Water Volleyball) can also resume.
The Fitness Center will remain as is with the two-hour sessions with one and a half hours of usage and then closure for thirty minutes for cleaning and sanitizing between sessions.
There will be continued monitoring for lesser capacity with social distancing and the suggestion of masks to be worn.
There will be no non dedicated club usage, meeting/social room usage of the facilities this time.
This is for Community Association and Freedom Plaza card holding members only, No Guests. King’s Point Gold Card holders may attend their affiliated club activities.
Hours of Operation for all facilities at this time will remain 7:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
On a cautionary Note: By using any Community Association Facilities you are voluntarily assuming all risks to possible exposure.


SCC RIDE IS BACK IN SERVICE
Samaritan Services and SCC Ride have started transporting services again. Residents are required to wear face coverings and have their temperature taken before being allowed in the vehicle. Please contact 813-634-9283 with any questions


VOTING UPDATE - POLL RELOCATION:
The Sun City Center Board of Directors, in working with the Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections, would like to advise that voting locations have been updated to better facilitate Golf Cart accessibility.  
Community Voting Locations Update
Precincts 909 and 925 
Redeemer Lutheran Church 
701 Valley Forge Blvd. 
Precincts 906,921 and 929
Trinity Baptist Church
702 Del Webb Blvd W




RESOURCES FOOD:




FINDING FOOD FUNDS LOW? Here’s Where to Find Help
Food Assistance for Seniors – Hillsborough County residents age 60 and older can apply for food assistance through Hillsborough County Aging Services. There is no income requirement to participate in the federally-funded program. For more information on receiving meals and to apply, call (813) 272-5250.


SILVER PLATTER PROGRAM FOR SENIORS ENROLLED IN HOME-DELIVERED MEALS PROGRAM
Hillsborough County’s Department of Aging Services has partnered with local restaurants and food trucks to offer a food delivery program to the homes of seniors enrolled in its home-delivered meals program.  One to two nights a week, the County’s Silver Platter program provides restaurant-quality meals delivered to the homes of Aging Services’ clients.  Silver Platter was recently initiated with a focus on assisting Aging Services’ seniors who live alone and in areas that are scarcely populated with restaurants.  It provides additional nutrition to seniors who are sheltering in place to avoid potential exposure to COVID-19 coronavirus. The County’s staff dietician works with the chef at each restaurant and food truck to ensure the menu items that are provided to Aging Services’ clients meet the state’s dietary guidelines. This service also offers a safety check by a delivery driver who practices social distancing when delivering each meal. The County started with 160 clients who live in the Ruskin and Wimauma area, but has since expanded Silver Platter to reach more clients throughout the County. Along with serving hot dinners to seniors, Silver Platter is designed to employ local restaurants and food trucks that have struggled during the economic challenge the nation has faced as a result of the pandemic. The program was initiated and supported by state agencies, including the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. Aging Services uses funding from the Families First Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to support Silver Platter.  Aging Services is working locally with Senior Connection Center (the region’s Area Agency on Aging), Tampa Bay Food Trucks, and several local restaurants to make Silver Platter a success in Hillsborough County.  Call Aging Services for info: (813) 272-5250




RESOURCES FOR PETS:


HAVING A PLAN FOR YOUR PET
Have a plan when rehoming your pet is necessary…
“He was my friend and my companion, and giving him up was very difficult for me”  
It is very difficult when life changes cause people to move into facilities that will not allow pets.  Feline Folks is sensitive to this.  We try to help but that is not the best option. The pet owner MUST plan for the unexpected.  As veterinary Dr. Jones says, have a plan, it will be a real source of comfort.  
Some options include: Consider adoption by friend or family, Talk to a veterinarian, Allow for a smooth transition by helping the pet get settled in the new home by building trust and becoming familiar with the new environment. 
Rehomed pets aren’t gone forever.  The new owner might be able to periodically visit the original owner with the pet. Talk to the facility where you will be moving.  Debbie Caneen of Sun Towers states that it is possible they will accept your pet. It is recommended that every pet owner have a plan.  Like a will, it is good to periodically revisit the plan.
Feline Folks is a 501©3, totally not for profit operating on donations and through the kindness of volunteers.  During these challenging times Feline Folks is still feeding, neutering, vaccinating and fostering many cats.  We operate from the kindness of your donation.  Please consider donating by sending a check to P.O. Box 6294, SCC, FL 33571-6294
Contact us at Info@FelineFolks.us  Feline Folks is a not-for-profit all volunteer job that feeds and cares for the community cats.  For information email info@felinefolks.us  -  You can also visit our Facebook site - "Feline Folks of Sun City Center"


VETERINARY SERVICES DURING CORONAVIRUS THREAT:
As the reduction in community services starts to affect our daily lives, GMFC (Global Military Family Coalition, Inc.) thought it would be helpful to provide you information and resources on health-related topics that might be concerning you or your families. Families come in all shapes and sizes and many of you have furry, feathered, or scaled members that you consider parts of your family. 
1. Your pet is likely enjoying all the additional time you’re spending at home! Are you worried about how COVID-19 may affect them? The CDC has no evidence that your pets can carry or spread the disease but check out these CDC pages that should answer all your questions:
a. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/animals.html or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#COVID19animals
2. Even if you’re in in a “stay at home” status, veterinary services are still available across the country. Most vet clinics are asking clients to stay in their vehicles while their animals are examined or treated, and many request that you postpone elective procedures such as spays, neuters, and dental cleanings to conserve PPE (gowns, masks, gloves) for the human hospitals. Call your veterinarian if your animal is sick, needs emergency assistance, prescription refills, or your animal is due for vaccines.
a. DoD Veterinary Treatment Facilities are open but are prioritizing services to ensure the health of military working dogs to maintain readiness. Care to privately owned animals will be prioritized based on availability and need. It is recommended that you call first.
3. Lastly, if you’re lonely, this is a great time to adopt or foster a pet. Many animal shelters are full and less traffic means more vulnerable animals so ask your local shelter if you’re interested in temporary foster or adoption. Please only do so if you can continue to care for your new addition once your life returns to normal.
a. https://humanesocietytampa.org/fostering/ 813.774.4346
b. www.animalluvrs.org
If there are topics you would GMFC like us to present, or if you have any feedback at all, please feel free to post them on our Facebook page or send them to info@globalmilitaryfamilycoalition.ngo
Jean Bennett Stratis, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Global Military Family Coalition, Inc.




RESOURCES - STRESS, ANXIETY AND HEALTH NEEDS:




211 TAMPA BAY CARES 
We're a Lifeline Connection To Anyone In Need.  Improving Lives Through The Power Of Information And Hope. Our goal is to have a community that is connected and informed regarding critical health & human service information for those who need help & those who are willing to volunteer or donate their time to local community agencies. Services include:
211 (Information And Referral Services)
Adult Emergency Financial Assistance Program (AEFAP)
Family Services Initiative (FSI)
Florida Veterans Support Line (My FL Vet)
Healthy Transitions
Help Me Grow (HMG)
Homeless Helpline
Pinellas Rapid Rehousing Collaborative
Resource Database Curation
Ride United
Sexual Assault Services Hotline
Suicide Prevention
2-1-1 Is Here 24/7 For You - Call 211 From Any Phone Or Text Your Zip Code To 898211


24 HOUR HELP LINE OFFERED BY CIGNA
Cigna is also providing free resources for all customers, clients and communities to support them during these times of high stress and anxiety. The company has opened a 24-hour toll-free help line (1-866-912-1687) to connect people directly with qualified clinicians who can provide support and guidance. Additionally, the company will offer a webinar to the general public raising awareness about tools and techniques for stress management and building resiliency, along with the ability to join telephonic mindfulness sessions. More Information can be found at www.cigna.com.  "Anxiety is understandably high as we are learning more about the spread of this disease," said Douglas Nemecek, M.D., Cigna's chief medical officer for behavioral health. "Aligned to our focus on whole-person health, we are expanding behavioral support and resources for everyone – whether they are Cigna customers or not – to help everyone stay resilient during this critical time. 


CHEW ON THIS - TALKING OVER LUNCH ABOUT OUR NEW NORMAL
"Chew On This" is a series of free workshops facilitated by BayCare Behavioral Health's Community Health Activation Team. Mental health has never been more important than now amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19. Topics change weekly but all provide a chance to talk, share, and learn strategies to improve wellness.
Registration is required for these free events: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chew-on-this-talking-over-lunch-about-our-new-normal-tickets-107712216138   #virtualsupport #chewonthis #mentalheathsupport #mentalhealth


FEELING STRESSED DURING THIS TIME OF ISOLATION? WANT SOMEONE TO TALK TO?
It’s common to feel stressed or anxious during these challenging times. Many people are experiencing increased levels of stress, fear and anxiety. The need for social distancing makes it harder to access our normal social supports. Being in contact with people who can relate to your experiences is comforting. Centerstone’s CareLine can help you learn about coping skills, find resources, and feel supported. If you or someone you know needs to talk, the team at Centerstone is available to help. 24/7 CareLine - 941-782-4300 #CstoneNeverQuits


MARY PETRO FOOD AND MEDICINE FUND
The Mary Petro Food and Medicine Fund assists full- time residents of Sun City Center and Kings Point with food and medicine/medical needs. To qualify for assistance, clients must have an income less than $20,000 per year for singles and less than $25,000 for couples.  The Mary Petro Food and Medicine Fund Office is located at the Sun City Center United Methodist Church, 1210 Del Webb Blvd W, and is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Applications are available at the Mary Petro Office and the United Methodist Church Office. For questions please call 813-634-8306. 


MENTAL HEALTH TIPS FROM OUR VA
Mental health is taking a beating during this time of Coronavirus isolation. Listen in to learn what you can do to prevent an explosion. Troy Howell. MD, heads up the Suicide Prevention efforts in the Psychiatric Dept of the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital. Dr. Howell works every day to stop suicides in our veteran population. I asked him to concentrate on the mental health effects of living with the Corona Virus not only on our vets but also on their families. Even with all of the resources being directed toward the pandemic, the psychiatric department at Haley has risen to meet the problem and you will find the ideas he presents very interesting and useful in this time of stress. Here is a link to this program just click on the link and listen in. https://www.buzzsprout.com/952243/4457765


SENIOR MENTAL HEALTH INPATIENT THERAPY
Serenity Place is the only inpatient, voluntary, acute care, and geriatric, behavioral health program in the Sarasota area. It serves patients 50 and older who need acute mental health treatment in a safe, compassionate and tranquil environment. Our 16-room behavioral health center is in a dedicated wing of the hospital to ensure confidentiality and privacy. 
Treatments offered
Our senior behavioral health treatment programs are customized for each patient and include:
Individual therapy, Group therapy, Educational groups, Loss management and relapse prevention, Group activities (such as music, dance, reminiscence and yoga), Outpatient treatment program, 
Transitions provides a safe, therapeutic, environment that encourages and promotes recovery. We offer psychotherapy and psychoeducation in partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient settings for those 18 years of age and older.
Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
PHP is designed to provide psychiatric and mental health care through active treatment . It is for patients who need a highly structured, intensive treatment approach, but do not require 24-hour supervision and care.
Our group therapy:
Meets in four groups each day with an emphasis on mental health and coping
Focuses on a variety of subjects designed to aid patients in understanding and managing their symptoms in a more effective way.
Patients receive ongoing monitoring and treatment from a psychiatrist, registered nurse and licensed therapist.
PHP is held five days a week, Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
IOP is designed to provide a higher level of outpatient mental health treatment. In our IOP:
Group members participate in three groups each day with an emphasis on mental health and coping. The groups focus on a variety of different subjects, such as coping skills, assertiveness skills, goal setting, and establishing supports. IOP is a three day per week program offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 9:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.


TELEHEALTH AT BRANDON MENTAL HEALTH 
Now offering Telehealth to new and existing clients! Brandon Mental Health provides an essential service and is continuing office appointments with recommended precautions to protect our patients and their health from the COVID-19 virus. If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or feel you might be contagious, please stay at home and call us at 813-315-8648 to reschedule. For office appointments, we will maintain the recommended social distance during all interactions. Please wait in your car and your therapist will text or call you when they are ready for you to come to their office. https://brandonmentalhealth.com/


TELEHEALTH: CALL GRACEPOINT
Adult Crisis: 813-272-2958
Children's Crisis: 813-272-2882
Crisis Center of Tampa Bay: 813-264-9955


TELEBEHAVIORAL HEALTH - Welcome to the 21st Century
Telebehavioral health, or telehealth, is the latest innovative platform in mental health services. Thera-link, one of the top telehealth providers, is the venue that the Marriage and Family Training Center utilizes to meet the needs of its clients. This platform is HIPAA compliant, confidential, and safe. The Marriage and Family Training Center's founder, William R. Cruz, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Florida. With over 30 years of experience, Mr. Cruz provides individual, couple, family and group counseling. For more information and to book an appointment, go to www.mftcfl.com.


TELE-THERAPY
Edmond Dubreuil LCSW, from the Community Mental Wellness Center, Sun City Center. I would like to inform you due to the Corona Virus I now offer tele-conferencing sessions from the safety  of your home. This service is approved by your insurance provider. If you need support during these trying time please contact me and we can set up an appointment. If you are interested please call or text my at 813-777-9777 or email me at edubreuil @tampabay.rr.com.   


WEST COAST FLORIDA MENTAL WELLNESS COALITION
Like the Crisis Center, a new alliance of local agencies that helps people with mental health issues and addictions is seeing an uptick in inquiries during the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit West Central Florida Mental Wellness Coalition is comprised of almost 30 hospitals, government and law enforcement agencies, health-care groups, schools, businesses, and others with interests in mental health in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Polk counties. It formed in 2019 so members with mental health expertise in specific areas could get a collective, big-picture view.  The Coalition is braced for a surge of inquiries, especially as people assess their circumstances as a result of the coronavirus. “Coming out the other side will be the big challenge,” says Carrie Zeisse, the Coalition’s president and CEO.  Email the Coalition at info@wcf-mwc.org.




SAFETY AND SCAMS TO BE AWARE OF:




REMINDER, DUE TO AN INCREASED NUMBER OF THEFTS, SCC residents are asked to keep their garage doors secured, to lock their car and house doors and make sure personal items are out of sight.


AVOIDING CORONAVIRUS SCAMS FROM THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU:
https://www.bbb.org/council/coronavirus/


SCAMS AGAINST VETERANS - There have been reports of individuals fraudulently posing as VA employees and who are contacting patients in an attempt to collect medical supplies and equipment, particularly items used for personal protection like rubber gloves and masks.  
VA would NEVER contact patients and ask them to return supplies and equipment after issuance of such items. If you or a Veteran you know are being targeted by this type of fraudulent activity, please contact the VA Office of the Inspector General.  You can submit a complaint 24/7 by visiting www.va.gov/oig/hotline. You can also report concerns via telephone by calling 1-800-488-8244, on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m


HCSO Community Resource Officer Deputy Jeff Merry who continues to be watching over the safety of our Sun City Center residents.  He has asked that the following scams be communicated with your staff, clients & patients:
1. Phone calls about the stimulus checks in an attempt to get the victim's bank account information.  It begins by saying they are the Treasury and they need to direct deposit the money.  
2. There are people going door to door claiming to be with Homeland Security and offering at-home testing.  This is a Medicare scam and the cons charge Medicare thousands of dollars for non existing Medicare services.  




SOMETHING TO DO WHILE SAFER-AT-HOME:




NEED SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO? HOW ABOUT A CALL FROM A FRIEND?
Seniors in Service offers free TelePals program for area seniors. Imagine living alone and having no one to talk with, no one with whom you can share your thoughts and feelings, no one even to validate your existence. Seniors in Service started a program called TelePals to address these issues by having volunteers call to check in and connect in real time over the phone. “Just having another human being say, ‘Hey, you matter,” can make such a difference for isolated, homebound seniors,” said Robin Ingles, Seniors in Service CEO. “Helping seniors age with dignity, particularly low-income elders, demands urgent attention, and now with COVID-19, it’s even more complex. “It’s easy to underestimate the danger of isolation,” she continued. “Loneliness in seniors eclipses obesity and even smoking in factors contributing to rapid decline”. TelePals was made possible by $20,000 in grants Seniors in Service received from the United Way, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and Community Foundation of Pinellas. The new program also got a boost when it promoted a match campaign sponsored by Suncoast Credit Union that brought in an additional $12,000 in public donations. “I got a call from a woman in Sun City Center several years ago who told me her greatest fear was she would pass in the night and no one would know to take care of her dog,” recalled Wilma Norton, vice president of community connections for the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, to illustrate the feelings of those without connection. “Isolation in seniors was already an issue before COVID-19, and the pandemic has compounded it.
“Anything we can do to help combat this issue is incredibly impactful,” she said.
The free program is working. Thus far, about 100 seniors have signed up to receive calls and about 150 volunteers have raised their hands to make calls. Riverview resident Carmen Bennett has been hearing from a woman named Lauren for the past three or four weeks, she said. “I very much appreciate her calling me,” she said. “I just love her. We have very good, two-way conversations.”  Bennett, 79, feels the TelePals program is of great benefit to her. “It helps those of us who live alone to have someone to talk to. I look forward to her call every Tuesday.”  According to the Seniors in Service website, volunteer callers are trained to ask considerate questions, communicate cheerfully about interests, check on the client’s well-being and refer concerns to expert resources. And they often get as much out of it as the people they contact. Ed Datz became a TeleVolunteer five weeks ago and currently has one TeleClient. The retired executive said he volunteered because he wants to spend his time doing things that do some good. “There’s a crisis for seniors in terms of loneliness, alienation and a need to connect,” said Datz, 70. That’s always been true but now more than ever. “I thought, ‘Wow, these people need to be called." The homebound man Datz presently calls is 83 years old. “We just shoot the breeze,” he said. “We talk about his life, his marriage, his kids…things like that. “He’s always so grateful for my call.” Datz said being a TeleVolunteer takes little time and yields big results. “It really does changes lives,” he said. For information on becoming a TeleClient or to sign up as a TeleVolunteer, visit www.telepalnow.org or call Lily Q. at 813-932-5228, ext. 292. A free sex-offender check will be made online by Seniors in Service to protect both parties. Copied from Observer News, wrotten by Lois Kindle


FROM THE FIREHOUSE CULTURAL CENTER: Until We Can Be Together
Write your experiences, your feelings to purge your COVID stress. Please send your poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction to our new on-line Creative Writing Project - The Covid-19 Pandemic. 
We believe writing helps us cope with stress, improves our mental and our physical health, and benefits both the reader and the writer through  sharing of thoughts--fearful and funny.   The on-going crisis we are currently experiencing will pass, but for now we hope you will use this outlet to get your creative juices flowing. 
So here are a few ground rules: 
1.  Submit your work to:  info@firehouseculturalcenter.org
2.  There are no word limits, but the topic must be Covid-19 related.
3.  Editing will be limited, but gratuitously colorful language will of necessity be deleted. 
The prompt to get you started is:  How I Feel about Covid-19. Editor: Ann Mohin is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, poet & playwright.  Her play, The Farm She Was, was adapted from her New York Times Notable Book &  produced at The Palace Theater in Hamilton, NY. In Washington D.C. was a publishing editor for ten years. Who divides her time between upstate New York & Florida.




VETERANS INFO AND RESOURCES:




TRANSPORTATION FOR VETERANS
Veterans Ride Free to Appointments During COVID-19
The Florida Veterans Foundation today announced its partnership with Uber to create the ‘Veterans Ride Program’ for Florida Veterans who may have limited transportation options when trying to keep essential medical appointments during coronavirus. The program will be overseen by the Foundation who has partnered with The VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8) which includes all VA facilities around the state of Florida.  “This is a profound gesture on the part of Uber to recognize the importance of helping transportation disadvantaged Veterans getting to and from their appointments especially during these difficult times,” said Lew Wilson, President, Florida Veterans Foundation.  Visit www.HelpFLVets.org for a map of participating Florida VA facilities only. Veterans interested in participating in the program can contact their local VA facility in Florida to receive an Uber code.  Each trip is limited to a $25 value and the supply of free rides is limited to the first one thousand trips. The free ride codes will be issued to Veterans on a case by case basis by each local VA facility after a brief evaluation.  For Veterans who do not have an Uber app, they may dial 1-833-USE-UBER, where the rider will be paired with a live team member that confirms the trip request, provides an upfront price quote (which would be free up to $25 using the free code), and uses the same marketplace technology powering the Uber app to help find a ride. To use this feature, one will need an SMS or text-based mobile phone to receive important messages about the ETA, the driver’s license plate details, and the driver’s name. Riders continue to receive messages before and during the trip, and once it concludes, will receive a trip receipt. There is no extra charge for using this service, though carrier message and data rates may apply.
 
VETERANS UPDATE FOR SOHI/Riverview Clinic patients
From George Denby Section Chief SOHI Clinic in an update to Bill Hodges:
So far, SOHI is still open for appointments, but no one under 18 can enter the building and patients can only have one escort with them
Many of our services have stopped right now, -NO Audiology, NO Podiatry, NO Pulmonary unless scheduled or CPAP issue, NO Prosthetics, 
We have sent all of our Volunteer staff home until further notice. There are many more updates and they are changing by the minute.
God speed and be careful,
George L. Denby, Jr
Section Chief (HAS)
South Hillsborough (SOHI) VA Clinic


NO PLACE TO GO? HOW ABOUT A RADIO SHOW?
INSTRUCTIONS: HOW TO LISTEN TO VETERANS CORNER RADIO SHOW: HOW TO LISTEN TO A PODCAST – VETERANS CORNER RADIO PROGRAMS.
WHEN USING AN ANDRIOD PHONE OR TABLET(ANYTHING OTHER THAN IPHONE)
1. Go to the Google Play Store in your Apps, Type in to the search bar (small magnifying glass) Google Podcasts. When it comes up click on it and then install.
2. Once Google Podcasts is open on the search bar, search for Veterans Corner Radio.
3. When Veterans Corner Radio comes up in the search click on it.
4. Once it is on your screen click on the subscribe button and it will notify you of any new shows.
5. While there click on one of the shows and start listening.
WHEN USING AN IPHONE OR APPLE  TABLET
1. Apple products come preloaded with the podcast button. It is purple and looks like a bullseye and is in your apps.
2. Click on the button and a search page will appear. 
3. Type in Veterans Corner Radio and it will bring the podcast back to you. Click on the Veterans Corner Radio logo.
4. Once it is on your screen click on the subscribe button and it will notify you of any new shows.
5. While there click on one of the shows and start listening. (Send comments to Bill@billhodges.com)




FUTURE POST COVID-19 FEATURED EVENTS! SAVE THE DATE!


Veteran's Ongoing Event


Since Veterans are our Country's Caregivers by providing us with our freedom, it is only right that we preserve their memories for future generations. From philosopher George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."


With this thought in mind, Sun Towers Retirement Community along with the American Red Cross and The Library of Congress will be capturing the memories of Veterans to be preserved for all time on the website of the Library of Congress. 

If you are a veteran, please contact Sun Towers to schedule your appointment in order to have your account of your military history preserved. This recording will take place on the third Friday of each month from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and will take approximately 45 minutes for each Veteran so appointments are nexessary and may be made by calling Sun Towers at 813-634-3347.

For more information, please visit: http://www.loc.gov/vets/ 

  
Warmest regards,

 

Debbie Caneen

Director of Admissions

Sun Towers Retirement Community

101 Trinity Lakes Drive

Sun City Center, FL 33573

813-892-2990

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