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Coronavirus: What you need to know to be ready

From what to stock in your pantry to what workplaces should be doing to prepare, here’s everything you need to know to get prepped for the pandemic.
As the Nude Party performs in the background, Alicia Wilcox, 36, of New York, washes up at a mobile hand-washing station at the Gasparilla Music Festival in Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa on March 7, 2020. The festival and city installed the stations in the wake of the coronavirus’ spread in Tampa Bay and Florida at large. Wilcox said she had no hesitation about traveling to the festival following the cancellations of major festivals like South by Southwest and the Ultra Music Festival, and said as long as you keep clean, there should be no reason to worry. “Wash your freaking hands,” she said. “It’s just practicing hygiene. That’s what it comes down to.”
As the Nude Party performs in the background, Alicia Wilcox, 36, of New York, washes up at a mobile hand-washing station at the Gasparilla Music Festival in Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa on March 7, 2020. The festival and city installed the stations in the wake of the coronavirus’ spread in Tampa Bay and Florida at large. Wilcox said she had no hesitation about traveling to the festival following the cancellations of major festivals like South by Southwest and the Ultra Music Festival, and said as long as you keep clean, there should be no reason to worry. “Wash your freaking hands,” she said. “It’s just practicing hygiene. That’s what it comes down to.” [ JAY CRIDLIN | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Mar. 12, 2020
Updated Mar. 16, 2020

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, it can be difficult — and sometimes confusing — to get information you can trust to make sure you are prepared.

But don’t worry, the Tampa Bay Times is continually working to bring the latest and most accurate information to its readers so everyone can remain as safe and prepared as possible. Here, you will find a collection of Times stories aimed to do just that. And, if you have more questions or concerns, the Times will do its best to get all the information you need and maybe even some you didn’t know you did.

As Tampa Bay hospitals brace for coronavirus, here’s what you’ll face in the ER

Checkpoints, isolation wards and other steps are planned as cases surge. Hospitals urge patients to use telemedicine apps if they can.

How many people in Florida have coronavirus? We’ve tested too few to say.

Some Floridians are frustrated and confused about who can get tested. Much about the disease remains unknown.

Stocking your coronavirus home quarantine kit is like getting ready for a hurricane

What happens if you have to “self-isolate” because of coronavirus? It’s sort of like getting ready for a hurricane. Here’s how to get your emergency kit ready.

Stock up on these foods for your pantry

Foods that should always be in your kitchen, for emergencies and everyday life.

Five things Florida workplaces should be doing now

A rundown of what steps the CDC says employers can take to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading.

To help protect yourself against coronavirus, keep your environment clean — including your phone

Experts say the virus can be killed by most household cleaners.

Help prevent coronavirus by washing your hands to these 20 songs

You could sing “Happy Birthday” twice to measure 20 seconds while scrubbing your hands. Or, you could jam out to Dolly Parton and Gwen Stefani.

As coronavirus hits Florida, so do hoaxes. Here’s what’s false.

Rumors about coronavirus have spread across social media. Learn what’s true in Tampa Bay

How to tell people you don’t want to shake hands

Does coronavirus make it okay to leave people hanging when they offer a handshake?

Got questions about coronavirus testing? Florida has some answers.

A spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis answers questions about how the Department of Health is handling tests for COVID-19.

A coronavirus glossary, from ‘presumptive positive’ to ‘community spread’

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation? What does a mild case look like? And what is social distancing, anyway?

Who needs a doctor in coronavirus fight? Florida lawmakers empower pharmacists, some nurses

But those who voted against the bill said giving responsibility to practitioners who don’t report to the state Board of Medicine was a “real danger to patients.”

Coronavirus: Event cancellations in Tampa Bay

We will update this list as we know more.

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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus guide

Q&A: The latest and all your questions answered.

PROTECT YOURSELF: Household cleaners can kill the virus on most surfaces, including your phone screen.

BE PREPARED: Guidelines for essentials to keep in your home should you have to stay inside.

STOCK UP YOUR PANTRY: Foods that should always be in your kitchen, for emergencies and everyday life.

FACE MASKS: They offer some protection, but studies debate their effectiveness.

WORKPLACE RISK: A list of five things employers could be doing to help curb the spread of the disease.

READER BEWARE: Look out for bad information as false claims are spreading online.

OTHER CORONAVIRUS WEBSITES:

CDC

Florida Department of Health

We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.