Stories about the coronavirus pandemic are free to read as a public service at tampabay.com/coronavirus. If this coverage is important to you, consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Tampa Bay Times at tampabay.com/subscribe.
• • •
A week ago, Pasco County Administrator Dan Biles urged people to take advantage of county parks.
The county announced it is closing all of its parks and nature preserves — except for boat ramps and the Suncoast Trail — effective 8 p.m. Monday.
The county closed its beaches March 20 and shuttered its recreation centers. The county also said all events, activities, youth and adult sports leagues, special event reservations, pavilion rentals, camp/RV grounds, cabin rentals, field reservations and any other reservations at county parks are canceled until May 1.
The county operates 40 parks, according to its web site.
In a March 24 interview, Biles acknowledged the parks are an important outlet for people who are now working from home or otherwise had their life routines upended by the coronavirus pandemic. His comments came after a reporter told him about visitors to Robert J. Strickland Memorial Beach Park in Hudson who didn’t acknowledge the “closed’’ sign, but still practiced social distancing.
“That’s what we want. Maintain a safe distance. And frankly I want people outside. That’s why we left the parks open. We have a lot to offer ... go to a park.’’
That option no longer exits as of 8 p.m. Monday.
County landfill changes
Beginning April 4, Pasco County Solid Waste will be limiting access to both the West Pasco Resource Recovery and the East Pasco Transfer Station.
Only commercial vendors and customers with bagged, household waste will be able to drop off trash. Both locations will accept only the following:
- Residential bagged garbage
- Commercial landscaping yard waste
- Commercial junk removal services
The following non-commercial deliveries will not be accepted:
- Mixed furniture, non-municipal garbage, metal, etc.
- Paint or other household chemicals
- Yard trimmings not delivered by a commercial lawn service or hauler
- Televisions, computer monitors, printers, etc.
- Refrigerators and other large appliances
- Any other non-bagged household garbage
Both the West Pasco Resource Recovery Facility at 14606 Hays Road in Spring Hill and the East Pasco Transfer Station at 9626 Handcart Road, Dade City, are serving more customers than usual, presenting an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure for employees and customers alike.
The county asks customers to store loose household items at home for the time being. For questions or more information about these changes, call: (727) 857-2780.
• • •
Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and Tampa Bay, six days a week
ISOLATED ENTERTAINMENT: Lists of ideas to help entertain yourself and your kids at home
LISTEN TO THE CORONAVIRUS PODCAST: New episodes every week, including interviews with experts and reporters
HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips
We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the 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.