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Hillsborough again requiring masks in government buildings as cases rise

The directive applies to employees and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
Hillsborough County Center, located at 601 E Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa.
Hillsborough County Center, located at 601 E Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa. [ Times ]
Published Dec. 28, 2021

Citing rising coronavirus case numbers, Hillsborough County is again requiring face masks in all county facilities, regardless of a person’s vaccination status.

The county directive, effective beginning Wednesday, would apply to both employees and visitors at county buildings, including libraries, recreation centers and the county government center.

“The measure is being taken as a precaution for the health and safety of county employees as well as residents,” the county said in a news release.

Hillsborough had previously dropped the mask requirement in November, although it still encouraged facial coverings.

Florida last week reported a 323 percent increase in coronavirus cases from the week before amid a surge in cases in the midst of the holiday season and the arrival of the omicron variant.

Hillsborough last week had a coronavirus test positivity rate of 10.8 percent, a significant jump from the 4.3 percent positivity rate the week before.

Two-thirds of the county’s eligible residents have been vaccinated.

• • •

How to get vaccinated

The COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 and up and booster shots for eligible recipients are being administered at doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, grocery stores and public vaccination sites. Many allow appointments to be booked online. Here’s how to find a site near you:

Find a site: Visit vaccines.gov to find vaccination sites in your zip code.

More help: Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline.

Phone: 800-232-0233. Help is available in English, Spanish and other languages.

TTY: 888-720-7489

Disability Information and Access Line: Call 888-677-1199 or email DIAL@n4a.org.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

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BOOSTER SHOTS: Confused about which COVID booster to get? This guide will help.

BOOSTER QUESTIONS: Are there side effects? Why do I need it? Here’s the answers to your questions.

PROTECTING SENIORS: Here’s how seniors can stay safe from the virus.

COVID AND THE FLU: Get a flu shot and the COVID vaccine to avoid a ‘twindemic.’

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