Frequently Asked Questions



Is COVID-19 in the Tampa Bay region?

Visit Tampa Bay is actively monitoring Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard for updates on case data for Hillsborough County. Due to rapidly changing data, we recommend checking the dashboard regularly for the latest information on Bay Area cases.


What should I do if I think I have been exposed to COVID-19?

Anyone who thinks they have been exposed should isolate themselves and contact the local health department. They should NOT go to the emergency room or their personal physician. The health department will want to begin the process of tracing potential contacts. Visiting the ER or doctor’s office can potentially expose more people unnecessarily.


What’s the best way to guard against Coronavirus?

State and federal health officials say the best way to avoid exposing yourself to the COVID-19 is: to wash your hands frequently, to avoid touching your face, and to avoid contact with people who are sick.


How does COVID-19 spread?

On its website, the CDC notes that COVID-19 spreads in much the same way as other respiratory infections: through droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, and through touching infected surfaces. Prevention and avoidance follow similar patterns to other respiratory illnesses: contain any coughs or sneezes, monitor yourself for symptoms, and stay home if you feel ill.


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

According to the CDC, the symptoms of COVID-19 are: shortness of breath, a dry cough and a fever. Symptoms can develop 2 days to 2 weeks after exposure.


Should I get tested for COVID-19?

Do you fit any of these categories?
--Have you returned from any international trips or cruises within the last 14 days?

--Have you been in close contact with someone who has returned from an international trip or cruise in the last 14 days?

--Do you have COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath)?


Who’s most at risk of COVID-19?

According to the CDC, people of all ages can be infected by COVID-19. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.


Where should I go for information about COVID-19 and how to protect myself and my family?

The best resources for information regarding the virus are the Florida Department of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


What is Visit Tampa Bay doing to avoid the spread of COVID-19?

As of March 16, Visit Tampa Bay implemented a Work From Home Policy for all staff. Business operations continue as usual, but under guidelines recommended by the CDC.


What does the Safer-at-Home Policy mean?

The Stafer-at-Home order allows people to leave home for exercise (following social distancing protocols), to visit the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor and to do work that is deemed essential under Department of Homeland Security guidelines. Essential businesses are allowed to remain open, along with those that can function under social distancing rules (maintaining a 6-foot distance between people). Click here for more information.


What should I do if I am small business in need of economic assistance?

US Travel Association spelled out the variety of grants, loans and guarantees approved March 27 as part of the federal CARES Act to help companies retain workers and recover financially from disruptions caused by fighting the COVID-19 virus. Click here for a full summary. In addition, Governor DeSantis activated a bridge loan program for business impacted by COVID-19.