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Tampa city leaders say the county's 'safer-at-home' order has slowed things down

Some models suggest Tampa won’t see COVID-19 peak for another month.

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa’s city leaders, meeting by phone Tuesday, got an update on where things stand.

In some ways, the COVID-19 outbreak and Hillsborough County's “safer-at-home” order have slowed things down.

Police Chief Brian Dugan said so far, people are staying inside and quiet.

“Overall, our calls for service are down,” Chief Dugan said. “Things seem to be going as good as it can go under the circumstances.”

So far, the city has also managed to avoid the sort of strain on supplies and manpower that others have seen when it comes to emergency medical and fire rescue workers.

“We critically monitor calls for service, which has been steady but not overwhelming,” Chief Nick LoCicero told the council. “We manage resource requests for PPE for our rescue needs and will continue to support control procedures for first responders.”

Even the number of calls to the city’s information line, which had been averaging more than 105 calls per day, has dropped off significantly as fewer people seem confused about what the “safer-at-home" order means.

While not over-strained now, Tampa city leaders said they’re concerned about the future demands on human resources and personal protection equipment. 

Their latest models suggest Tampa won’t see COVID-19 peak for another month.

Meanwhile, the demand for relief services In Tampa is growing fast.

Staffers report a large spike I the number of families needing food.

Also, at Hillsborough Hope, a tent city for the homeless which opened Monday, is already full.

RELATED: 'Hillsborough Hope' created in Tampa for homeless to shelter from COVID-19

Tampa’s Deputy Chief Financial Officer Carole Post said 100 occupants have checked in. 

City leaders also want staff to start thinking now about the city’s financial future.

One consideration discussed is the repurposing of community redevelopment dollars to help Tampa’s struggling small businesses instead.

Tampa is also bracing for the likelihood of far less money coming in from tourism, property taxes, business and sales tax.

They’re directing their staff to start looking ahead and crunching the numbers, knowing they will have to tighten their belts in the coming weeks and months to come.

RELATED: Tampa Home Depot donates N95 masks, gloves to local EMS workers

RELATED: 10 ways to help others during the coronavirus pandemic

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