From the City Manager

Update #2

March 25, 2020

Dear Oviedo Neighbors,

It has now been about two weeks since the first presumptive positive case was identified in Seminole County. In that time, we have seen sweeping, sometimes shocking, changes in our lives. Empty shelves at supermarkets and news from both here and abroad instill feelings of anxiety in even the most steadfast of us. However, anxiety and fear need not rule the day. The situation we find ourselves in is perilous, but the outcome is not fixed. We have in ourselves, the power to directly affect the end result of this circumstance.

To further this point, the City of Oviedo has limited access to all public buildings to staff only. City operations and services are commencing in a capacity as close to normal as possible, and City operators are available to assist you at 407-971-5555.

Indoor recreation and pool facilities, Oviedo Sports Complex, Shane Kelly Park, and Riverside Park remain closed.  Additionally, out of an abundance of caution, the City will close public access to playground equipment at all parks. However, greenspace will remain open to the public. As everyone is feeling the stresses of our self-imposed restrictions, we should all take time to focus on our mental and physical wellbeing. In hopes of providing some activities we can participate in together while practicing social distending, the Recreation and Parks Department has recently begun a series of fitness challenges to residents, as well as activities that may be shared via social media. Please consider following them on Facebook @oviedorecnparks or on twitter @oviedorecnpark to see their next great idea on how we can be alone together.

Water bill payments may be dropped off in the utility payment box (please no cash) in front of City Hall, may be made via telephone at 407-971-5535, or may be made online at http://cityofoviedo.net/137/Online-Payments. If you have questions, Utility Customer Service may be reached by phone at 407-971-5535 or via email at customercare@cityofoviedo.net.

Development Services is continuing to conduct business and has created physical drop boxes for Building Permits, Development Review, Planning, Zoning, and Business Tax Receipts. The boxes will reside outside the building with detailed signage showing what should be placed in the boxes and listing appropriate contact numbers should you have questions.

The City will keep monitoring the latest on the Coronavirus and continue to share important updates from our County, State, and Federal partners and adjust our operations as the information is disseminated. For at your fingertip updates, text COVID19INFO to 888777 to opt into Seminole County’s text alert system. Or you can visit the following websites for more information.

Remember, practicing personal health and hygiene actions are vital in preventing the spread of respiratory viruses. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then discard the tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home.
  • Practice social distancing.

Lastly, please remember to stay vigilant, adapt and continue to be kind to one another. 

Sincerely,

The City of Oviedo

Bryan Cobb
City Manager
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Update #1

March 18, 2020

Dear Oviedo Neighbors,

Over the past month, our everyday lives have been disrupted in ways not known in the United States since the Second World War. The increasing impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) have turned the excitement of spring break and family vacations to feelings of apprehension of what may come next. Throughout this time, City officials have been hard at work with Seminole County Emergency Management and the Florida Department of Health, to monitor the COVID-19 situation as it develops. 

As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Seminole County now has ten (10) confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 identified. The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are analyzing the results of the presumptive positive cases, which will move to "confirmed cases" once validated. In response, the Oviedo Emergency Operations has elevated to Level 2, partial activation, and will continue to work with State and Local agencies to share information and best practices. 

Recently, the CDC advised individuals to protect themselves by:

  • Washing hands for 20 seconds after using the restroom, after coughing and after sneezing.
  • When unable to wash hands, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. 
  • Use a tissue to cover your mouth during coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you do not have a tissue, please cough away from people into your arm. 
  • Wipe down work spaces, the interior of vehicles, hand tools, cell phones, and other commonly touched surfaces with an alcohol-based disinfecting product several times per day.  
  • Practicing common sense social distancing, especially from those who are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness.

If you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as, fever, cough and shortness of breath, isolate yourself and stay in touch with your doctor or a health professional by phone, before you get medical care. If you are symptomatic and experience a medical emergency, call 911 and notify the operator that you have or think you might have COVID-19.

In heading precautionary guidance from the CDC and FDOH, City Staff increased cleaning and sanitizing efforts in all City facilities and has provided disinfectant spray and wipes in all locations. Deep cleaning work is also being conducted throughout the City in hopes of preventing any unnecessary exposure. Additionally, all City public events have been suspended, and the following facilities have been closed until at least May 9, 2020.

  • Oviedo Gym and Aquatic Facility 
  • Oviedo Sports Complex 
  • Riverside Park 
  • Shane Kelly Park (including the Bark Park) 

Seminole County has also canceled all County-sponsored programs, including library story times and classes and the University of Florida IFAS-Seminole County workshops. The Museum of Seminole County History is temporarily closed. All library branches have closed; accrual of late fees will be delayed. All library meeting room reservations have been canceled through March 31, and refunds will be issued. The Friends of the Library Bookstore at the Central Branch is also temporarily closed as well. Seminole County parks, trails, and wilderness areas remain open at present. No further rentals for a sports field or meeting space will be made at this time.

Many of our residents will be impacted financially by the preventative measures being taken across the City, State, and Nation. As such, the Oviedo Utilities Department will cease any water disconnects for non-payment and will not charge late fees until further notice. Residents will still be billed as usual for usage and accumulate charges to their account. Customers should pay whatever they can to minimize cost accrual. 

Additionally, the City of Oviedo will be suspending walk-in, face-to-face utility payments. Payments may be dropped off in the utility payment box in front of City Hall, be made via telephone at 407-971-5535, or be made online at http://cityofoviedo.net/137/Online-Payments. If you have questions, utility customer service may be reached by phone at 407-971-5535 or via email at customercare@cityofoviedo.net. The emergency on-call utility line remains staffed at 407-971-5675. 

Several utility and communications service providers have notified the City that they remain committed to serving our citizens and will be making accommodations to those affected by the COVID-19. If you do not see a provider on this list, please visit their website to confirm their response to the COVID-19 effects.

  • Duke Energy will not disconnect any customer’s service for non-payment, to give customers experiencing financial hardship extra time to make payments. The company will continue to read meters and send bills. Customers should pay what they can to avoid building up a large balance that will be harder to pay off later.
  • Florida Power and Light stated that it would suspend service cut-offs for overdue bills until the end of March. 
  • AT&T has stated that they will not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone, or broadband residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19. 
  • Sprint will not terminate service for the next 60 days to any small business or residential customers who are unable to pay their bill and will be waving late fees due to the effects of the COVID-19.
  • T-Mobile will ensure residential and small business owners with financial impacts do not lose service.
  • Charter Communications will offer FREE Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Additionally, Charter Communications will also open its Wi-Fi hotspots across our footprint for public use.

To assist Oviedo Businesses, Governor DeSantis announced an activation of the Small Business Bridge Loan Program to assess and assist with the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. Qualified small businesses with two to 100 employees affected by COVID-19 can apply for loans up to $50,000 for one-year terms. To be eligible, a business must be located in Florida, have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic injury as a result of the virus. To complete a bridge loan application by the May 8, 2020 deadline and for more information about the program, please visit www.floridadisasterloan.org.

The Florida Attorney General’s Office has activated the Price Gouging Hotline for all consumers in the state. Concerned residents with price gouging issues should call 1-866-9NO-SCAM to make a report. Commodities currently covered by price gauging laws include protective masks, sanitizing items, and disinfectants.

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) announced all school districts will close until April 15, 2020. Extracurricular activities have also been suspended. For more information on Seminole County Public School (SCPS) closures, please visit https://www.scps.k12.fl.us/. SCPS will also offer free student meals starting on March 23rd through March 27th from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the car in the car loop of each of the following schools: 

  • Casselberry Elementary (1075 Crystal Bowl Circle, Casselberry, FL 32707)
  • English Estates Elementary (299 Oxford Road, Fern Park, FL 32730)
  • Midway Elementary (2368 Brisson Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771)
  • Pine Crest Elementary (405 W. 27th Street, Sanford, FL 32773)
  • Spring Lake Elementary (695 Orange Avenue, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714)
  • Wicklow Elementary (100 Placid Lake Drive, Sanford, FL 32773)
  • Winter Springs Elementary (701 W. S.R. 434, Winter Springs, FL 32708)

Any child up to the age of 18 may access free meals at any of the above sites. 

This is a rapidly evolving situation. To stay up to date on the most up-to-date information or find helpful tips on how to help protect yourself, please visit the following websites.

  • Prepare Seminole at Prepareseminole.org
  • The Florida Department of Health at Floridahealth.gov
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at CDC.gov

For more specific questions the Florida of Department of Health has established the COVID-19 Call Center, which is available 24/7 at 1(866)779-6121 or via email COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

The Seminole County Citizen’s Information Line (CIL) has also been activated to address questions and concerns from area residents. The CIL is staffed with personnel from Seminole County and the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County to ensure residents receive the most accurate information. The hours of operations are Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 407-665-0000. Residents are encouraged to text COVID19INFO to 888-777 to opt-in for COVID-19 alerts from Seminole County Emergency Management. 

If you have questions on how you might help, Heart of Florida United Way 211 Information and Referral Crisis Line is connecting with residents to share information about available resources. Including locations of nearest food pantries, crisis mental health services, and more. The service is provided 24/7, 365 days a year. Translation services are available around the clock. Residents can connect by dialing 2-1-1 from a phone, texting their zip code to 898211, or by chatting online at www.HFUW.org/Chat. 

Seminole County Emergency Management’s community partners, Harvest Time International and Christian Sharing Center, continue to help our community’s most vulnerable individuals. Both organizations kindly accept monetary donations to continue to provide services to those in need. If you have a preferred local charitable organization or faith based group, please contact them to see if they are working to assist with the effects of COVID-19.

This is an extremely stressful situation for everyone. We are all feeling a much higher level of emotion and anxiety during these trying times. Your City Council and City Staff are working diligently to address the challenges associated with COVID-19. We also understand that business as usual is not an option right now. Patience is truly a virtue. We must all remember to be kind to one another, as we are all in this together. It is in times like this that the Oviedo community spirit will prevail. 

Sincerely,

The City of Oviedo

Bryan Cobb
City Manager