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Coronavirus Information

Coronavirus Information

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The City of Ocala is committed to the health and safety of the citizens of Ocala and Marion County.  The City is currently working with state and local health departments, along with Marion County officials to navigate the evolution of the Coronavirus situation. 

We have implemented measures to ensure proper sanitation occurs in our city buildings, especially those where the public is welcomed.   

The following offices will reopen Monday, May 18, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. City staff located in these buildings continue to be available by phone, 352-629-2489, or via email listed below. 

City Offices Currently Reopened to the Public

  • City Hall, 110 SE Watula Ave. 
    • Office of the Mayor  
    • City Manager’s Office, CMO@ocalafl.org 
    • City Clerk’s Office, Clerk@ocalafl.org 
    • Human Resources/Risk Management, HRRisk@ocalafl.org   
    • Procurement, Vendors@ocalafl.org  
  • Ocala Electric Utility, OEU@ocalafl.org  
  • Ocala Fire Rescue Administration, Fire@ocalafl.org  
  • Ocala International Airport Terminal, Airport@ocalafl.org  
  • Public Works, pubworks@ocalafl.org  

The following offices will be open with restricted access to the public beginning Monday, May 18.  Visitors must schedule an appointment before coming to city offices or staff can be reached by phone or email listed below.  Walk-in services will be unavailable.

  • Community Development Services, CommunityDevelopment@ocalafl.org 
    • Community Programs:  352-629-8231 
    • Economic Development:  352-629-8381 
    • Office of Homeless Prevention:  352-401-2822
  • Cultural Arts, 352-629-8447
  • Engineering, 352-351-6772 
  • Growth Management, gmd@ocalafl.org  
    • Code Enforcement, 352-629-8309 
    • Permitting, 352-629-8421
    • Building, 352-629-8421 
    • Planning, 352-629-8421 
  • Ocala Fiber Network, 352-401-6900   
  • Recreation and Parks Administration, 352-368-5517 
  • Water Resources, 352-351-6772 

Do you have City related questions?  Customer service representatives will be available by phone at 352-629-2489, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

In addition to this resource page, please visit our social media pages for updates.

City of Ocala Facebook

City of Ocala Twitter

 


 

Florida Department of Health 

If you have questions about the Coronavirus, the Florida Department of Health has established a hotline to answer questions:  1-866-779-6121.

The Florida Department of Health has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about COVID-19.

Need to know how to prepare for the Coronavirus? Here's a checklist to get ready.

Marion County Citizen Information Line

The Marion County Citizen Information Line has been activated and will remain active and staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7-days a week until it is determined it is no longer needed. 

This line is to field all non-medical phone calls related to COVID-19. All medical calls will be referred to Marion County Health Department COVID -19 Hotline at 352-644-2590. 

Federal Program Information 

Need more information about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act? The CARES Act establishes new programs and processes throughout various federal agencies. Senator Rick Scott has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the new economic relief program.

 


 

UPDATES

Public Meetings

Due to recommendations for limiting public gatherings, on April 7 the City of Ocala began conducting the regularly scheduled Ocala City Council meetings through a virtual forum.  Following Governor DeSantis’ announcement for Florida’s Phase One Reopening plan, City leaders determined in person City Council meetings should resume, with limited seating and enhanced protocols in place. These meetings will continue to be available through the virtual forum until further notice.  
 
As the city begins its phased-in approach to opening public buildings, the Ocala City Council will return to council chambers beginning Tuesday, May 19, 5 p.m. at City Hall, 110 SE Watula Ave. Council members and staff will continue to observe the six feet physical distancing rules, and members of the public will be asked to maintain six feet physical distancing within the audience. Presenters making public comment at the podium are strongly encouraged to wear a mask and not touch the podium when speaking.

For a full list of meetings and their agendas: Click here.

Note: Zoom links will be listed in the top left corner of each individual meeting agenda

Access to audio recordings can be found here:  Meeting and Agendas

In an effort to accommodate all interested parties wishing to participate in the upcoming Ocala City Council Meetings, the public may utilize the following updated options for contributing to the meeting:   
 
Email 
 
If a participant would like to submit questions in advance of the city council meeting, they may do so no later than 3:00 pm, on the day of the city council meeting at Citycouncil@ocalafl.org. 
 
In-person 
 
The City will limit seating based on current social distancing guidelines, which requires six feet in between seats.  Seats will be available on a first come, first served basis until safe maximum capacity is reached. Capacity limits will be as follows: 24 visitors in council chambers, ten visitors in the secondfloor lobby, and ten visitors in the downstairs lobby of City Hall to view the meeting via television monitors. If participants want to make a verbal comment during the city council meeting, they must be present on the second-floor lobby or in the council chambers; otherwise, they will be able to submit a question or comment via the Q & A feature in the Zoom meeting. 
 
Alternatively, the City will provide a large projection screen with audio capabilities at the Ocala Downtown Market, 310 SE Third Street. The City will accommodate any attendees; however, any persons exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to enter the premises. Those attending at this location will be able to view the live meeting. 
 
Online 
 
To ask a question or make a comment via computer, laptop, or smartphone:  
 
Online participants will not be able to make verbal comments; however, they will be able to utilize the Q & A feature to post a question or comment. 
 
-Visit the Zoom website to download and install the Zoom software. 

-After installing Zoom, you will be prompted to launch the application.

-The link to the Zoom meeting is located on the City Council Agenda under Meeting Information.

-Enter first and last name in the “your name” field.  

-Enter the email address in the appropriate field; click join.  

-A prompt will appear to join with computer audio or to dial in via telephone for audio. 

-Use the “RAISE HAND” icon to provide public comments and enter the question or comment in the Q & A section of the chat.  

Ocala Electric Utility

The City of Ocala Municipal Services temporary no disconnect policy will expire Monday, June 15.  The disconnection policy for past due balances resumes Tuesday, June 16. Customers having trouble paying their utility bill, for any reason, must contact a service representative to make necessary payment arrangements.   

Payments can be made at any self-service kiosk, City of Ocala website, Fidelity Express, Western Union, Amscot, and MoneyGram locations. Additional payment options and other online tools such as residential start and stop service, residential service transfers, and payment extensions can be found at www.ocalafl.org. Payments can also be made via the automated phone system at 844-286-1785.

As the disconnection policy goes into effect on June 16, the City warns customers to be suspicious of callers demanding immediate payment using any prepaid card, debit or credit card, or wire transfer. Never share personal or financial information with anyone that calls or emails you. Never meet a stranger in person to make a payment. If you believe there is a problem with your account call the City of Ocala Municipal Services Customer Service at 352-629-2489.

Payments can be made using the following resources:

  • Pay My Bill
  • Self-service kiosks
  • Fidelity Express and MoneyGram locations
  • Automated phone system at 844-286-1785

OEU customers will see a 12% reduction in cost on the electric portion of their Municipal Service Statement for the months of May and June. This reduction is due to the lowering of the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA). The PCA is a portion of the electric rate. The PCA is the mechanism by which the fluctuation of fuel costs are adjusted and passed on to the customer. We are able to pass these savings on through June 30, 2020, to help assist customers financially during COVID-19.

The disconnections of services are suspended through June 15, 2020.

Ocala Fiber Network

Customers that are currently utilizing the Ocala Fiber Network can rest assured that we are maintaining a continuous state of operational readiness, security and overall performance on our network.  Ocala Fiber recognizes the potential impact to our customers and their need to stay connected.  Staff will continue to maintain 24/7 support through internet connectivity, which includes managing the increased bandwidth demand. 

 For service questions:

Growth Management 

Citizens needing to utilize the Growth Management Department may use the following sources:

  • Permit applications are available online (portal includes payment of fees)
  • Development plans online submission form
  • Electronic plan reviews are available online 

Questions pertaining to permitting and licensing can be emailed to building@ocalafl.org or call 352-629-8421.

Planning and zoning applications and questions can be emailed to zoning@ocalafl.org.

All inspections are scheduled online or by phone at 352-629-8421.

Community Development Services 

The Community Development department encompasses multiple divisions while serving the public.  These include Economic development, Community programs and Office of Homeless Prevention.  These offices will remain closed to the public until further notice, however, staff may be reached Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by email at CommunityDevelopment@ocalafl.org to schedule an appointment.

Ocala Police Department 

In the effort to reduce exposure of COVID-19, the Ocala Police Department has closed the front desk and lobby to the public. There will no public entry point allowed in police headquarters. All scheduled events in the Community Room have been cancelled until further notice.

Police Public Records Request:

  • By phone, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. - 352-369-7090
  • Email:  opdrecords@ocalapd.org 
  • Online Records Request

To reduce citizen and officer exposure, non-emergency calls will be taken over the phone.  An officer will provide a follow-up call via the phone for all non-emergencies.

All in-person calls for service will be made outside the home or business.  Officers arriving at the scene will ask individuals to adhere to the social distancing guidelines and may ask preliminary health questions to lessen their exposure in high risk situations.

Ocala Fire Rescue

Ocala Fire Rescue is amending protocols and procedures to align with Coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention standards recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). To ensure social distancing and minimize unnecessary interactions, the following measures will be in effect immediately.

All seven fire station remain closed to the public.

Fire incident report requests:

  • By phone, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., 352-629-8306
  • Email:  fire@ocalafl.org
  • Online Records Request
  • Hard-copy requests available at 3001 NE 21st St., a request must be made via phone prior to arrival to minimize outside contact. 

All special details have been cancelled until further notice.

Pre-screening and self-reporting of signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 are in place for all fire personnel.

Ocala Fire Rescue (OFR) has released Community Connect, a pre-planning tool for fire and medical emergencies. Using a secure platform where residents share critical information, OFR aims to increase the rate of successful outcomes during emergent events - including calls arising from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. OFR is encouraging the public to not only register but complete the COVID-19 self-reporting module.

Benefiting from Community Connect is free and easy. City of Ocala residents can visit www.OcalaFire.org, or the Community Connect page, to enroll and take the first step to help stop the COVID-19 spread.

Procurement

The Procurement and Contracting office ensures the City of Ocala receives quality goods and services for the best price, promotes vendor relations, and negotiates, drafts, and executes contracts.  For information, visit bidocala.com or by email at Vendors@ocalafl.org. 

Public Works

Residential and commercial sanitation and recycling collection will continue as scheduled. For general sanitation collection questions, customers are encouraged to call our 24-hour hotline 352-351-6698. For specific sanitation questions, residential customers may call 352-351-6697 and commercial customers 352-351-6740. 

Traffic banner applicants are permitted to pick up and drop-off banners at the front door of the Public Works department office, however, a phone call is requested before arrival.  Customers may call 352-351-6733 or email pubworks@ocalafl.org.

SunTran

SunTran bus systems will resume normal hours of operation beginning Monday, June 1.  Regular service hours are Monday through Saturday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
 
For up-to-date information and to follow bus routes in real time, passengers are encouraged to utilize the live bus tracker available online at https://realtimesuntran.availtec.com/InfoPoint or via the convenient myStop app available for iPhone and Android devices. 
 
The health and safety of SunTran passengers remain a priority.  All passengers are strongly encouraged to wear a cloth face covering, maintain a social distance of six-feet apart (when possible), and use effective hand washing techniques recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 
 
Each bus receives daily cleanings, including disinfecting surfaces. Operators wipe down high touch areas two to four times each shift to maintain a healthy environment. Commercial grade disinfectant is currently being used each night on all in-service buses.

For more information, please contact the SunTran at 352-401-6999 or visit https://www.suntran.org/home

Water Resources Department

The Water Resources Department is continuing to follow all Florida Department of Environmental Protection mandates providing customers safe, high quality drinking water.  If customers have any questions relating to their drinking water quality, need to report a leak or are interested in discovering water conservation practices during this time, they can call 352-351-6772 (24-hours a day).  Additional water information can be found on the Ocala Water Resources department page. 

CLOSURES/CANCELLATIONS/POSTPONEMENTS

Community Facilities

The City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department will begin a phased approach to reopening parks for individual and non-organized sports use within the city limits. The “Safer at Home” order issued by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expires Thursday, April 30, allowing municipalities to begin the reopening process in phases.

Activities such as walking, jogging and bicycling in parks will continue to be allowed, and outdoor activities including basketball courts, volleyball courts, tennis courts, and the Ocala Skate Park will have restrictions lifted under the new governor advisory. The six-feet physical distancing rule and face coverings are recommended in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) directions.

Tennis Facilities:

Effective immediately, public tennis and racquetball courts in parks will allow for doubles play in addition to singles play.  Doubles play will resume at the Fort King Tennis Center.  League play can resume after June 1, subject to sanctioning body approvals.  For information specific to the Fort King Tennis Center, please call 352-629-8453.  

Ocala Skate Park:

Effective immediately, the Ocala Skate Park, 517 NE Ninth St., has lifted all restrictions on skate park use. 

The following city operated facilities remain closed until further notice:

  • Fort King National Historic Landmark Visitors Center, 3925 E Fort King St.  (The park itself remains open)
  • Discovery Center, 701 NE Sanchez Ave. 
  • E.D. Croskey Community Center, 1510 NW Fourth St. 
  • Lillian Bryant Community Center, 2200 NW 17th Pl.

The following City of Ocala splash pads are now open with no restrictions:

  • Lily’s Splash Pad, 2200 NW 17 Pl.
  • Citizens’ Circle Splash Pad, 160 E Fort King St.

Hours of operation are sunrise to sunset daily. 
 
Playgrounds will reopen within the parks; however, families should use caution and be aware of potential risks when using public equipment. Unsanitized playgrounds could contribute to the community spread of COVID-19.  Allowing children to play is an individual and personal decision, however, the City does not have the resources to sanitize playground equipment and we encourage individuals to do that on behalf of children before they play.    

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department at 352-368-5517. 

Letty Towles Dog Park will remain open and fall under the same guidelines as a public park. Visitors should practice the same physical distancing requirements as other public areas. Rangers are monitoring and will address any issues.

The dog park will maintain it's normal business hours which is 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

As a reminder, children under the age of 12 are not permitted inside the dog park. Families with young children (under 12) may take their dog to Jervey Gantt Park, however, all dogs must be on a leash at all times outside the dog park area.

For more information, please call the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department at 352-368-5517.

 

Press Releases

The City of Ocala will continually provide updates via press releases

 

RESOURCES

COVID-19 Toolkit

Florida Department of Health Map

Florida Department of Health Newsroom

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Marion County Government 

Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership

Code Red Alert System

Career Source -Reemployment Assistance

Internet Resources for Low and Fixed Income Household

Central Florida Community Action Agency