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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.   

In-person services have been suspended and customers are asked to conduct business via phone or online channels.  City staff located in these buildings will be available by phone 352-629-2489, or via email listed below, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

City Offices Currently Closed to the Public

  • City Hall, 110 SE Watula Ave. 
    • City Manager's Office, CMO@ocalafl.org 
    • Office of the Mayor 
    • Human Resources and Risk Management, HRRisk@ocalafl.org 
    • City Clerk, Clerk@ocalafl.org 
    • Procurement, Vendors@ocalafl.org
    • Budget, THaslam@ocalafl.org 
    • Pension, RetireesCorner@ocalafl.org 
    • Public Information Officer, ADobbs@ocalafl.org  
  • Citizens Service Center, 201 SE Third Ave.
    • Customer Service Center, OEU@ocalafl.org 
    • Community Development Services, CommunityDevelopment@ocalafl.org 
    • Growth Management, GMD@ocalafl.org 
  • Engineering 
  • Ocala Police Department Lobby
  • Ocala Fire Rescue Administration
  • Ocala Fire Museum
  • All seven City of Ocala Fire Stations
  • Ocala Fiber Network, Telecom@ocalafl.org 
  • Ocala Electric Utility, OEU@ocalafl.org 
  • Ocala International Airport Terminal 
  • Water Resources

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

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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.

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Small Business Administration 

Join Congressman Ted Yoho for a conference call with the Small Business Administration.  Is your business applying for Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program?

Congressman Yoho's office is opening the phone lines for local businesses to ask questions or express concerns about the programs.

Join the Congressman along with two professional SBA staff members and their DC team to help you work through any issues you may be having with your application.

Thursday, April 9th | 4:30 pm | Call 888-460-0109

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UPDATES

Public Meetings

Due to recommendations for limiting public gatherings, the City of Ocala will conduct the regularly scheduled CRA and Ocala City Council meetings through a virtual forum. Future meetings occurring during the State of Emergency issued in response to the spread of COVID-19, will be conducted online with no physical attendance permitted in council chambers at City Hall.

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

Want to know how to participate in a public meeting? Click here

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

Ocala Electric Utility

The City of Ocala recognizes the financial impact of COVID-19 on our customers and believes that no one should lose service during this critical time. We have temporarily suspended service disconnections for the next 30 days and will reevaluate the policy and timeframe as the situation develops. While billing for usage will continue during this time, we are committed to the reliability of essential services to all our residential and business customers.

The decision to suspend service disconnections will go into effect Monday, March 16.

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

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.

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.

Ocala Fire Rescue's administration building, the Ocala Fire Museum, and all seven fire station are 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

Our SunTran bus systems remains operational for citizens relying on transportation to work and to pick up supplies needed for home. 

Bus services at the downtown bus station will begin at 7:10 a.m. and end at 6:50 p.m.  This includes the green, purple, blue, orange and yellow service routes. Service on the red route, departing from the Marion County Health Department, will now begin at 7:43 a.m. and end at 7:23 p.m.

Beginning April 6,  additional safety measures will be implemented to encourage responsible social distancing on all SunTran buses. 

  • Temporary waiver on collection of fares
  • Rear door only boarding and exiting the bus
  • Only passengers with accessibility/mobility issues may request use of the front door to access the ramp
  • SunTran will reduce the number of seats by 50% on each bus 

SunTran is actively responding to health protocols and will continue to adapt to the needs of employees and passengers. Each bus receives daily cleanings, which includes 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 has closed community facilities in the interest of public health and safety caused by the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The following recreation facilities will close until further notice.

  • Eighth Avenue Activity Center, 830 NE Eighth Ave.
  • Barbara Washington Adult Activity Center, 210 NW 12th Ave.
  • Fort King National Historic Landmark Visitors Center, 3925 E Fort King St.
  • Discovery Center, 701 NE Sanchez Ave.
  • Citizens’ Circle Splash Pad, SE Osceola Ave.
  • Lillian Bryant Splash Pad, 2200 NW 17th Pl.
  • Ocala Skate Park, 517 NE Ninth St.
  • E.D. Croskey Community Center, 1510 NW Fourth St.
  • Lillian Bryant Community Center, 2200 NW 17th Pl.

The following public park amenities will close until further notice.

  • Basketball courts
  • Tennis courts
  • All athletic fields, including volleyball courts
  • Pavilions
  • Playgrounds
  • Public restrooms in public parks

City of Ocala public parks will remain open during this time; however, playground areas will be closed until further notice. Citizens are encouraged to practice social distancing and implement “Best Practices for Play” when bringing families to public parks. If you must go to the park, avoid high traffic areas that may heighten your risk for exposure when interacting with others.

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.

The Fort King Tennis Center will continue to have open court play, however, USTA has cancelled all adult and youth tennis programs. Additional leagues and programs are currently being evaluated.

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

Events 

Due to the increased concern of large public gatherings, all City sponsored events have been postponed or cancelled until further notice.  Stay tuned for additional updates as they become available.

Postponed: 

April 4:  Eggstravaganza Paws Hunt

April 4 & 5:  Shakespeare in the Fort

April 11:  Brick City Beer Festival 

April 17:  Levitt Amp

April 18:  Guns & Hoses 

April 24:  Levitt Amp 

April 25:  Earthfest 

April 27 - Spring Senior Fishing Derby

 

Cancelled:

April 3:  First Friday Art Walk

April 10: After Dark in the Park Movie

April 25:  Earthfest

April 25:  Mayor's Spring Clean-Up

 

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