COVID-19 Industry Update
April 5, 2021
Pinellas County residents 16 and older can book CDR Maguire Patient Portal appointments and receive the COVID-19 vaccine as of today. Appointments for this week in the Patient Portal are fully booked, but slots are open for next week. To register and book, go here. For minors, a parent or caretaker must create an account with their own information and then select their child when prompted to start a vaccine appointment booking on their behalf. The Patient Portal's call center is at (844) 770-8548 and is open 24/7. The only vaccine approved by the FDA for those under 18 is the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech, which is offered at all sites booked through the Patient Portal. Minors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult or caretaker during their appointment.
Public sites operated by the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) and Pinellas County Government are adding appointments to the Patient Portal as additional shipments are received from the state. Identification and proof of eligibility is required at all sites.
Those who receive the vaccine should keep their vaccination record card in a safe place and take a photo of it for safekeeping. Laminating the card is not recommended as the heat from the process may cause the ink to bleed, making the card illegible. A replacement card may be requested at the site where the vaccine was given but is not guaranteed.
To date, more than 300,000 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Pinellas County, nearly a third of the population.
PINELLAS COUNTY MONITORING EMERGENCY AT MANATEE COUNTY’S PINEY POINT
Pinellas County is closely monitoring an uncontrolled discharge of wastewater and the potential collapse of a reservoir at the Piney Point facility, a former phosphate plant in Manatee County. Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a State of Emergency for Manatee, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties due to the proximity of all three counties to the facility and the threat of the reservoir collapsing. The wastewater is primarily saltwater from the Port Manatee dredge project, mixed with legacy process water and stormwater runoff/rainfall. It is being released into Piney Point Creek which leads into Tampa Bay.
Pinellas County Emergency Management and Public Works, along with Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, are closely monitoring the situation and working with partner agencies. No warnings or advisories are in effect at this time for our beaches or inland waters. No evacuations for flooding or impacts on drinking water are anticipated in Pinellas County. However, the wastewater leak and potential reservoir collapse pose an environmental threat in Tampa Bay, primarily due to the addition of nutrients that can promote harmful algae blooms.
VSPC ELITE EVENTS PROGRAM APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE
As of Thursday, April 1, the FY21-22 Elite Event program application is available. The annual event funding cycle is open for applications through 4 p.m. Friday, April 30. Complete details on the program, including guidelines and event eligibility are here.
NEW EXPEDIA CO-OP CAMPAIGN DEADLINE THURSDAY, APRIL 8
As part of this year’s co-operative advertising efforts, VSPC has rolled out a new effort for lodging partners with Expedia. The campaign includes a St. Pete/Clearwater landing page featuring participating lodging offers, which will be promoted on Expedia.com. There are currently 16 standard tier spots at $2,000 available on a first-come, first-serve basis before the deadline this Thursday, April 8. The campaign will run from May 3-July 21. If interested, complete this form.
CDC SAYS THOSE FULLY VACCINATED CAN TRAVEL DOMESTICALLY
A critical update for the tourism industry came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday: those who are fully vaccinated can safely travel within the U.S. The CDC still recommends fully vaccinated travelers continue wearing a mask, staying 6 feet from others/avoiding crowds and washing/sanitizing hands often.
REGISTER NOW FOR PINELLAS COUNTY BUSINESS HURRICANE SUMMIT
It's never too early to be prepared for hurricane season. Join us with Pinellas County Emergency Management and Pinellas County Economic Development for the 2021 Business Hurricane Summit. Local businesses are encouraged to participate as we'll focus on evacuation options, the season forecast and disaster preparedness. Register in advance at PCED.org/Summit and we'll see you from 10-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 8.
PINELLAS COUNTY EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM NOW LIVE
Financial help is now available for Pinellas County residents who are falling behind on rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pinellas County Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide financial assistance for individuals and families who have lost their jobs or have had a significant reduction in income due to the pandemic. Funds will cover missed rent payments as well as up to 12 months of future rent costs. With $21.4 million in funding for the program from the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Pinellas County hopes to stabilize housing and provide greater peace of mind to its most vulnerable renters and their landlords.
CREATIVE PINELLAS SEEKING FOUR LOCAL ARTISTS FOR MURAL PROJECTS
Creative Pinellas, in partnership with Pinellas County Public Works and Florida Department of Transportation, is seeking four Pinellas County-based artists to design and paint murals on two Pinellas Trail tunnels located in Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs. There is a $5,000 stipend for each artist and a paint supply budget of up to $1,000 as part of the Pinellas Trail ArtWorks project. Complete information, including application, can be found here.
CELEBRATE 2021 RAYS BASEBALL WITH POCKET SCHEDULES
With the beginning of the 2021 Rays baseball season, are you in need of pocket schedules for your guests or customers? If so, please email Kristin Coryn at [email protected] and VSPC can provide them.
SHUTTERED VENUE OPERATORS GRANT PROGRAM GOES LIVE THIS WEEK
Through the Small Business Association, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant goes live on Thursday, April 8. The program was established through recent Federal aid related to COVID-19 and will provide more than $16 billion in economic relief. FAQs can be found here and a preliminary application checklist here.