Gainesville updates residents on COVID-19 status

City Service Updates

City Hall and other city facilities are closed to the public until further notice. Exceptions include the Gainesville Police Department lobby, Gainesville Regional Utilities’ main lobby and certain open-air parks and public restrooms. GRU will close its customer lobby at 5 p.m. until further notice, but drive-thru service will maintain normal hours.

Stay-at-Home Order

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Alachua County has issued a stay-at-home order effective March 24 that limits public and private gatherings and closes all non-essential businesses. Questions continue to come in regarding what does and does not qualify as an “essential business.” Please read the order in its entirety. If after reading the language you still need clarity, submit the following form to the county here.

Trash pickup remains on schedule

Trash and recycle pickup remains on its normal schedule until further notice. Working closely with our contractor Waste Corporation of America (WCA), the City of Gainesville’s Public Works Department has organized staggered shifts for field workers to protect or community builders while maintaining continuity of this critical services. Please note that solid waste services, offered through the county, has discontinued acceptance of bulk and hazardous waste items, until business as usual resumes.

City of Gainesville procurement webinar

The City of Gainesville has a free, new tool for submitting bids on city purchases valued at less than $50,000. To learn more, join us for a webinar on Tuesday, March 31 at 5:30 p.m. Join the webinar online at or dial in at 1-202-602-1295 (conference ID# 152-106-285). Contact Gayle Dykeman for additional information at or 352- 393-8789.


Check out our COVID-19 FAQs. These are being updated regularly as this situation evolves.

GRU lowering rates and suspending late fees

GRU is suspending all late fees through April 30 and is lowering its Electric Fuel Adjustment and Purchased Gas Adjustment beginning April 1. With this reduction, GRU’s Electric Fuel Adjustment is the lowest it’s been since 2004.The new adjustments will have the following impacts on residential bills:

Residential electric customers using 1,000 kWh per month will see a $3.00 reduction.

Natural gas customers using 25 therms per month will see a $0.75 reduction.

This is the second time in three months GRU has reduced its Electric Fuel Adjustment and Purchased Gas Adjustment. GRU evaluates fuel prices on a month-by-month basis to determine if and when adjustments must be made.

RTS is keeping you moving and keeping you safe!

Our Department of Mobility are proactively helping to stop the spread of COVID-19, while ensuring that this critical service remains available. Several measures have been implemented on our RTS buses to keep our neighbors safe.

 Buses are regularly cleaned with disinfectant, and we’re gearing up to implement high-powered sterilization machines.

A maximum of 20 riders are allowed per bus, with increased frequency at high-traffic areas. Riders now enter and exit through the rear door to protect our drivers. Ridership continues to decline.

Last week’s Telephone Town Hall

On March 18, the City of Gainesville hosted a Telephone Town Hall about COVID-19 with Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe, City Manager Lee Feldman, GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski and Dr. Lisa Chacko. We’ve posted a recording of the event, and it’s available on our website here.

Telephone Town Hall on March 26

This week’s Telephone Town Hall is Thursday, March 26 at 6:45 p.m., where panelists will discuss local updates on coronavirus (COVID-19) and answer questions about the current situation from our neighbors. Featured on the call are Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe, Alachua County Chair Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson, Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Paul Myers, Alachua County Emergency Management Director Hal Grieb and Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Eric Godet. Pre-register your telephone numbers to ensure you will receive a phone call here. Please note, registration closes two hours before the town hall.

2020 Census available

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of changes in all of our lives. One thing that hasn’t changed is the need for all of us to fill out the Census. The 2020 Census is available to take online, by telephone or by mail. Did you know our community lost about $390 million over the last decade due to undercounting? Participation in the 2020 Census is critical.

Register now for a small business round table event online

This Friday there will be a live web event with SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza on COVID-19’s economic impacts and the SBA’s targeted relief efforts for the nation’s small businesses. SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza will join the Small Business Roundtable and CEOs of the leading small business organizations for a discussion on the needs of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners during the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. Administrator Carranza and officials from the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will discuss the economic relief efforts underway and resources available to small business owners. Join us for this important discussion. Registration is limited to the first 3,000 attendees, so don’t wait. Register now to ensure you gain access!

For our Seniors

COVID-19 Scams

Law enforcement is starting to receive calls about scams related to COVID-19. People are calling elderly and promising them COVID-19 tests and asking for personal information. Others are calling and offering stimulus money and asking for bank accounts. Learn more about these scams here.

Federal grants for nutrition services

The Department of Health and Human Services is rolling out grants to states to provide funding for food resources older adults. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law on March 18, provides the additional funding for the nutrition services programs authorized by the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965. These programs provide meals to more than 2.4 million older adults each year, both through home delivery and in places like community centers. The need for these services, particularly home-delivered and packaged meals, has increased as community measures to slow transmission of COVID-19 have closed meal sites and have left many family caregivers unable to assist their older loved ones.

For our Families

Food and Nutrition Resources

More than 1,400 free grab-and-go lunches are available to children under 18 years old throughout Alachua County each day through Friday, March 27. The lunches are available from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. or until the meals are gone. Parents are asked to bring their children to get the meals. You can drive or walk up, but please practice social distancing and do not remain at the distribution sites to eat.

Available in the Gainesville area:

Buchholz High School, 5510 NW 27th Ave.

Cone Park Branch Library, 2801 E. University Ave.

Greater Bethel AME Church, 701 SE 43rd St.

Library Partnership, 912 NE 16th Ave.

Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, 2505 NE Eighth Ave.

Springhill Church, 120 SE Williston Rd.

SWAG Center, 807 SW 64th Terr.

Upper Room Ministries, 3575 NE 15th St.

Pineridge Community Center, 2507 NW 57th Pl.

Phoenix Community Center, 3113-B SW 26th Dr.

If you are over the age of 18 and need access to food or other resources several community agencies are here to help. Here are a few:

United Way of North Central Florida

Bread of the Mighty Food Bank

GRACE Marketplace

Curriculum from the Alachua County Public School System

Alachua County Public Schools have issued its instructional continuity plan (ICP). The ICP intends to help ensure students have access to high-quality learning opportunities at home.

Other Learning Resources

Other Learning Resources 
Several education companies are offering free online courses for students pre-kindergarten to grades six and above. Be sure to check out our online fun section below for other resources! Here are a few:
Community Resources and At-Home Opportunities
Alachua County School Closure ResourcesThis group was created by the Alachua County Council of PTAs (ACCPTA) as a way for families to share information and resources to help each other while school is closed. The group aims to be a positive place for the community to come together to support each other.
Gainesville COVID-19 Mutual Aid: This group is focused on Gainesville helping Gainesville. Are you in need of help or do you want to help? Visit the link. We’re stronger together.
Eat GNV: Gainesville has some terrific restaurants and this group focuses on what we can do now so they will be here after this pandemic is over.
Together we are GNV: The Chamber of Commerce has its COVID-19 resources here, including valuable webinars on emergency loans and resources for small businesses.
Want to help?
Check in with your village… your friends, your family, your neighbors. If you are healthy, offer to run errands for those in your immediate circle that are more vulnerable. Neighbors in need of food, support and other resources are being directed to our local United Way of North Central FloridaGRACE Marketplace and food banks like Bread of the Mighty. Donations to these organizations will go a long way in supporting our community. 
LifeSouth Blood Bank needs donations
Right now, we all have the power to make a difference for our communities. Blood donations have sharply declined, and area hospitals are in need. The need for blood continues, so that surgeries can proceed and patients can receive life-saving transfusions. If you are healthy and able, please find a drive near you or join LifeSouth at a blood donor center. 
Important numbers
Report a compliance issue: 352-955-1818
If you see non-compliance with the current emergency orders, you may report it at 352-955-1818.
COVID-19 testing questions: 352-334-8810
The Alachua County Health Department is hosting a call center for the community to address questions about testing and any concerns with COVID-19. The community call center’s phone number is 352-334-8810. 
Crisis Center Line: 352-264-6789
As we cope with this quickly escalating crisis, and we face significant changes to our day-to-day lives, it is more important than ever that we find ways to connect and build community. Volunteers both locally and from across the country have come forward to make sure that we are able to keep answering the call and be a source of support and information for our community. We encourage people to reach out whenever they feel the need for someone to listen. 
Rumor Control: 311
The 311 Critical Information Line is now staffed by live operators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also now has translation services. Call and inform the operator what language you need, and a translator will be dialed in on the call. 

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