How Tampa Bay’s largest employers are reacting to COVID’s surge

How Tampa Bay's largest employers are reacting to COVID's surge

TAMPA, Fla. – Two days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that fully vaccinated individuals wear masks indoors, a reversal of previous guidelines, President Joe Biden announced that all federal employees should have a COVID-19 vaccine Must receive or wear a mask and have regular COVID tests.


With the federal government being the largest employer in the United States, ABC Action News reached out to the largest employers in the entire Tampa Bay area to see how the updated guidelines and Biden’s announcement would affect them.

Please note: All information is as of Thursday, July 29th.

Advent health

  • Based on scientific evidence, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in reducing both the risk of infection and the spread of the infection to others. As part of our commitment to protecting the health and well-being of our team members, patients, and communities, we strongly encourage all of our team members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, AdventHealth has not prescribed vaccines for our team members.

BayCare health

City group

  • We have updated our mask guidelines “according to the guidelines of the CDC” and communicated with the employees yesterday. There is no mask requirement at office tables or canteens (with social distancing). Masks are required in public areas, elevators, etc. Bank employees continue to wear masks. Currently not considering vaccine mandate.

Hillsborough Community College

  • We obtain our instructions on such matters from the Florida Department of Education as we are covered by the Florida College System.


  • Jabil strongly encourages our employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when they are eligible. Workers who choose to be vaccinated will be compensated for absence from work if they receive the vaccine during their scheduled working hours. In addition, we have offered all authorized Jabil employees on-site vaccinations in several of our facilities.

Johns Hopkins All children

Lakeland Health

  • We continue to strongly encourage our team members to get a COVID-19 vaccine as its effectiveness in fighting the virus is clear. The vaccines are not currently mandatory at Lakeland Regional Health; However, we will continue to evaluate incentives that would encourage team members to get vaccinated. Our team members actively use high-quality personal protective equipment and other safety measures in their work in our medical center and our outpatient locations.

Moffitt Cancer Center

  • The number one priority at Moffitt Cancer Center is the safety of our patients and team members. We are particularly concerned about our immunocompromised cancer patients who may not be able to develop immunity after vaccination, putting them at risk of developing COVID-19 infection. We continue to encourage team members to take the vaccine to protect these patients, themselves, and their families. All staff must wear a mask when caring for patients. All unvaccinated team members must wear a mask at all times on our campus. We are closely monitoring the CDC guidelines and will continue to review our guidelines.

Pasco County Government

  • Pasco County encourages everyone to take all precautions they deem necessary to protect their health. Pasco County is working closely with the Florida Department of Health in Pasco County to monitor COVID-19 in our community. The vast majority of positive cases now affect people who are not vaccinated. As a reminder, vaccines are eligible for anyone who is eligible. Please visit the DOH Vaccine Locator website to find COVID-19 vaccination sites by county or city.

Schools in Pasco County

  • At Pasco County Schools, we don’t plan to require staff – or students – to be vaccinated. We have strongly encouraged all of our staff and students aged 12 and over to get vaccinated. In fact, we ran several events in designated schools and the county office to offer the vaccine for free, and many attended. However, we do not intend to make vaccinations mandatory.

PGT innovations

  • PGT Innovations does not encourage our team members to promote vaccinations; However, we support our team members who would like to be vaccinated by making the vaccine available through our in-house wellness clinic. On April 27th, we held a vaccination event for interested team members and their families where all 55 available vaccines were given. A second event is planned to accommodate the team members and their family members who could not be served at the first event. As we are an essential company, our facilities and offices have been open throughout the pandemic. In early 2020, we implemented many measures to protect the health and well-being of our team members, including adjusting the work environment to allow social distancing, installing thermal imaging cameras to detect elevated body temperatures of people entering our facility, restricting the Visitor access and the promotion of long-distance work opportunities for the corresponding positions. We have also introduced a mandatory mask policy that complies with CDC guidelines and state recommendation. Since these precautionary measures have helped significantly limit our team members’ exposure to the COVID-19 virus while working during the height of the pandemic, we do not consider it necessary that our team members need to be vaccinated in order to work in our facilities to be able to.

District government of Pinellas

  • The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners has not announced any plans or intentions to issue such a policy at this time. Pinellas County has coordinated with the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County to set up multiple vaccination clinics for employees in government locations across the county to make vaccination as easy as possible for employees.

Schools in Sarasota County

  • The district cannot force employees or students to undergo a COVID test, nor can the district force employees or students to share test results. Likewise, the district cannot force employees or students to vaccinate against COVID-19 or inquire about a person’s vaccination status. The local health ministry continues to advise us to introduce social distancing whenever possible. Social distancing cannot be guaranteed and is dependent on the number of students and staff in each location at any given time. We will continue to follow DOH guidelines using current quarantine procedures. Classrooms as well as heavily frequented areas and points of contact will continue to be cleaned regularly, just like last year. Our district has an optional face mask policy – it was discussed and approved by the school committee at their July 13th meeting. approved. At this point, our traditional public schools will be using the new optional face mask policy approved by the school council. In addition, our school management team decided at their July 27th meeting that the policy for optional face masks will be discussed further at their next meeting on August 3rd.

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare

St. Petersburg College

  • Here is a link to our latest COVID update: Our task force meets weekly to monitor any new developments and change our protocols if necessary.

University of South Florida

  • USF strongly recommends vaccines and masks, but they are not required.

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Joseph Hubbard

Joseph Hubbard is a seasoned journalist passionate about uncovering stories and reporting on events that shape our world. With a strong background in journalism, he has dedicated his career to providing accurate, unbiased, and insightful news coverage to the public.

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