City of Tampa ups its social media game to share coronavirus information and tips

Flag of the state of Florida with burned out hole showing Coronavirus name in it. 2019 - 2020 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) concept, for an outbreak occurs in Florida, USA.
The city's on TikTok.

The city of Tampa is using a full range of social media platforms to reach citizens of all ages on coronavirus updates and tools.

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, the city is also using Instagram, TikTok, Spotify and video public service announcements.

A recent TikTok update shows a series of images of what not to touch to the music of MC Hammer’s 90s hit “Can’t touch this.” The video includes touching no-no’s ranging from door handles and elevator buttons to people’s faces and hands. Another shows two female first responders informing residents that Tampa Fire and Rescue and the Tampa Police Department are still available despite social distancing orders, but encourages people to inform first responders if they or anyone in their home has been potentially exposed to the virus or if anyone is showing symptoms of potential respiratory illness.

TikTok is a social media platform popular among adolescents including those in middle and high school.

The city is also launching a “Happy At Home TPA” campaign on Instagram under the hashtag, #HappyAtHomeTPA. The campaign encourages Instagram users to share videos of activities they are enjoying while practicing social distancing recommendations.

Some videos already shared include residents gardening, walking dogs or hanging out by their personal pools.

The city also created a social distancing playlist on Spotify including appropriate songs like “Work from Home” by Fifth Harmony and Ty Dolla $ign, “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue, “So Fresh, So Clean” by OutKast and “Couch Potato” by Jakubi. It also includes a couple of inspirational tunes like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” and the High School Musical ballad “We’re All in This Together.”

A YouTube message from Mayor Jane Castor describes how residents can do their part to “flatten the curve” including sanitizing surfaces and items frequently touched, social distancing, seeking medical care if symptoms arise and self-isolating and staying calm.

“You’re not alone, so remember, our community is here for you,” Castor said. “Only buy what is necessary and do not hoard.”

As of Sunday morning, Hillsborough County had 50 reported cases of coronavirus with the average age of those affected at 39. The virus has affected Hillsborough residents or visitors between the ages of 17 and 74. No one in Hillsborough County has died from the virus, but six have been hospitalized, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.



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