Coronavirus Updates

This is our landing page for all information related to the Coronavirus. We will keep our list of closures and cancellations updated, and also want to provide you with helpful information as we all figure out how to navigate this strange time.

Social Distancing Halloween

Halloween is not canceled! 13 Ideas for a Safe Halloween during COVID-19

We can still celebrate Halloween and enjoy Trick or Treating this year, we just need to get creative! We've got ideas for safer Halloween festivities.
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Facemasks Required in Winter Haven

Face Masks Required Indoors in Winter Haven through October 15

On Monday, July 13 the Winter Haven City Commission voted to require face masks in indoor locations where social distancing cannot be maintained. A list of exceptions and additional details are included in the article.
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Face masks Required in Lakeland

Face Mask Mandate in Lakeland Extended Through October 5

On Tuesday, September 8, the Lakeland City Commission voted to require face masks through October 5. Masks are required in indoor locations where social distancing cannot be maintained. A list of exceptions and additional details are included in the article.
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Explorations V Now Open New Hours

Explorations V Children’s Museum Reopens Sept. 1 with New Hours

Explorations V Children’s Museum is excited to welcome the community back for exploration and hands-on learning! The Museum has new hours as well - now open Sundays.
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eLearning pods in Lakeland

eLearning and Virtual School Support in the Lakeland area

If you are interested in eLearning this fall but need child care or other support, local businesses and organizations are providing full-day supervision and academic support options for families using eCampus, Polk Virtual school, or Florida Virtual school.
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Face Masks Required Polk County Schools

Face Masks required for K-12 Students in all Polk County Public Schools

Polk County Public Schools will require face coverings this fall for students in grades K-12 who are attending in-person classes on campus. Read our Q&A for requirements on face mask colors, designs, and more.
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Coronavirus testing Lakeland

Lakeland Regional Health COVID-19 Testing Locations

Lakeland Regional Health offers COVID-19 testing at their Drive-Thru Testing Centers, Respiratory Care Center, and Emergency Department. Learn more about hours and appointment options.
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COVID-19 Testing in Lakeland

COVID-19 Testing Sites in Lakeland and Polk County

/ Coronavirus Updates, Homepage
If you have symptoms and are wondering where you can get tested for COVID-19 in Lakeland or Polk County, we've put together a list of community testing sites in our area. Both active virus testing and antibody testing are available locally.
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Face Masks Polk County

Stores and Restaurants in Polk County That Require Customers to Wear Face Masks

Face Masks are currently only required in indoor settings in Lakeland and Winter Haven, but many national retailers with stores in our area are now requiring masks at ALL locations. Find out which stores are requiring masks in Polk County.
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Florida P-EBT Card for Students

Polk County Public School Students to Receive $313 P-EBT Card by Mail

If your child attends a Polk County Public School, check your mail this coming week – a P-EBT card with $313.50 on it is being sent to all Polk County Public School students enrolled in a traditional school, as well as some charter school students.
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Strong Stitch Lakeland Face Masks (2)

Where to Buy Face Masks in Lakeland

/ Coronavirus Updates, Homepage
Wondering where you can buy face masks in the Lakeland area? We've got a list for you. While there is no mandate on wearing face masks in public from the State of Florida, Polk County, or City of Lakeland (at time of publishing), the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings to help slow the spread.
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Children's Mental Wellness

Mental Wellness in Children and Teens during COVID-19

We interviewed a local psychiatrist to learn how to help our kids navigate disappointment, anxiety, isolation, and other mental wellness issues affecting children and teens right now. Watch the interview or read the full Q&A.
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Which Playgrounds are Open in the Lakeland area

Lakeland Area Playgrounds are Open

One of the most commonly asked questions we have received lately is "are any playgrounds in Lakeland open?" The answer is some of yes! Find out which playgrounds are currently open for play.
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Celebrate the Last Day of School (2)

15+ Fun Ways to Celebrate the Last Day of School

The end of the 2019-20 school year is near and it is time to celebrate! Reaching the finish line on this crazy school year definitely calls for a celebration for kids, parents, and teachers, and we've got a list of fun ideas for you to mark the occasion and kick off the summer.
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Drive-Thru Safari Lakeland

Drive-thru Safari Tours now available in your own car at Safari Wilderness in Lakeland

At Safari Wilderness in Lakeland, you can get up close and personal with llamas, zebras, watsui cattle, water buffalo, and more. For a limited time they are offering a guided drive-thru safari tour where you can see and feed exotic animals from the comfort of your own vehicle.
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What is Reopening in Lakeland

List of What is Open in the Lakeland Area – Updated 6/4

Florida is beginning Phase 2 of reopening the state. We've got a list that covers local trails, parks, schools, libraries, pools, attractions, theme parks, sports teams, beaches, and more to help you keep track of what is open and closed in Lakeland and Central Florida.
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Canceled Summer Camps

Canceled Summer Camps for Summer 2020

Find out which summer camps in Lakeland and Polk County have canceled for Summer 2020 due to social distancing requirements and other restrictions. We’re keeping a list of camps that have been canceled so that parents can easily find them and keep them in mind for Summer 2021.
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Wild Florida Drive Through Safari Orlando Lakeland

Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari Park is just over an hour from Lakeland

At Wild Florida’s Drive-Thru Safari Park, you and your family can see more than 100 exotic and native animals roaming freely, right from your own vehicle. Located just over an hour from the Lakeland and Winter Haven area.
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Virtual Tutoring & Test Prep

Virtual Tutoring & Test Prep Available in the Lakeland Area

Many of our local tutoring and test prep services have converted to online tutoring. This is a great opportunity for your child to receive additional one-on-one instruction, especially in any subjects where they might be struggling. Find out more about local tutoring and test prep options.
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Teacher Appreciation Gifts

12+ Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Gifts This Year {including Virtual options}

May 4th - 8th is Teacher Appreciation Week, and here at my house, I have never appreciated teachers more than right now! While we can’t thank teachers in person at school, we can still show our appreciation with this great list of gift ideas teachers will love, including FREE Virtual Thank You ideas.
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Lakeland Book Club

Sign up for the Lakeland Book Club and get a Free Children’s Book by Mail

The Lakeland Book Club is a collaborative network of nonprofits and volunteers with the shared goal of making sure that every student who needs a book receives a book while school is closed. If you have a child age birth through second grade, sign up to receive a free book by mail.
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Visiting the Emergency Department at Lakeland Regional Health during COVID-19

Visiting the Emergency Department at Lakeland Regional Health during COVID-19

Wondering whether it is safe to go to the Emergency Department during COVID-19? The answer is YES.  We did a video chat with Lakeland Regional Health to learn more about the precautions they have in place and provide you with some reassurance about visiting the Emergency Room.
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Outdoor Activities in Lakeland FL Parks Trails

Things to Do Outdoors in Lakeland – Find Out What Parks & Trails are Open

Local parks and trails are starting to reopen on May 1. We've got a list of what is open and closed. You can visit a park or trail on our list, avoid people, and not have to touch any surfaces. Check out our list of outdoor things to do in the Lakeland area.
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Florida Beaches

Which Florida Beaches are Open?

Most coastal counties in the Tampa Bay area have voted to reopen their beaches in some form or fashion. This is an opportunity for people to get some sunshine and fresh air, get their feet sandy, dip their toes in the water, while social distancing from other people on the beach and following other guidelines. Find out which Florida beaches are currently open.
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Shop Local Lakeland Mother's Day (2)

Where to Shop Local for Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is less than 2 weeks away, and it has never been more important to support our local businesses when buying gifts! We’ve got a list of local products and services for your mom, wife, grandma, or other special mother you're celebrating this year.
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Family Meal Deals Lakeland (1)

Family Meal Deals from Lakeland Area Restaurants

If you’re wondering where to order family meals in Lakeland, we’ve got a list for you. Find out which local restaurants are offering to-go Family Meals Deals that allow you to feed your family at a reasonable price.
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Labor and Delivery Coronavirus

Pregnancy & Childbirth at Lakeland Regional Health during COVID-19

Pregnancy, labor and delivery can be an anxious time for moms during normal circumstances, and the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has added to that concern. We talked with Lakeland Regional Health staff and are here to provide some reassurance for pregnant moms about what to expect if you are expecting right now.
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where to find help in Lakeland

Where to Find Help in the Lakeland Area – Free Food, Mental Health Resources, Financial Assistance, and more

Over the past few weeks, many families in our community have been impacted by layoffs, reductions in work hours, or changes to your income. There are support systems in place to help at an unprecedented time like this and we compiled a list of places to seek assistance in the Lakeland area. It is ok to need help.
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Mobile Food Pantries

Mobile Food Pantries in Polk County – Lakeland, Winter Haven, Mulberry, Auburndale, Bartow & more

The United Way of Central Florida’s George W. Jenkins End Hunger Initiative and Feeding Tampa Bay have weekly Mobile Food Pantry stops across Polk County. If you are in need of food, visit a food pantry location on the set day and time to pick up a pre-packaged box of groceries, free of charge.
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Lakeland Regional Health Telehealth

Lakeland Regional Health Offers Telehealth Appointments

Lakeland Regional Health is offering Telehealth Appointments with their Pediatric Care, Primary Care, Specialty Care, and Behavioral Health practices. This means that you will be able to schedule a phone call or video call with your provider and receive care from the convenience and comfort of your own home.
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Kids Exercise Videos

Free Online Exercise Videos for Kids and Families

Looking for ideas to keep your kids active while we are staying home? We put together a list of free workout videos for kids as well as some fun brain breaks and dance along videos to get kids up and moving around.
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Birthday Social Distancing

10+ Ideas to Celebrate a Birthday at Home during Social Distancing

For kids with birthdays during social distancing, it can be especially disappointing to have to skip a birthday party with friends or miss the opportunity to go somewhere special. With a little creativity, you can still make it a birthday to remember!
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Lakeland Area Bear Hunt

Go On A Heart / Rainbow / Bear Hunt in the Lakeland Area {With MAP!}

/ Coronavirus Updates
To spread joy while social distancing, people are placing teddy bears, hearts, and rainbows in their windows for others to spot from their cars or while walking the neighborhood. Participating readers have helped us create a map you can use to find bears, hearts, or rainbows in your neighborhood for your own teddy bear hunt.
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Mom Happiness boosters

Happiness Boosters and Sanity Savers for Moms

We always hear the sayings “take care of yourself first” and “make self-care a priority.” This has never been more important OR easier to do than right now. We've got a list of small things moms can do to boost your happiness and save your sanity during this time of uncertainty.
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Coronavirus Lakeland Cancellations

Coronavirus Cancellations, Closures, and Local Updates in Lakeland and Polk County

/ Coronavirus Updates
Polk County Schools and many events and activities in the Lakeland area are being canceled due to coronavirus. This is a precaution in accordance with government recommendations to prevent further spread of the disease. We are keeping a running list of existing closures and cancellations, as well as links to additional updates for our schools, events, sporting events and more.
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