City extends public health emergency declaration for COVID-19
Gatherings of 10 or more people on public property are prohibited
Contact: Jason Bartolone, Communications Specialist 941-928-3988; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarasota, FL: The City of Sarasota has extended its declaration of a local citywide public health emergency, originally issued last week, in order to continue to protect the health and safety of the community and position the City to qualify for possible state or federal funds for losses associated with COVID-19.
City Manager Tom Barwin, in consultation with Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, extended the public health emergency through Friday, March 27. By City Charter, an emergency declaration must be re-evaluated on a week-to-week basis.
The following emergency orders have been issued:
- Prohibition of gatherings of 10 or more people on public property; gatherings of people on private property shall comply with existing and future executive orders by Gov. Ron DeSantis
- Closure of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, owned and operated by the City, through March 31
- Closure of nine City owned and operated recreational facilities (Arlington Park and Aquatic Complex, Bobby Jones Golf Club, Lido Beach Pool, Payne Park Skate Park, Payne Park Tennis Center, Robert L. Taylor Community Center, Municipal Auditorium, Payne Park Auditorium and Bayfront Community Center) through at least March 31
- Cancellation of all City advisory boards, Code Compliance hearings and Special District boards
- Assistance from the Sarasota Police Department in the enforcement of the governor’s executive order pertaining to the operation of bars, nightclubs and restaurants
- Direction to citizens and visitors to comply with the governor's executive order dealing with gatherings on public beaches
Earlier this week, the City Commission canceled its regular meeting scheduled for April 6.
The outdoor recreational areas of all City parks and beaches remain open to the public, but residents and visitors are strongly advised to follow the advice of state and health officials regarding social distancing and limits on public gatherings. City staff will attempt to keep public restrooms at these facilities open daily through 7 p.m.
New special events will not be permitted by the City until further notice.
City services update
In the interest of public health, residents and customers are advised to conduct business with the City whenever possible either online via the City’s website, www.SarasotaFL.gov, or by phone at 941-263-6000.
The City’s permit intake lobby in the City Hall Annex will be closed until at least March 25 as additional protective measures for employees and customers are being installed. Permitting can be done online. For more information, call 941-263-6494 or email subnocroof@sarasotaFL.gov.
The Utilities Billing Office, 1761 12th St., is closed, but utility bills can continue to be paid online or at the bill pay drop-off box outside the building. The office can be reached at 941-263-6260 or 941-263-6261 or utilitybill@sarasotaFL.gov. The City’s Utilities Department will not be conducting any water shut-offs for the next 30 days.
Solid waste, recycling and yard waste collection schedules will continue as planned.
Information and resources for businesses and employees, including Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans and other assistance programs, can be found on the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County’s webpage at www.edcsarasotacounty.com/business-assistance/covid-19/
A Sarasota-specific call center for questions and concerns about COVID-19 is now available through the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County: 941-861-2883. Subject matter experts are available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The most current, official information on COVID-19 in Florida can be found at www.FloridaHealth.gov/COVID-19. A 24/7 hotline is also available: 1-866-779-6121.
For more information about City of Sarasota closures, contact Jason Bartolone, Communications Specialist: 941-928-3988.
About the City of Sarasota: Distinguished by U.S. News and World Report as the 18th Best Place to Live in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 56,000 year-round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at www.SarasotaFL.Gov