City extends public health emergency declaration for COVID-19
Social gatherings of 10 or more 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 through April 3, prohibiting social gatherings in groups of 10 or more and authorizing the issuance of a citation for those who do not voluntarily comply. Residents also are strongly urged to stay at home except for essential activities.
The new emergency order authorizes the Sarasota Police Department to disperse gatherings of 10 or more and emphasizes the need for voluntary compliance with social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Those who do not voluntarily comply and continue to flagrantly violate social gathering restrictions may be issued a citation by a sworn Sarasota Police Officer. A violation would be considered a second-degree misdemeanor.
“We want and expect the community to voluntarily comply during this public health challenge, and for the most part we are seeing that,” said City Manager Tom Barwin. “This new directive will give our public safety officers an additional tool to keep our community safe and reduce the risk of spreading this highly contagious disease. All should have gotten the message by now, and it’s simply time to be good neighbors and responsible citizens for the community’s good.”
Citizens are strongly urged to stay at home except for essential activities such as shopping for necessary supplies, working, taking care of others or responsibly exercising outdoors. Social distancing guidelines, proper hand washing and keeping a 6-foot distance from others should be observed at all times in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The City Manager, in consultation with Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch and City Attorney Robert Fournier, extended the public health emergency declaration and issued the new emergency orders Thursday following a weekly review, as required by the City Charter.
The emergency declaration allows the City to continue to protect the health and safety of the community and to qualify for possible state or federal funds for losses associated with COVID-19.
Although City buildings are closed to the public, most City operations and services are still available.
The public is advised to conduct business with the City either online via www.SarasotaFL.Gov or by phone at 941-263-6000.
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, 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