City Hall and City buildings are closed to the public due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Most services are continuing. Please contact us through this website or call: 941-263-6000.  For more information please go to our COVID-19 Information Page

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Boat ramps, Bird Key Park parking lot to close March 29; City-by-city testing reports urged

Post Date:03/28/2020 4:34 PM

Contact:  Jan Thornburg, Sr. Communications Manager 941-650-9693

Sarasota, FL:  The City-owned boat ramps, 10th Street Boat Ramps and City Island Boat Ramps, as well as the Bird Key Park parking lot will close to the public effective Sunday, March 29 at 6 a.m. as part of emergency orders related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. COVID19

The City is also encouraging county health departments along the Suncoast to work in unison to implement a safer at home order to reduce the threat of transmission of COVID-19, to assure hospital beds are available for those truly in need and to help conserve medical personal protective equipment (PPE). The PPE is necessary as hospitalized patients await their test results which can take several days.

In addition, the City believes it is essential for the Florida Department of Health to be transparent with reporting COVID-19 testing on a city-by-city basis not just aggregated countywide data.

“Governor Ron DeSantis is deferring to local governments to implement health, safety and welfare measures that are best for each community,” said City Manager Tom Barwin.  “It is essential that the state begin to immediately report COVID-19 testing based on a city-by-city basis. The aggregated data needs to be converted into a per capita analysis, to provide the best insight and understanding possible as we seek to protect our community, particularly the elderly at-risk population, during this public health emergency. Aggregated data on a countywide basis can be misleading for smaller counties under 500,000 in population.”

Those who do not voluntarily comply with the new emergency orders related to the closure of the boat ramps and Bird Key Park parking lot may be issued a citation by a sworn Sarasota Police Officer. A violation would be considered a second-degree misdemeanor.

A local public health emergency remains in effect for the City of Sarasota. Although City buildings are closed to the public, most City operations and functions 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.

Additional resources

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

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  A 24/7 hotline is also available:  1-866-779-6121.

For more information, contact Jan Thornburg, Senior Communications Manager:  941-650-9693.



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


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