COVID-19

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A county's call to action

FEB. 27
Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center begins monitoring for development of COVID-19 illness.

 

MARCH 1
Gov. DeSantis issues Executive Order #20-51 directing the Florida Department of Health to issue a Public Health Emergency. The State Surgeon General and State Health Officer declare a public health emergency.

 

MARCH 13
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, Sarasota County begins canceling all events at county facilities with anticipated attendances of 250 individuals or more.

 

MARCH 13
All county employee, business-related travel is canceled for the next 30 days.

 

MARCH 13
Sarasota County cancels all league and tournament play at county facilities for the next 30 days.

 

MARCH 14
Spring Break Camp at Colonial Oaks Park is canceled.

 

MARCH 15
Sarasota County Administrator Jonathan Lewis signs an emergency declaration in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

MARCH 15
All events, programs and recreation centers are canceled or closed through April 12.

 

MARCH 16
In response to the growing health threat, the Emergency Operations Center activates to Level II.

 

MARCH 16
Signs are placed on the doors of all county facilities asking visitors and employees not to enter if they are sick.

 

MARCH 17
Sarasota County cancels all parks and libraries programming through April 12. Parks reservations, leagues, tournaments, drop-ins and use of indoor fitness centers and amenities are also canceled.

 

MARCH 17
The county launches a text alert system for COVID-19 updates.

 

MARCH 17
Gov. DeSantis issues Executive Order #20-68 closing bars, pubs and nightclubs, beaches and restaurants.

 

MARCH 18
To ease the economic burden of those impacted by COVID-19, the county waives water service shutoffs through April 13 for nonpayment of utility bills.

 

MARCH 20
Health screenings begin for visitors entering some
county facilities.

 

MARCH 20
Sarasota County Area Transit begins waiving all bus fares to enable people to more quickly board the bus without having to stand in line near the fare box.

 

MARCH 21
All county-operated beaches close, and service is suspended for the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley.

 

MARCH 23
Public-facing customer service is suspended at the
Robert L. Anderson Administration Center, Sarasota Operations Center, IFAS Extension Services and downtown Administration Center. Service continues via phone, online and by curbside.

 

MARCH 24
Sarasota County’s wastewater fee per equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) is rolled back to $2,627.16 per EDU through Sept. 30.

 

MARCH 25

All playgrounds, tennis courts, pickleball courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts and dog parks within county parks are closed.

 

MARCH 26
The Florida Department of Health issues an advisory limiting
gatherings of private citizens to no more than 10 people and
density of the workforce to 50%.

 

MARCH 27
The Sarasota County health department and Sarasota Memorial Hospital partner to establish a COVID-19 appointment-only drive-through testing site at Twin Lakes Park.

 

MARCH 31
Sarasota County schools close through May 1.

 

APRIL 1
Gov. DeSantis issues Executive Order #20-91 governing essential services and activities (stay-at-home). All county-sponsored events and reservations are canceled through April 30.

 

APRIL 3
The county’s ReUseIt Shop and household hazardous waste centers close. All solid waste facilities stop accepting cash payments.

 

APRIL 7
Sarasota County Area Transit completes plan to reduce routes and implement mobility-on-demand service through the duration of the public health emergency.

 

APRIL 8

Waiver of water-service shutoffs due to non-payment of utility bills is extended through April 30. 

 

APRIL 11
Sarasota County Area Transit suspends service on Routes 4, 11 and 18 and begins on-demand service for essential trips such as employment, medical appointments, pharmacy and grocery shopping.

 

APRIL 14
County staff distribute personal protective equipment to more than 50 entities.

 

APRIL 15

Parks staff begin developing plan to restore access to county beaches.

 

APRIL 23
A mobile by-appointment COVID-19 testing site opens at Laurel Park.

 

APRIL 23
The county commission approves expansion of the county’s Small Business Resiliency Loan Program.

 

APRIL 27
County-owned beach access expands under guidelines for social distancing while performing essential physical activities, such as walking, running, biking and fishing.

 

APRIL 28
Planning Commission begins meeting remotely. A state strike team arrives in Sarasota County and over a two-day period tests over 400 employees at elder care facilities.

 

APRIL 29
Utilities fees and service shutoffs are suspended through May 31.

 

APRIL 29
All events, reservations and registrations at county facilities are canceled through May 17.

 

APRIL 30
Curbside permitting services begin at the Sarasota Operations Center in Sarasota and Robert L. Anderson Administration Center in Venice.

 

MAY 2
The county begins phased resumption of play at tennis and pickleball courts.

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