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Manatee County Declares Local State Of Emergency Over Coronavirus

As of Monday afternoon the state reported five coronavirus cases in Manatee County.

Manatee County Commissioners have declared a local state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes as the total cases in Manatee County climbed to five over the weekend.

Cases of novel coronavirus began spreading across the United States in late February. By March 1st, Florida had its first two “presumptive positive” cases of the coronavirus-- one in Hillsborough County the other in Manatee.

On Monday, officials unanimously passed a local state of emergency for Manatee County. The resolution they say, will allow the county to apply for federal reimbursement of any local spending related to the pandemic.

"We must be proactive rather than reactive," Public Safety Director Jacob Saur told Commissioners Monday. "Inevitably we will see an increase in cases but now is not a time to panic, it’s a time to plan and prepare."

Saur also urged the public not to hoard supplies such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies. There are no plans to close public beaches at this time, he said. 


Manatee County has also directed department heads to allow more flexible work schedules and work-from-home options for county employees.

Manatee Memorial Hospital has also recently issued new guidelines. Visitation hours are now limited from noon to 6pm daily and all visitors must be screened before entering the facility. Only two adults per patient, per day will be allowed into the hospital.

As a reporter, my goal is to tell a story that moves you in some way. To me, the best way to do that begins with listening. Talking to people about their lives and the issues they care about is my favorite part of the job.
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