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.