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Citywide public health emergency extended

City Commission to hold workshop via teleconference April 6

Post Date:04/03/2020 5:07 PM

Contact:  Jason Bartolone, Communications Specialist   941-928-3988;


Sarasota, FL:  The City of Sarasota has extended its declaration of a local citywide public health emergency through at least April 10 following a weekly review, as required by the City Charter, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The emergency order issued by City Manager Tom Barwin, in consultation with Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, follows the statewide “Safer at Home” executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis that took effect Friday. All citizens in Florida are to remain in their homes except to conduct essential activities or seek essential services, as defined by the governor’s order.

The City’s emergency order clarifies that social gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited on public and private property. The order also strongly urges members of the public to refrain from attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship during this emergency so as not to contract or transmit the COVID-19 illness. If, however, members of the general public do so, they should adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing guidance.   

As recreational activities such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing and running are considered essential under the governor’s statewide order, the open spaces at City parks will remain open for exercise and relaxation with the direction that users must follow social distancing protocols. Amenities such as playgrounds, recreation centers, tennis and basketball courts and boat ramps will remain closed, in order to limit public gatherings and promote safe social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“We’re encouraged that the majority of Sarasota residents and visitors have been complying with the calls for social distancing and staying at home as much as possible,” Barwin said. “Everyone has a personal responsibility to adhere to these important orders so that we can continue to protect the health and well-being of our entire community, including those most at risk.”

The City Commission will hold a workshop at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 6, via teleconference.

Citizens may view and listen to the proceedings via Access Sarasota TV (Comcast channel 19 or Frontier channel 32) or via live streaming at by clicking on the “Meetings/Agendas/Video” button. The agenda is now available online.

Public input and commission action are not permitted during City workshops, and there will be no public access to the Commission Chambers at City Hall. Commissioners and staff will be practicing safe social distancing in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Although City buildings are closed to the public, most City operations and services are still available. The public can conduct City business either online via 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 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

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