Manatee County Government monitoring coronavirus closely, County Commission work sessions postponed next week

Manatee County Government monitoring coronavirus closely, County Commission work sessions postponed next week
Posted on 03/13/2020

Residents can text ManateeReady to 888-777 for latest local updates on COVID-19

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (March 13, 2020) –  Although the risk of contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19) remains low for Manatee County residents, remaining at two confirmed cases today, Manatee County officials have postponed County Commission workshops scheduled for Tuesday. County Administrator Cheri Coryea said daily operations at County Government have not changed and there are no other plans to cancel County events at this time.

"We are in constant communication with our Department of Health partners and together with their leadership team and Public Safety Director Jacob Saur, we have decided that there are no changes to government operations for the public we serve as of today," Coryea said. "We are all monitoring the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation very closely, and we do not believe now is the time for any further actions."

Tuesday morning’s County Commission work session on resiliency and sustainability was scheduled to be held in Myakka City. The afternoon work session topics were to include greenway trails, dredging of private canals and updates on the Bradenton Area Convention Center and Premier Sports campus. County Administrator Coryea said the work session topics are not urgent in nature, so will be rescheduled for another time.

"Our message to the public has not changed," Public Safety Director Saur said. "The risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low for most local residents, but I want all Manatee County residents to take smart precautions to avoid spreading the virus."

Recommendations for the public

In addition to practicing normal cold and flu prevention tips, Saur said County residents can help prevent the spread of coronavirus by calling the Department of Health Line instead of dialing 9-1-1 and before seeking treatment or traveling to any physician's office, emergency department, hospital or urgent care center. The Department of Health line, open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. is (941) 242-6649.

"If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or if you suspect you may have COVID-19, please call the local hotline where state health officials will ask important questions to determine whether you need to be tested," Saur said. "I’d ask that our residents help keep first responders protected by not calling 9-1-1 unless you’re facing a life-threatening emergency."

Enhanced communications

All the latest local news is being delivered on the County’s coronavirus website and on its social media pages, but Director Saur today announced a new way to allow Manatee County residents to stay current on local developments. Anyone can now text ManateeReady to 888-777. Those who opt in to the alerts will receive important updates and latest news from Manatee County officials.

"We’re constantly looking at ways to improve the way we reach Manatee County residents and visitors with important information," Saur said. "This new text system allows County officials to push notifications to residents so they can stay informed on the latest news and information within our community."

Government operations & County events

Saur said the safety of County residents, guests, and staff is our top priority.

"We are working with our Property Management and Public Works departments to ensure our facilities and transit buses are safe and clean," he said. "This includes disinfecting all facilities and buses regularly — especially high-touch zones — and ensuring that our staff is following the CDC’s guidelines and best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Manatee County continues to monitor county scheduled events along with the Convention and Visitors Bureau to determine viability of planned events through the remainder of March. The County will continue working with the Florida Department of Health, healthcare experts, Convention and Visitors Bureau, and other stakeholders to determine whether future cancellations are necessary. The County understands the impact that event cancellations have on local businesses and tourism and will continue working with experts to minimize the impact of COVID-19, while prioritizing the health of residents, visitors, and staff.

For local updates on the coronavirus, visit www.floridahealth.gov/COVID-19 or www.mymanatee.org/coronavirus

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.