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Longboat Key Monday, Jul. 13, 2020 9 months ago

Longboat Key to keep public beach parking closed

The town manager is set to re-evaluate his executive order by July 27.
by: Mark Bergin Staff Writer

The town of Longboat Key’s public beach parking is expected to remain closed for the next two weeks.

Town Manager Tom Harmer issued his latest executive order on Monday morning. Parking at the town’s 12 public beach access points is closed until further notice, which includes Quick Point and Overlook Park.

The public restrooms at Bayfront Park and Joan M. Durante Park are also closed until further notice, along with the town’s Bayfront Park Recreation Center and all classes scheduled at the facility.

Town facilities, including Town Hall, will also remain closed. Anyone wanting to contact town staff can call (941) 316-1999, email or schedule an appointment.

Harmer is set to re-evalaute the executive order on or before July 27.

The town’s beach access points first closed in March as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and reopened in June. However, the town manager closed public beach parking again on June 30.

Beaches to the north in Manatee County and south on Lido Key and Siesta Key remain open.

Harmer has said repeatedly at town commission meetings and in interviews with the Longboat Observer that he considers the vulnerability of the town’s older population, which could be more susceptible to problems related to COVID-19. Approximately 69% of the town’s nearly 7,000 full-time residents are older than 65 years old.

Sunday data from the Florida Department of Health showed Longboat Key has 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19: nine on the Manatee County side of the barrier island and two on the Sarasota County side.

The data showed Sarasota County has 3,219 positive COVID-19 cases and 100 total deaths, 65 of which are among Florida residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

Manatee County has 5,214 positive COVID-19 cases and 140 deaths, 91 of which are among state residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

Editor's Note: Refresh the page for the latest information. This story will be updated throughout the day.

Mark Bergin is the Longboat Key Town Hall reporter for the Observer. He has previously worked as a senior digital producer at WTSP, the CBS affiliate in St. Petersburg. Mark is a graduate of the University of Missouri and grew up in the Chicagoland area.

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