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East County Thursday, Apr. 2, 2020 1 year ago

Manatee County could set curfew Friday

Resolution could give law enforcement officials the ability to enforce group gathering violations on private property.
by: Jay Heater Managing Editor

A supplemental local emergency resolution to create a curfew and to give local law enforcement agencies the ability to enforce group gathering restrictions on private property will be considered by the Manatee County commissioners Friday in a 2 p.m. meeting.

A Manatee County release Thursday noted the meeting, which will be held in the commission chambers, with be streamed live at The meeting also can be seen on Spectrum channel 644, Verizon channel 30 and Comcast channel 20. 

On Thursday, commissioners, law enforcement officials and municipal leaders from each of the county’s municipalities discussed the curfew and private property restrictions during an Emergency Policy Group meeting. The group decided it wanted to stress to Manatee County residents that social distancing orders must be taken seriously. The proposed curfew would prohibit non-essential travel (travel that is not for food, medicine, essential supplies, employment) from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., seven days a week. An effective date will be decided Friday.

If approved, the resolution will allow the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and municipal police department officers to have the ability to issue citations to anyone not in compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order 20-91 & 20-9. Law enforcement would also have the ability to cite group gatherings on private property. Under Florida Statute 252.50, those who violate the State Emergency Management Act are guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor and can be served a Notice to Appear order.
The release stated, "Currently the county’s COVID-19 restrictions are only enforceable on public property such as public beaches and public boat ramps. County and city officials say the public has largely heeded those restrictions, but group gatherings at private residences – such as vacation rental homes, recreation centers and event halls – continue to pose a public health risk."

In other county updates:

Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) riders are asked to limit trips on Transit/Trolley and Handy Bus systems to essential travel only. Riders with questions or concerns can contact MCAT at 749-7116. The following changes are now in effect beginning April 4: MCAT daily service will continue but routes will halt at 7 p.m.; The Anna Maria Island Trolley and Route 3 serving the Manatee Avenue/State Road 64 corridor will both be reduced to 60-minute service frequency, Monday through Saturday. There will be no AMI Trolley service on Sunday until further notice; The Longboat Key Shuttle will cease operation until further notice.

Riders with questions or concerns can contact MCAT at (941) 749-7116.

Manatee County also has closed its public basketball courts.

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