Got symptoms? Call the Manatee COVID-19 health line

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BRADENTON – The Manatee Health Department has set up the Manatee Health Line, a phone number that residents are asked to call first if they believe they may have coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the following persons to be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19:

  • Anyone showing symptoms of the disease, including fever, cough and shortness of breath;
  • Anyone who has been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19; and
  • Anyone who has recently traveled from a country or area with widespread or ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Manatee residents who believe they may have COVID-19 are asked to call the Manatee Health Line before visiting health care providers.

Manatee Health continues to encourage the public to exercise prevention tips:

– Wash your hands often with soap and water.

– Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

– Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow (not your hands) if a tissue is not available.

– Try not to touch your face with unwashed hands.

– Frequently clean and disinfect touched surfaces.

– Don’t touch or shake hands with people who are sick.

– Stay home when you’re sick and keep your children home when they’re sick.

The Manatee Health Line number is 941-242-6649. Experts are on duty 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Department of Health runs a hotline that anyone who believes they may have coronavirus can call as well. The number is 866-779-6121 and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Experts will interview callers to determine whether they are at risk for having COVID-19 based on travel history, contact with confirmed cases and other factors.

“Calling the health department ahead of time allows us to coordinate with the health care system to assure appropriate infection control measures in our community,” Manatee Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Bencie said. “It also meets the guidelines laid out in Section 3 of the statewide Declaration of Public Health Emergency issued on March 1.”

The Department of Health (DOH) routinely updates case counts, prevention tips, worldwide developments, reputable links and more at its COVID-19 web page. 

Any questions that the web page cannot answer can be phoned into the State Health Office hotline at 866-779-6121 or emailed to covid-19@health.gov.

Manatee Health continues to work with local partners – hospitals, clinics, government, schools, businesses, emergency management, law enforcement, tourist development and more – to shape messaging and address specific concerns.