First coronavirus death in Manatee County reported

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Updated Monday, March 23 | There are 1,227 reported positive cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Florida and 18 reported deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard. In Manatee County, there are 15 positive cases and one reported death. The age range for the Manatee County cases is 14 to 81 years old, with an average age of 64. Eight of the positive cases are men, seven are women and seven positive cases were hospitalized. Sarasota County has 21 reported positive cases and one reported death. Pinellas County has 41 reported cases and one reported death. Hillsborough County has 75 reported cases and no deaths. The FDOH Dashboard is updated at least twice daily.

MANATEE COUNTY – A Manatee County resident has died after testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Manatee County death reported on Tuesday was the first reported COVID-19 related death in Manatee County.

“One person has died in Manatee County who tested positive for COVID-19,” said the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) press release issued Tuesday evening.

At that time, there were seven COVID-19 related death in Florida, according to FDOH.

This evening, the FDOH announced an eighth Florida death, which was in Clay County.

As of 7 p.m. this evening, the FDOH COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard listed eight reported COVID-19 cases in Manatee County.

According to the FDOH Dashboard, 45 tests had been administered in Manatee County, with eight positive tests, 27 negative tests and 10 test results still pending. Five of the positive reported Manatee County case were men and three were women. The age range was 61-81 years old. Only one of the eight reported cases in Manatee County was listed as travel-related.

As of 7 p.m., there were 328 reported COVID-19 positive cases in Florida. According to the FDOH Dashboard, there were 80 reported cases in Broward County, 77 reported cases in Miami-Dade County and 21 reported cases in Palm Beach County. Those three southeast Florida counties accounted for 178 of reported positive cases – 54 percent of the reported cases in Florida.

Sarasota County had four reported cases. Hillsborough County had 14 cases.

County buildings closed

On Tuesday, March 17, Manatee County issued a press release announcing several county closings.

“In accordance with the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, which recommend avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, Manatee County Government will be closing all public buildings to the public for walk-in services for the next 15 days. All buildings will remain closed beginning at 8 a.m. on March 18,” Tuesday’s press release said.

“County staff will continue to serve the public and services will continue to operate. The public is encouraged to conduct transactions with the County online or over the phone whenever possible. Citizens can call 3-1-1 for more information.”
The list of public buildings now closed includes:

  • The County Administration Building;
  • All Manatee County Public Library locations, including the Island Branch Library. Online resources are still available for check out and late materials fines and fees will be forgiven;
  • Manatee County Animal Services locations;
  • T. Bray Recreation Center – all athletic league games and other organized events are canceled;
  • The Bradenton Area Convention Center;
  • All locations for Building and Development Services and Veterans Services;
  • The Utilities Administration Building;
  • The Manatee County Clerk of Court Historic Courthouse;
  • The Manatee County Property Appraiser office.

Manatee County Area Transit services will continue to operate as normal, including Handy Bus services.

In the press release, County Administrator Cheri Coryea is quoted as saying, “Transit Services remain a vital service for individuals without access to essentials such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and medical appointments.”

“Manatee County parks, outdoor amenities, preserves and beaches remain open for now and the public is encouraged to exercise social distancing when out in public places. Under the Governor’s order, beaches may remain open but restricted to 10 persons in each group and a distance of six feet between parties,” the press release said.

In the press release, Coryea said, “This is an hour-by-hour emergency event and should a new directive need to be implemented to further protect the public we will make that call.”

According to the press release, all public county meetings during the next 15 days will be canceled or rescheduled.

Here’s a full list of closures and cancellations.