Holmes Beach mayor declares state of emergency

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HOLMES BEACH – Amid growing COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, concerns, Mayor Judy Titsworth declared a temporary state of emergency March 17. The state of emergency will last for seven days before it will either expire or another state of emergency will need to be declared.

Under the state of emergency, the city is eligible for federal and state emergency funds, if needed.

As of March 18, eight cases of patients with the coronavirus in Manatee County had been confirmed by the Florida Department of Health.

For residents and visitors to Holmes Beach, the declared state of emergency means that Titsworth may limit or suspend the sale of alcoholic beverages, establish a curfew and stop price gouging, among other things. Currently, no restrictions have been placed on Holmes Beach residents and visitors though everyone is encouraged by city, state and federal leaders to practice social distancing, limit gatherings to 10 people or less and wash hands regularly.

Some business owners have restrictions placed on them but those have come from the state. Gov. Ron DeSantis required all bars and nightclubs in the state of Florida to close for a 30-day period beginning at 5 p.m. on March 17. Restaurants can still operate, however, they are required to operate at 50% seating capacity for the safety of staff and diners.

Local schools also are affected by the coronavirus with schools, including Anna Maria Elementary School, shuttered until April 15. Manatee County School District employees will return to work for the week of March 23-27 to complete instructions for K-12 students to continue learning at home beginning March 30 using a remote learning program called Schoology. Students will be able to work online from home and communicate with their teachers through the program.

State testing and school grades for the year are canceled by DeSantis with students to have the option of moving forward next school year or remaining in their current grade.

For more information on the city of Holmes Beach’s response to the coronavirus threat, visit the city’s website. For more information on the school district, visit the Manatee County School District website.

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