SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -
The number of Coronavirus cases continue to climb on the Suncoast. At the time of this article, Sarasota County has a total of 140 positive cases, out of 1,310 tests provided. This includes 62 men and 77 women who have tested positive along with 7 reported deaths. Manatee County has a total of 136 positive cases, out of 910 tests provided. This includes 64 men and 71 women who have tested positive along with 3 reported deaths.
A temporary seven-day curfew remains in place for Manatee County that began on Friday night, April 3. This curfew runs from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. While, most of the residents complied to the order, a Facebook Live video surfaced showing a block party in Bradenton, consisting of more than 70 people. This led police to respond to the large gathering that is prohibited under the orders of Governor Ron Desantis.
"When we arrived, we were met with a little bit of push back, however eventually they were able to get the music turned off. The crowd still wasn't dispersing, so instead of pushing the enforcement side of it, our officers activated the lights and sirens, where the crowd eventually dispersed on their own," said Captain Brian Thiers, with the Bradenton Police Department.
The guidelines were set in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Both Sarasota and Bradenton Police Departments are doing their part to ensure that officers are not at risk of receiving Covid-19, when responding to calls.
"Our officers, just like everyone else in the nation is taking extreme precautions. You know, we're using masks and gloves when necessary. We are doing the six-foot rule and everything in our power to not expose our officers to it," states Captain Thiers.
The initial curfew can be extended even longer if commissioners feel that it is necessary. Captain Thiers says, "If you want to get off of this quarantine, and you want to get out of this curfew, let’s stop breaking the rules, and let’s flatten the curve."
Sarasota has yet to establish a curfew, but the stay-at-home order remains in place. If you are caught disobeying the order you could face a 2nd degree misdemeanor and must appear in court, once courts have reopened.
“We do have the ability to issue citations, but that’s really the last thing we want to do. We really want to educate and encourage folks to stay at home and only travel for the essentials. This includes only going out if you need grocery’s or if you’re an essential worker is really the only reason we want you to go out,” say’s Genevieve Judge, the Public Information Officer with the Sarasota Police Department.