Precautionary swim advisory issued for Manatee County

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 10:49 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2023 at 4:31 PM EDT
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The Florida Department of Health has issued a countywide precautionary swim advisory for Manatee County beaches until test results are available.

The advisory comes on the heels of Hurricane Idalia and county officials are working to test the water. Tests to determine the water quality at public beach locations is expected to resume Sept. 5, 2023.

Until test results are available, you should assume that water contact may pose an increased risk of disease or illness, particularly for susceptible individuals.

Noah Townsend said Anna Maria Island for his family is a Labor Day tradition, and that he’s noticed a difference with the water since the hurricane passed by this week.

“We come here every year, it was a lot bluer last year. This year it’s a little cloudy and stuff in the water,” said Townsend.

Manatee-DOH is asking residents to avoid flood waters, the ocean, rivers, and lakes, and especially don’t have children play with toys in the water. In the meantime, the Manatee County Government is providing rapid rest result for the health department as they wait on the Florida Department of Health’s results. Manatee County Government spokesperson Bill Logan released the following statement:

“Manatee County Government would like to note that while the Department of Health may not be getting their testing back until the 5th, Manatee County is – in an abundance of caution and spirit of cooperation -- providing rapid test results for the Health Department so that they can have the most accurate data to inform citizens about water safety with the most recent and most up-to-date assays.

We want residents and visitors to know that we are conducting these rapid tests (using approved labs and methods) to ensure their safety and will provide the results to the DOH for their update(s) as soon as they are available.””