MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Manatee County commissioners passed a local temporary curfew Friday afternoon in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The curfew is effective immediately and will start at 11 p.m. and last through 5 a.m.
It would prohibit non-essential travel throughout the night and early morning hours, excluding travel for food, medicine and employment.
County commissioners say the curfew will help free the roads for first responders and those on the frontlines fighting the virus and will further enforce social distancing.
“Obviously none of us have been in this situation before. When I ran for county commissioner I didn’t actually consider it to be a life or death job where we’d be making life or death decisions,” said County Chair Betsy Benac. “We have not been asked to in fact weigh in on life or death decisions but that’s what we’re doing today. So I take this extremely seriously when we’re asked to make decisions for the public health. I do not do this in a political manner in any way and the idea that somehow were trampling on people’s rights, you betcha. And are we scaring people? You betcha. We want people to be scared. We want them to stay home.”
As of Friday evening, Manatee County has 104 coronavirus cases and three deaths as a result of the virus.
WHAT TO KNOW:
- Florida is reporting 85,926 cases and 3,061 deaths
- Florida in Phase Two of reopening
- Cases have spiked in past week, Gov. DeSantis says due to increased testing
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