Manatee County commissioners extend temporary curfew, will open county boat ramps

Manatee County
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Manatee County commissioners decided Friday late afternoon to extend its temporary local curfew for another week.

The curfew, which was initally enacted on April 3, goes from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and would prohibit non-essential travel throughout the night and early morning hours, excluding travel for food, medicine and employment.

A revision was also made to the curfew. Now, according to the commissioners, the order will not be enforced on private properties meaning law enforcement can only break up large groups if they are in a public space.

On April 3, county commissioners said the curfew would 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.”

Officials say county boat ramps will reopen Monday, April 13 by 3 p.m.

As of Friday evening, Manatee County has 200 coronavirus cases and 13 deaths as a result of the virus.

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