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Manatee, Sarasota counties shutting down beaches amid coronavirus concerns

Posted at 3:23 PM, Mar 19, 2020

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Two Tampa Bay area counties have announced they will be shutting down their public beaches in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

County officials with Manatee County say the beaches will close starting Friday, March 20 at 6 a.m. In Sarasota County, their beaches will close Saturday, March 21 at 6 a.m. All the beaches will be closed until further notice.

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"Each day as our local situation has changed and new advisories have been sent, Manatee County residents have heeded warnings and taken official advice seriously," said Manatee County Administrator Cheri Coryea in a press release. "We're hoping for more of the same with our beach announcement. Parking lots will be closed and signs placed to alert drivers and we expect that most people will heed that advice."

Elsewhere in the Tampa Bay area, the cities of Tampa and Clearwater both announced they will be closing their beaches to the public.

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The announcements all come as the nation continues its push to urge all Americans to practive social distancing.

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