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Editorial: County Update

Post Date:06/29/2020 8:30 AM

Our state and our community continue to adjust to the “new normal” in this time of coronavirus. Even during this unprecedented event, the business of your county government goes on.

Our staff at Sarasota County government has excelled at providing world-class service while faced with the challenges, and uncertainty, of those early days of COVID-19: water still flowed, permits were still processed, roads were still paved and our emergency services personnel still responded to calls, just to cite a few examples. County Administrator Jonathan Lewis

We are now shifting our operations back to the levels before we reduced access to county services and facilities. While not all of our services are yet available to the public, our parks amenities are open, our libraries have patrons, and our athletic fields are again hosting kids who need fresh air after being indoors for so long.

As we proceed with our re-entry plans, I want to remind the community about the importance of working together to prevent the spread of this virus. I encourage you to follow the guidelines from the Florida Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control, just as I and our 2,300 county employees do:

  • Take advice from health officials seriously. Wear a cloth face mask in public when you cannot socially distance, wash your hands thoroughly and continue to practice social distancing.
  • Be especially careful around those over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions. They are the most at-risk in our community.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Keep your social circles small to limit your potential exposures.
  • Follow all health and safety guidelines at retail and food establishments.
  • Remember to stay informed, ask questions and be kind to each other.

As many local governments discovered when first confronted with this virus, there simply wasn’t a road map to tell us how to safely reach our destination. Each day has presented new challenges, and our staff continually rises to meet those challenges head-on with the same goal in mind: providing world-class service in a safe and responsible manner.

Sarasota County will continue to look to our governor, federal, state, and local health officials, and the leadership of our county commission, to guide us. We will work hard to continue providing the services you have come to expect, and to keep you informed about county decisions and information. At this point, no one knows what the future holds or is quite sure how long this “new normal” will last.

As we continue to navigate the demands of this virus, one thing is certain: we cannot return to the “old normal” without the support of the entire community. We will continue to do our part and we ask that you each do the same by listening to health officials, practicing social distancing and good hygiene, and wearing a mask when you cannot socially distance from other citizens.

Common sense is paramount, of course. But so is the compassion for, and responsibility to, your fellow citizens. If we work together, our community will be stronger for it.

Thank you for your help,

Jonathan Lewis
Sarasota County Administrator

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