Manatee County closes boat ramps, starting Thursday

Manatee County is closing all boat ramps within its borders in an effort to limit beach access and minimize public gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials said all county and city-owned boat ramps, including the Holmes Beach boat ramp at Memorial Park and Palmetto's Riverside Park boat ramp, will be closed as of Thursday, March 26 at 6 a.m. and all Manatee County beaches remain closed.

Emerson Point Preserve will remain open but no vehicles or water vessels will be able to reach the sandy beach launch at the western end of the park.

Commercial fishing operations with a U.S. Coast Guard six-pack captain's license and commercial fishing license may use Coquina South boat ramp.

County leaders will re-evaluate the closures on April 2, when President Donald Trump's initial 15 Days to Slow the Spread campaign expires.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know


Map of known COVID-19 cases:

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