Clearwater COVID-19 Update: March 18
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 18 AT 11:35 A.M.
Clearwater, FLA. - As we all try to go through this uncertain time, the city of Clearwater knows you have concerns about how we will continue to provide necessary city services to you. The city of Clearwater would like to provide you with the following updates and will continue to provide updates as the situation changes.
State of Florida
- Office of the Governor, Executive Order #20-68 regarding COVID-19
- Governor's Actions, Florida Department of Health Emergency Orders, and Public Health Services
Emergency City Council Meeting
- An Emergency City Council meeting will be held Wednesday, March 18 at 5 p.m. in City Council Chambers, Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave., for the purpose of declaring a local state of emergency due to COVID-19.
- The meeting will be broadcast live on CVIEW TV, the city website's streaming video, on the city's Facebook feed, and on the city's YouTube channel. C-VIEW TV is available on Spectrum (channel 638), Wow! (channel 15), and Frontier (channel 30).
- Morningside Recreation Complex's Eggquatic Egg Hunt event previously scheduled for April 11 is cancelled.
- The Countryside Recreation Center's Eggstravaganza event previously scheduled for April is cancelled.
- The Driving on Sunshine event at which residents could've test-driven electric cars is cancelled; it was previously scheduled for April 11.
- The city's E-Waste Electronic Dropoff program previously scheduled for March 25 is cancelled.
- The city's Operation Shred and Drug Take-Back program previously scheduled for April 25 is cancelled.
- The Pier 60 Bait House is now closed. The fishing pier will be open during normal operating hours today only and will close at 10 p.m. tonight, then it will be closed until further notice. The portion of the pier from Pier 60 concessions to the Bait House will remain open until further notice.
- Clearwater Spring Break camps are cancelled.
- Clearwater's Arbor Day & Tree Giveaway event previously scheduled for April 25 is cancelled.
- Sunsets at Pier 60 is cancelled until further notice.
- Clearwater Neighborhoods Day scheduled for March 28 is cancelled.
- Blast Friday scheduled for March 27 is cancelled.
- The Sugar Sand Festival, which was previously scheduled for April 10-26, is cancelled.
- The Earth Day Beach Cleanup previously scheduled for April 22 is cancelled.
- Sea Turtle Awareness Day previously scheduled for April 4 is cancelled.
- Ruth Eckerd Hall has suspended its programs through April 2.
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium is closed to the public through at least March 27.
City Meeting Cancellations
- Red light camera appeals hearings for March 18 is cancelled
- Municipal Code Enforcement Board meeting for March 25 is cancelled
- Downtown Development Board meeting for April 1 is cancelled
- The city of Clearwater has been working with Pinellas County and the 23 other municipalities in Pinellas County to come up with a uniform response to the challenges produced by COVID-19. Alongside our governmental partners from other jurisdictions, we have decided not to close our beaches at this time. That decision is the same across the county – so whether you’re in Clearwater, Indian Rocks Beach, St. Pete Beach or some other location, the message is unified. What we are asking from the members of the public, however, is for them to adhere to CDC guidelines when it comes to social distancing. If you are going to the beach, do not gather in groups of more than 10, per the orders of Governor Ron DeSantis. And be sure to spread out more than 6 feet away from the nearest other group. The city will be engaged in a public education effort to emphasize the message of social distancing, which is an important part of the nationwide campaign to prevent further spread. We will also be working with those who rent umbrellas, cabanas, chairs and other beach-related accessories to make sure they are helping spread out those who are on the beach.
Restaurants, Bars & Nightclubs
- Governor DeSantis has published the executive order detailing specifics regarding restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
- The governor has limited restaurants to 50% occupancy and has asked employers to screen all employees for symptoms in the entire state.
- Bars and nightclubs are closed after 5 p.m. March 17 for 30 days in the entire state.
- The Sheriff’s Office and Clearwater Police Department will enforce the governor's executive order.
Clearwater Utility Accounts
- Clearwater Public Utilities is suspending termination of city utility services for non-payment for 30 days starting March 17.
- The Utility Customer Service Department is still open for walk-in customers. People may choose to use the outdoor dropbox instead of coming into the building. The dropbox is located at 100 S. Myrtle Ave.
- Utility customers can pay their bills online at myclearwater.com/ebill.
- Utility customers can go to their nearby 7/11, Family Dollar, or CVS store to make a cash payment.
- All Clearwater library branches will close to the public at noon March 18. Libraries will continue to offer some services, including phone and online reference and support as well as social media posting while closed to the public.
- The East Community Library @ SPC is closed until further notice
- Clearwater Public Library System programs will be cancelled through the end of March.
- All library meeting room reservations have been canceled through the end of March. No new meeting room reservations will be approved at this time.
- AARP Tax Help at the Countryside Library is suspended until further notice.
- SHINE Medicare counseling appointments at the Main and Countryside Libraries are suspended under further notice.
- The Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas has cancelled all Conversation Classes in Pinellas County for the rest of March including Citizenship Tutoring classes at the East Community Library.
- The Pinellas Public Library Cooperative's Deaf Literacy Center has suspended all American Sign Language library classes, until further notice, including children's sign language classes at the Countryside Library.
- Recreation Centers
- Clearwater recreation centers, pools and the McMullen Tennis Complex are open for open play only. All other organized programming led either by city staff, partner agencies, contractors, rentals or volunteers is cancelled or postponed until further notice.
- All youth and adult sporting activities and programs are suspended effective immediately until further notice.
- All Spring Break day camps at Clearwater recreation centers are cancelled for the remainder of the week.
- All tournaments (league and youth programs) and events are canceled through the end of April 2020. Full refunds without processing fees will be provided. Please work with the events supervisor to submit refund paperwork, if applicable. If you would like to reschedule your event, please contact Events & Athletics at (727) 562-4700. The department will evaluate the date change request and work with you to find a date that works for all parties. All rescheduled dates and refund requests are due by April 6.
- All staff-led recreation programs and classes including swim lessons are cancelled for an unknown period of time.
- All Aging Well Center programs and those programs targeted toward the senior population (Silver Sneakers and Enhance Fitness®) at Clearwater's recreation centers are cancelled.
- Other Buildings
- The Engineering Department office at the city's Municipal Services Building, 100 S. Myrtle Ave., will close to the public at 2:30 p.m., March 18. The department is in the process of updating its website with directions to allow for email submittal of right-of-way permits.
- The Garden Avenue Garage citation office and the Marina parking office are closed to the public. Questions about parking can be made to (727) 562-4704.
If you're not sure if a library program or recreation program is taking place, call the facility to check before attending.
Resident Questions/Pinellas County Call Center
The Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Citizen Information Center will be open during that time and can be reached at (727) 464-4333. This is where residents should call if they have general questions, concerns and need more information. Residents who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the Citizen Information Center via online chat at www.bit.ly/PinellasChat.
Florida Department of Health
For additional information and helpful links regarding COVID-19, residents can call the Florida Department of Health at (866) 779-6121, or visit the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 website at FloridaHealth.gov/COVID-19.
COVID-19 Call Center is Available 24/7
If You Think You're Sick
If you think you may be exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor first, or call the Florida Department of Health at (727) 824-6900. No one should show up at their doctor’s office, a hospital or health centers if they are symptomatic or if they’re asking to be tested.
City facilities including recreation centers and libraries will remain open at this time, and staff will be adhering to CDC guidance on helping to prevent the spread of disease. Patrons choosing to visit facilities are encouraged to adhere to CDC guidelines to reduce their risk of exposure and keep themselves and their families healthy.
This is an evolving situation, and updates will be made as they become available. Thank you for your understanding as the city of Clearwater continues to do what is in the community’s best interest during this difficult time.
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