Governor DeSantis' Executive Order 20-91 requires all persons in Florida to limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities. This order went into effect April 3 and expires April 30.

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Local response to COVID-19 - What you need to know 4/5

Post Date:03/19/2020 11:49 AM

The City of Venice supports the statewide Executive Order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis April 1 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Executive Order 20-91 went into effect Friday, April 3, and expires April 30 (unless extended).

The order requires all persons in Florida to limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.

Further, it states:

  • Senior citizens and individuals with significant underlying medical conditions shall stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • All non-essential retail and commercial establishments are ordered to be closed.
  • Essential retail and commercial businesses that may remain open include healthcare providers; grocery stores; gas stations; convenience stores; banks; hardware stores; restaurants and other facilities that serve food (takeout and delivery only); and contractors like appliance and HVAC repair and installation personnel, plumbers, electricians, and exterminators who provide services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences.
  • Essential critical infrastructure workers include those in the fields of healthcare, communications, food and agriculture, critical manufacturing, energy and water, financial, IT, air and other transportation, and government facilities.
  • Citizens may also participate in the following essential activities (with appropriate social distancing): attending religious services, participating in recreational activities (walking, running, biking), taking care of pets, and caring for or otherwise assisting a loved one or friend.
  • A social gathering in a public space is not an essential activity. Do not gather in groups larger than 10 in any open space.
  • This safer at home order encourages working from home.

The Executive Order, along with a complete list of essential worker information and the Miami-Dade Emergency Order referenced in today’s order that lists all essential businesses that may remain open, can be found here.

Those who need additional clarification on essential businesses can call the Governor’s Office Citizen Services line at 1-850-488-7146. Press option 1. 

Gov. DeSantis issued 2 additional Executive Orders on April 2: One on a Re-employment Assistance Program, and another addressing COVID-19 Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief.


On April 3, the CDC came out with new recommendations for citizens wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. The CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Don't have a face covering? The CDC released a video showing how to make a face mask in 45 seconds. It's lo-tech and uses items you have at home. Check it out here.


The City of Venice is working hard to protect our community. Currently, all garbage, recycling and yard waste collection will continue as usual; however, we want to notify residents of several important precautions which will begin on Monday, April 6:

  • All residential garbage and recycling must be placed inside the correct automated cart for collection. For the safety of our staff, nothing placed outside of the cart will be collected at this time.
  • If you have additional garbage or items that will not fit in the cart, please save it for your next regularly scheduled pickup day, or contact Public Works to schedule a bulk collection. Bulk garbage and bulk yard waste will continue to be collected and must be scheduled by contacting the Public Works office at 941-486-2422.
  • Cardboard boxes should be broken down flat and placed into the blue recycling cart for collection. For cardboard that will not fit inside a recycling cart, public dumpsters for cardboard will be placed at the following two locations:

    1. The Venice Community Center, 300 S. Nokomis Ave., within the southern parking area.

    2. The intersection of Pinebrook Rd. and Lucaya Ave., to the east of Pinebrook Rd. near the croquet field entrance.

  • If your collection should get missed for some reason, please contact the Public Works office and staff will schedule a return trip within 24 hours.

Please contact Public Works at 941-486-2422 for any other solid waste or recycling questions. We truly appreciate your cooperation and assistance during this challenging time.

The following Sarasota County Solid Waste facilities closures and changes went into effect April 3: 
Closed: The Re-Uz-It Shop, 8750 Bee Ridge Road, all Household Chemical Collection Centers and the Central County Landfill, 4000 Knights Trail Road, Nokomis. 
The landfill is only open for disposal customers and contractors. No cash payments are being accepted. It is closed for all other activities including birding, the RC Flyer Club and access to mulch/compost.


Sarasota County Schools will remain closed until Friday, May 1, per the Florida Department of Education, President Trump and the CDC. Here is a link to additional updates about the closure, the district's ICAN Plan for distance learning, new free meal pickup locations, Internet safety and caring for devices. In Venice, hot lunch and breakfast for the next day are being distributed for students curbside at Garden Elementary School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday. Parents must have children in the vehicle to receive food.

Venice City Hall has gone digital with public hearing notices. In light of recent changes that limit public access to City Hall, public notices that would typically be posted on the bulletin boards in City Hall are now available on this website. Under the “Government” tab on the homepage, select “City Clerk,” then “Public Notices.” When you select this page, you will find current public notices that have been posted. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued 2 more executive orders on March 27 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), one addressing vacation rental closures, the second concerns additional requirements of certain individuals traveling to Florida

An 82-year-old man died at Venice Regional Bayfront Health on March 26 from COVID-19. The Florida Department of Health has reported 136 coronavirus cases in Sarasota County as of noon April 5, and 7 deaths.

(West Coast Inland Navigation District) closed Snake Island to public access on March 26 until further notice, according to WCIND Executive Director Justin McBride. "No trespassing" signs are posted for boaters.  

On March 25, the following additional parks and playgrounds in the City of Venice were temporarily closed to the public, with posted signage, in an ongoing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19:

Full Park Closures (including playgrounds):

  • Chuck Reiter Park
  • Hecksher Park
  • Wellfield Park

Wellfield Park signNote: The above parks are Sarasota County-maintained and operated

Playground Only Closures:

  • East Gate Park
  • John Nolen Park
  • Legacy Park
  • Mundy Park
  • Prentiss French Park
  • Venezia Park
  • West Blalock Park swings
  • Venice Area Beautification Inc. (VABI) Building swings

As a reminder, the following beach parks closed March 21:

  • Brohard Park
  • Chauncy Howard Park
  • Humphris Park (South Jetty)
  • Maxine Barritt Park
  • Paw Park
  • Service Club Park
  • Venice Beach
  • Venice Fishing Pier

On March 24, Florida Gov. DeSantis issued 2 additional executive orders related to the coronavirus:

Executive Order 20-82 directs all persons who enter the State of Florida from an area with substantial community spread, to include the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person’s presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter.

Executive Order 20-83 directs the State Surgeon General and State Health Officer to issue a public health advisory to all persons over 65 years of age urging them to stay home and to take such other measures as necessary to limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The Local State of Emergency signed by Venice City Manager Ed Lavallee on March 16, 2020, was extended on March 23 for a period of 7 days, then extended again on Monday, March 30. This latest order will automatically renew every 7 days until the order is canceled.   


Closed Sign at City Hall 3.23.20The City of Venice has temporarily closed all its buildings to the public effective March 23, but will remain staffed. This includes City Hall, Public Works, Utilities, and the Airport administration office. Online services on this website include the ability for citizens to pay a utility bill or apply for a permitPeople can call the City’s main number at 941-486-2626 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and be directed to the department they need.

The Cashier’s Office at City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave., has an outside drop box available for customers needing to drop off payments. It is located on the south side of City Hall, across from the fire station. A drop box has also been installed outside the Airport administration office at 150 Airport Ave. E. for customers. The Building Division is only accepting online permit applications at this time.  

The Venice Museum and the Julia Cousins Laning and Dale Laning Archives & Research Center have been closed to the public since March 16.

All Sarasota County beaches, including those in the City of Venice, closed to the public March 21 until further notice. Beach parking lots have been blocked off and signage indicating the closure is posted. Beaches will be patrolled by law enforcement.

The City of Venice also closed the South Jetty (Humphris Park), Venice Fishing Pier, and Children’s Interactive Fountain to the public on March 21. This is to remain consistent with the County’s closure of all public beaches.

All of the City’s beach parks are closed, including Brohard Paw Park, Maxine Barritt Park and Service Club Park. Jetty Jack’s concessions at the South Jetty is also closed. Beach parking lots are blocked off and signage indicating the closures is posted. Beaches will be patrolled by law enforcement. Your cooperation is appreciated during this difficult time.

The City of Venice supports the statewide Executive Orders issued March 20 by Gov. Ron DeSantis to temporarily suspend dine-in sales of food, alcohol at restaurants, closing gyms, and suspending non-essential elective medical procedures. Restaurants can still offer take-out and delivery options, including packaged alcohol to those with I.D. Call local restaurants to check availability. To read the Executive Orders in their entirety, click on the above links.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or otherwise feel ill, call the Sarasota County Health Department (COVID-19) call center at 941-861-2883 to check your symptoms. Subject matter experts are on duty 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 

All residents and visitors are reminded to continue following guidelines from the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control.

To protect the safety and well-being of riders and employees, SCAT fares for both fixed routes and SCAT Plus are temporarily suspended through April. Eliminating fares reduces crowding by the farebox and limits exposure to passengers and bus operators. SCAT is currently operating on a modified Saturday schedule. View the modified routes here.

The Sarasota Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller is urging the community to continue practicing social distancing by utilizing online services, pay-by-phone, or mail service.

The Sarasota County Tax Collector has closed all offices until further notice. Deadlines have been extended to renew driver's license, commercial driver's license and identification cards that are expiring between March 16 and April 15. Motor vehicle, driver's license and tax transactions must be completed online. Staff will be working behind the scenes to assist customers online at or and by calling 941-861-8300.

The Sarasota County Property Appraiser's Office has closed all three office locations to the public, but will remain staffed. Online services, telephone operations, electronic and physical mail will remain available and reviewed by property appraiser staff. 

Reminders about additional local cancellations/closures: 

  • All special events in the City of Venice through May 1 have been canceled. No new permits for special events are being issued at this time.
  • All Sarasota County libraries will remain closed through April. 
  • Libraries' staff are establishing a curbside pick-up option for items placed on hold through the online catalog. 
  • The digital library is available for library cardholders to access books, magazines, movies, music and television programs. Those needing to register for a new card, or renew an existing library card, can do so by calling the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000. 
  • All indoor facilities operated by Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources -- including the Venice Community Center -- have been closed to the public. 
  • The community can sign up to receive text alerts about Sarasota County updates related to COVID-19 by texting SRQCOVID19 to 888-777. 
  • The City of Venice has temporarily suspended its Adopt-a-Park Volunteer Program and all other volunteer park programs that assemble groups of 10 or more people, until further notice. 
  • All public meetings and discussions on the Land Development Regulations (LDR) update are canceled until April 21. Revised meeting dates will be provided when available.  

Additionally, the following City of Venice meetings have been canceled at this time:

  • Planning Commission – April 7
  • Architectural Review Board – April 9

COVID City Sign 3.19.20