Governor orders seniors to remain ‘Safer at Home’

Editor & Publisher

Last Thursday at midnight, a ‘Safer at Home’ order by Governor Ron DeSantis instructed senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions to stay at home in order to limit their exposure to COVID-19.

What does this specifically mean for Longboat Key residents who average 70 years old? Is it a directive, a law, or a suggestion?

According to Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer it is “a heightened message saying you should stay home unless you have essential services or activities.”

Harmer said the Town asked the Sarasota County Emergency Office to render an opinion on what that specifically meant and he was told that it means seniors still have access to essential services but the fundamental is, “We want the elderly to stay in place.”

A violation of the Governor’s order would be met on Longboat Key with a spirit of educating the public since the effort is to protect, said Harmer.

Harmer said that the past week has seen an increase in deaths in Sarasota, cases of Coronavirus on Longboat Key as well as an increase in medical transports to Sarasota Memorial Hospital. There were seven deaths in Sarasota County attributed to the Coronavirus on Friday, said Harmer.

Part of the Governor’s order is to close all non-essential businesses and services. Further, the order encourages all businesses to provide delivery, carry-out or curbside service to the greatest extent possible.

Harmer said on his immediate wish list is a desire for the Longboat Key Publix to provide a better system for delivery and pickup of groceries. Currently, there is no ability to email or call in a grocery order and have it ready for pickup or delivery. There are companies that will perform the service, such as Instacart, but they have seen their operation strained due to the exponential demand since the outbreak.

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