Pinellas Commission Lifts Restrictions that Exceed State Rules
May 28, 2020
The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners on Thursday extended its Local State of Emergency to June 5 and lifted rules pertaining to public beaches, shared pools and playgrounds that exceed the state requirements. Additionally, the Board extended the application deadline for the Pinellas CARES programs for individual financial assistance and small business grants to June 30.
The changes reflected in the Local State of Emergency are as follows:
Beaches – effective immediately, social distancing restrictions removed, but visitors strongly encouraged to continue practicing social distancing and safety when visiting the beaches. Posted signage will remain at the beaches to remind visitors of best practices.
Pools – effective 3 p.m. today, hotel and motel pools may return to operating at full maximum load capacity. HOA, apartment, condominium and all other pool operators may resume full capacity starting June 1. This will give them time to adjust operations and post any necessary signage at their pool locations.
Childcare facility playgrounds – effective immediately, may resume their regular playground capacity and operations.
Public playgrounds – effective June 1, may reopen with strong social distancing and safety reminders. Caregivers visiting public playgrounds with children are also strongly encouraged to practice increased hand sanitation, and consider bringing hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes with them.
Strong encouragement to wear face masks in public and practice social distancing remains: The adopted resolution also directs individuals, businesses, operations and organizations to do the maximum possible to implement and comply with CDC guidance regarding social distancing, disinfection and other practices that help reduce risk of COVID-19 contagion. This includes wearing face masks when possible and especially when social distancing cannot be easily achieved.
The extension of the Pinellas CARES programs gives individuals and businesses another month to seek help through the program. Individuals and families can request emergency help paying overdue rent, mortgage and utilities through the Pinellas CARES Financial Assistance program. Pinellas residents who have lost their job or significant income due to COVID-19 can apply for one-time assistance by texting COVIDCARES to 898211. Those who have questions or need to speak to someone by phone can also call 2-1-1 or visit this website.
Small business owners with a commercial location in the county can also apply online for the Pinellas CARES Small Business Grant, a one-time $5,000 grant to cover expenses such as employee wages, vendor bills and mortgage or rent costs.
Applicants should review all eligibility requirements and ensure all required documents are correctly submitted to expedite the review and approval process for the grant.
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