COVID-19 reaches Anna Maria Island

thumb image
A COVID-19 case is listed April 2 in Holmes Beach on the Department of Health/Florida Disaster website. Islander Screenshot

COVID-19 crossed the bridge to Anna Maria Island.

The Florida Department of Health reported the island’s first case of the novel coronavirus in Holmes Beach April 1, the same day Gov. Ron DeSantis announced an order directing Floridians to stay home for 30 days.

The order, which limits business and activities to essentials, goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, April 3.

Essential activities include recreational activities, such as walking, biking, swimming and hiking, as well as taking care of pets and attending religious services. Essential businesses include banks, grocery stores and pharmacies.

Bradenton Beach Police Lt. John Cosby told The Islander in an April 2 interview that DeSantis’ order wouldn’t change much on the island.

Cosby said the beaches would remain open to residents, with police enforcement to continue as it has since beach parking was closed to prevent groups from gathering at the shoreline. He added that there were no plans to shut down or limit access roads to the island.

Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer concurred. He said businesses in Holmes Beach have been self-monitoring and non-essential businesses already were closed.

He confirmed the COVID-19 case in Holmes Beach, but declined to share information on the patient’s situation.