COVID-19 City Updates
Updated March 27 - 10:00am
Boca Raton, Stay Home. Stay Safe. Effective Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 12:01 AM
The City of Boca Raton issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” emergency order for everyone living within City limits beginning Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 12:01 AM. People should remain in their homes or on their own property. Individuals may leave their places of residence only for essential activities. Do your part. Slow the spread. Stay safe and stay home.
Learn more about the Order from City Manager, Leif Ahnell.
What does this mean?
The order spells out several definitions for "essential activities" you may still engage in:
Essential Retail and Commercial Activities: Residents and visitors may engage in essential retail and commercial activities and travel to or from essential retail and commercial businesses. See the detailed list that includes things like:
- Work- if the business meets the definition of essential
- Pet supplies
- See a healthcare professional, if needed
- Pickup food from a restaurant
- Gas or repairs for your car
- Bank or ATM
- Obtain supplies you need to work from home
- Any additional products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences.
Outdoor Recreational Activities: Residents and visitors may engage in outdoor activity and recreation, including, without limitation, walking, hiking, running or cycling in areas not otherwise closed to the public, while maintaining social distancing of 6 feet apart.
Personal Support Activities: Residents and visitors may travel to and from their homes to care for or support a friend, family member, or pet in another household.
All nonessential private and public gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a residence are prohibited. If you live in an apartment, condo or another area with shared spaces, you need to keep at least 6 feet away from other people while in common areas (the lobby, mailroom, courtyards, etc.). All businesses, unless defined as an essential business, must stop activities at their facilities except for minimum basic operations, but employees can continue working from home. And if you do leave your house for “essential activities,” you are expected to stay 6 feet away from others as much as possible.
Those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick, are strongly encouraged to stay in their homes unless they need to seek medical care.
March 25, 2020 - 3:00pm
Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-83 directing the State Surgeon General and State Health Officer to issue a public health advisory to everyone over the age of 65 and those with serious underlying medical conditions, urging them to stay home and to take such other measures as necessary to limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19. Additionally, the Order directs the State Surgeon General and State Health Officer to issue a public health advisory against all social or recreational gatherings of 10 or more people and to those who can work remotely urging them to do so.
The full executive order can be viewed in the Office of the Governor Executive Order Number 20-83 (PDF).
March 24, 2020 - 11:15am
In the interest of the health, safety and welfare of our community, we are taking every responsible action to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The COVID-19 pandemic is an urgent issue and has not yet shown any indication of slowing.
On March 19, 2020, Miami-Dade County enacted an Emergency Order imposing restrictions on all nonessential businesses and services, and Broward County enacted similar restrictions effective on March 23, 2020. This public health emergency created by COVID-19 is not limited to one county or municipality in South Florida and therefore; the City is directing the closure of all nonessential retail and commercial establishments, effective 12:01am Wednesday, March 25, 2020, until further notice.
This order is intended to save lives and prevent the long-term devastating impacts that COVID-19 could have on our residents, businesses and visitors. Do your part. Slow the spread. Stay at home.
Retail and commercial businesses that are considered essential, and can remain open, include, but are not limited to, healthcare providers and equipment suppliers, grocery stores and pharmacies, businesses that provide food, shelter, social services and other necessities for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, banks, gas stations and media. Additional businesses deemed essential can be found on the City’s website.
March 22, 2020 - 2:00pm
Palm Beach County issued a new order, all boat ramps and marinas will be closed to all recreational boating activities to include boat launching, in/out storage activities, and boat rentals in Palm Beach County until further notice. This order is necessary in response to people gathering in large groups on the sandbars, Intracoastal lands and waterways without observing social distancing to prevent community spread of COVID-19. For additional information, view the County Order.
March 20, 2020 - 5:00pm
Governor Ron DeSantis issued new Executive Orders on Friday affecting gyms, fitness centers, restaurants, health care professionals, entertainment venues and Palm Beach County beaches. For additional information about closures and restricted businesses view the Executive Orders.
March 17, 2020 - 3:15pm
On Monday, March 16, 2020, the City of Boca Raton declared a Local State of Emergency due to the threat of COVID-19 and is implementing additional closures and safety measures in order to slow the spread of the virus.
EFFECTIVE TODAY AT 5:00 PM - ALL BARS AND NIGHTCLUBS ARE REQUIRED TO CLOSE FOR 30 DAYS. RESTAURANTS ARE REQUIRED TO CLOSE EXCEPT FOR DRIVE THROUGH, TAKE-OUT AND DELIVERY SERVICES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, all City facilities, parks and beaches will be CLOSED until further notice including the following:
- All Beaches
- Alan C. Alford Golf Course at Red Reef
- Bark Beach at Spanish River Park
- Boca Raton Community Center
- Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course
- Boca Raton Tennis Center
- City Administration Building “Building Department”
- City Hall
- Downtown Library
- Fire Rescue Administration Building
- Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
- Hillsboro El Rio Park North and South
- Meadows Park Pool
- Mizner Bark Dog Park
- Mizner Park Amphitheater
- Municipal Services Building
- Ocean Rescue Center/Coast Guard Auxiliary
- Patch Reef Park Community Center and Tennis Center
- Police Department Lobby
- Silver Palm Park
- Spanish River Athletic Complex
- Spanish River Library
- Sugar Sand Park
- Swim & Racquet Club
- Wildflower Park
*Today, Tuesday, March 17 is Election Day and all of the Boca Raton Community Centers and libraries are designated polling locations. Libraries and community centers will be closed on Wednesday, March 18 until further notice.
All meetings have been canceled until further notice, including the CRA, Council Workshop and City Council Meetings on March 23 and March 24, 2020.
The City will be operating Critical Infrastructure services only:
- Police Services
- Fire Rescue Services
- Water Sewer
- Sanitation Services (Regular Schedules)
- Building Permitting
PANDEMIC PLAN SAFETY MEASURES ISSUED
- All bars and nightclubs are required to close at 5:00 pm today, March 17, and remain closed for the next 30 days.
- Restaurants are required to close today except for drive through, take-out and delivery services until further notice.
- Avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people.
- Practice social distancing - 6 feet apart from others.
- Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits.
- Work from home whenever possible.
- Critical Infrastructure industry employees should maintain normal work schedule.
- Do not visit nursing homes, retirement or long-term facilities.
- Practice good hygiene.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- Wash your hands and don’t touch your face.
The Citizen’s Information Center (CIC) will open Wednesday, March 18 from 8am - 5pm and is available for residents to talk with City staff regarding any concerns, questions or information. The CIC can be reached at 561-982-4900.
Additionally, residents can stay updated on City information and alerts on the following platforms:
Not seeing this newsletter in your inbox? Sign up.
The City has a list of current closures and cancellations that is continuously updated at www.myboca.us.
We understand these are unprecedented measures, and we appreciate the efforts by those who have already led by example. We will be providing additional information as stages of our Pandemic Plan go into effect.
March 16, 2020 - 5:45pm
In light of new CDC guidelines, people should do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that you do your part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
- Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
- Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
- If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule. You and your employers should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work.
- Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts -- use drive-thru, pickup or delivery options.
- Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits.
- DO NOT VISIT nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
- Practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
- Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
New closures include...
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center will close tomorrow, March 17, until further notice.
See the list of facilities now closed.
March 15, 2020 - 6:16pm
Boca Raton residents, please take a few minutes to listen to a very important message from Mayor Scott Singer about social distancing and how our community can lead by example.
Sugar Sand Park playground has been added to the list of facilities now closed.
March 14, 2020
As we all recognize, there should be no large social gatherings and we should be practicing social distancing. However, gatherings and crowds also exist in other places, like stores and restaurants. Know how to protect yourself in a crowd.
March 13, 2020
The City has added more facilities and services to the list of Canceled & Postponed mass gatherings, City events and program. The Police Department has temporarily suspended citizen fingerprinting at the main police department and mall annex until further notice, and beginning Saturday, March 14, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center’s indoor facilities will be closed. Aquariums, grounds and outdoor areas remain open to the public.
To learn more about City information, community mitigation efforts and reliable resources, view the City of Boca Raton Community Mitigation Strategies for COVID-19 newsletter that was sent out today. Topics covered include:
- Steps the City is taking in our organization and our community
- Doing business with the City online
- How to protect yourself
- Reporting price gouging
- Election Day polling changes
- Additional resources and staying connected...
March 12, 2020
In an abundance of caution, all special events, performances, programs, classes, athletics, clinics, rentals, camps and meetings have been postponed or canceled through April 30th, 2020.
- View a list of CANCELED & POSTPONED mass gatherings, City events and programs.
- Save a trip to City Hall: Utilize online City services
March 11, 2020
The City of Boca Raton is coordinating with all our community partners while closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation for our area. Our City staff is continuously assessing and adapting emergency plans for COVID-19.
The City is making determinations about mass assemblies including concerts and large events. If, and when we decide to cancel any events, we will use all our communication tools to inform the public. In the meantime, according to the CDC guidelines, people who are considered to have a higher risk should take extra precautions to reduce their risk. Currently, those individuals include:
- Older adults
- People who have underlying health conditions
If you are in a high risk category, this may be the time to evaluate your exposure and take all precautions necessary to reduce your chances of getting sick. Be sure to avoid close contact with people who are sick, take everyday precautions like washing your hands and disinfecting your home, avoid large crowds, especially in poorly ventilated areas and take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to further reduce your exposure to the virus.
For more information, on who is at risk and how to prepare, visit the CDC.
March 10, 2020
The City is being proactive and following CDC and FDOH recommendations and guidelines in preparation for potential cases of COVID-19. While our City is functioning as normal, we are working hard to ensure emergency plans are in place. As recommended by the CDC, we are asking all residents to take the following preventative actions:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home if you are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based sanitizer with 60% alcohol if soap is not readily available.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
As recommended by the FDOH, if you think you may have COVID-19 or are showing any symptoms, please call your doctor or local hospital before you go in. For any questions or concerns you may have regarding COVID-19, FDOH has a call center available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-866-779-6121 or email at COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
March 9, 2020
Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a public health emergency designating the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) as the lead state agency to coordinate an emergency response. In an abundance of caution, the Governor declared a Public Health Emergency allowing the State Health Officer to take any action necessary to protect the public health of its citizens.
Things to know:
- The FDOH is your point of contact for any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19.
- The FDOH now has a call center available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1 (866) 779-6121 or email at COVIDemail@example.com.
Feb. 26, 2020
As a large employer and a provider of public programs, services and facilities, the City of Boca Raton is monitoring the messaging and information about COVID-19 from the Florida Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an emerging disease and there is more to learn about its transmissibility and severity, but the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Those with cardiopulmonary disease, weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults have an increased risk. Symptoms may include fever, cough and shortness of breath which can progress to bronchitis or pneumonia.
Additional information and resources
For more information, visit our Coronavirus COVID-19 webpage.