Hundreds of Complaints Over Business Ban in Pinellas

CLEARWATER -- At a virtual online meeting of the Pinellas County Commission Tuesday, the county administrator told commissioners he's gotten plenty of complaints from businesses considered "non-essential" and told to shut down.

Barry Burton says more than 300 have asked for leeway under Governor Desantis' statewide stay-at-home order.

While the governor's order overrules local states of emergency, Burton says he's been working with the Pinellas County sheriff on an almost daily business to update the rules under that order.

At an Emergency Policy Council meeting in Hillsborough County Monday, commissioner chair Les Miller expressed concern that many businesses in that county would have to shut down.

Here's a link to the latest guidance for businesses from Pinellas County:

Pinellas commissioners also heard a complaint about the closure of beaches from a member of the public. Robert Amaio of Clearwater urged commissioners to follow the example of Brevard County, which allows beaches open for exercise only.

Tuesday's virtual meeting was not without its share of glitches, as commissioners and staff dropped in and out. Commissioners voted "aye" by raising their hands in front of the camera.

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