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Low to medium red tide levels linger in Sarasota County

SARASOTA COUNTY — Patches of red tide will remain through the weekend at Sarasota County beaches, irritating those looking for a beach getaway.

The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota released an updated report Thursday that stated Manasota and Blind Pass have high levels of red tide cell counts — over 2,400 cells per milliliter — leading to the continuation of a red tide advisory.

But depending on where you drop your towel, there are still plenty of spots to enjoy sun and surf this weekend.

Caspersen Beach, Turtle Beach, and Longboat Key had minimal signs of respiratory irritation and dead fish that often accompanies the algal bloom known as Karenia brevis. The maddening effect causes coughing. The bloom has persisted for about two weeks.

North Lido and central Lido beaches had medium red tide counts, while South Lido was low. Lower levels were also recorded at Nokomis Beach, North Jetty, Venice Fishing Pier, and Brohard (Dog) Beach, which were all under 100 cells per milliliter.